Paddling North: 2739 Kilometres of Memories

Crossing the Arctic Circle by canoe will be a pivotal memory from the expedition because it come after an epic paddling day, a night with a musk oxen sharing our beach, a bear sniffing our tent, a gorgeous sunset, and two and a half months of paddling to get to that moment of crossing 66 degrees 33 minutes North.

There are memories attached to every kilometre, every paddle stroke (and there have literally been millions of them), and every bend and turn. Seeing wildlife ( some close and some closer), hearing bird calls and songs, the feel of a slight puff of wind on my cheek and the intense gusts of a storm ripping at our tent. It’s all there. In my cells. In my soul. Memories, enough to fill a river, several rivers in fact, flowing in and through my DNA mixed with deep gratitude for the insights and challenges and tough moments and joy times that have cemented them in place.

Today, while paddling, I remembered every campsite on the Athabasca and Slave Rivers. It seems, as the expedition draws near its end, I am drawn to reflection and wanting to make sure I capture as much of it all as I can. Photos help. Writing my journal and blog posts helps. Weaving all of the moments into a quilt of adventure helps. Telling you all helps.

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