Sunday, August 28, 2011

Day 16 - Nicki Smith

Day 7 on the river began at 4am. At least this was for me and my tent mates. This was due to a long and hard day on the river paddling. For many of us, us being college students, 4am is a lot of times when we go to bed so actually waking up at this calm hour was a little struggle we endured. With only 2 hours before we push off for the day we finished breakfast, torn down camp, pack our bags and canoes and started paddling a little after 6am. I’m unsure whether it was waking up at 4am or the getting use to finding our way around a map, but we somehow managed to lose our spot on the map. With some bearing and understanding were we actually started we were off to the races again. It was at this time that Jeff once again reminded that we must take care of the group and to be cautious when paddling in open lakes as they as more dangerous than rivers.

Many hours later and 17 miles from last night campsite we arrived to a set of rapids. Just on the other side of this is where we would portage the gear and canoe’s to keep paddling. But the paddling would be in the future for now we set our campsites along Lake Mattawa. Then an informative lesson on scats of animals by Katy and then a test on what are adversity and uncertainty is. It might be just me, but this really put into perspective on what a wilderness leader or a leader in general entails. It was a long day for ECOEEians, an early morning, 17 miles of paddling, and a hot dinner put our minds at content for the day. After our debrief/brief most of us scattered off to hang bear bags, wash up, or to finish lessons for tomorrow and for some of us just to curl up in a warm bag and dream until the day we see modern showers, laundry, and or maybe just when the day arrives where we don’t have to plan time into the day to filter water. But for now I write from the comfort that will be my home for 11 more days until we finish the English River…. My sleeping bag and pad!

With Love from Lake Mattawa,

Nicki Smith

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