Paddling North: Km 2178 and Counting

The last time I was on approach to Norman Wells 3.5 months ago, it was much colder and much whiter. Marian and I were headed to Inuvik and #paddlingnorth was a motley collection of dried food, an oversized bughouse, a few bytes gleaned from books and blogs, and a dream ready to be hatched and given wings.

Today, as we neared the island in the photo above, it was much bluer and we are much more tanned (and dressed in less clothing) and #paddlingnorth is 64 days strong and we have 2178 kilometres under our canoe seats.

As we’ve entered the “third trimester” of the mud/bug/sand/wind/thunderstorm/big water/big distance/amazing/beauty filled/deep/moving fest, temptations to begin reflecting on the expedition and all of its experiences are high.

We are back in Norman Wells, having paddled here from Jasper, and it’s hard to express both the pride and disbelief that we are here. That we, despite a short time frame for planning and preparation, made the expedition happen and that we have paddled 13 degrees of latitude to be back here in Norman Wells.

Yesterday we paddled by the place where the first oil well was drilled in the 1920’s. At the time, it was one of the largest oil finds in Canada and the reason why Norman Wells exists today. It was so cool to paddle by the Norman Mountain Range today that we flew beside in March.

We are staying with a sister of two friends here in Norman Wells. Again, like so many other times on this trip, we are being spoiled by our host. Nothing like a shower and home cooked meal to perk us up. After the shower, I notice that my arms and shoulders are looking buff and strong while my legs are shrinking daily. I’ve never seen my calf muscles be so small. Nothing like sitting most of the days to take the good outta your legs. Climbing Signal Hill this fall will be tough at first but Ill get back at it because as we’ve paddled beside so many beautiful mountains, I’m getting the itch to climb some.

Thanks for all your kind words and support. They mean so much. Thanks as well to Krissy Holmes for the great interview on CBC Morning Show and for coining a new handle for me, “Adventure Ninja.”

Time to hit the hay. No worries about bears tonight so I plan to sleep deep!

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