By Emily Dech
Today we woke up to construction on the bridge next to our campsite. It was a rude awakening compared to our usual mornings in the wilderness.
I was greeting with birthday wishes from the group, as it was my 19th birthday. We packed up and paddled for less than five minutes to the bridge where the van was parked next to it. We loaded up our gear and canoes and were on the road by 9:30.
We drove for a few hours and stopped at the Chicken Chef for a quick lunch then continued on to a hotel in Winnipeg. We then took our first showers in 12 days. It was amazing to feel so clean. We ate dinner at Steve’s Bistro, which seemed fitting since we had our own Steve on the trip.
The past twelve days were phenomenal. I was incredibly worried about this trip before I left. Worried that I wouldn’t be able to do the portages, that I couldn’t paddle 14 miles a day, that I would tip in every single rapid and so on. However, none of my worried scenarios occurred! Everyone in the group was always willing to extend a helping hand and the rapids became my favorite part of being on the river.
I’m so grateful for this opportunity and I learned so much about being in the woods, about myself, and what I’m truly capable of. I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday or expedition!