We wake in the morning in a misty fog. We are surrounded by rainbows.
On today’s agenda is a “cruisy” short paddle. We are to stop at hot springs along the way. Tonight, we are to set up camp at a provincial site. No hunting for home required.
To give the day some grit, the more experienced paddlers suggest us “newbies” to steer the boats. They even pair newbies with newbies. As we push off from shore, however, everything changes.
The wind is so strong, absolutely everyone – no matter the skill level – is struggling. After no more than an hour of paddling straight into the wind we have to pull over to readjust.
Jack, being quite experienced, jumps in with Alexa and I. He ties the canoe he has been soloing to our boat. We go from expecting a day of learning and bliss to suddenly towing an extra canoe, wondering if we’ll ever get off shore.
“We’re going to get real paddley!” yells Jack.
As we go for the gusto, what captivates my thinking is Jack’s mental stamina.
“I always just tell myself I have been in worse,” he shares.
Finally, a glimpse of sunshine.
But then, when we all start thinking it can’t get any worse…
“I haven’t paddled anything like this like… ever,” says Steve.
“It’s like being out in the middle of the ocean,” says Jon.
We choose a line through a braided section of the river leaving most of our boats stuck on the sand below us. We stop for a snack to run along the shore to shake out some of our angst.
At this point, what’s keeping us warm and fuzzy is the thought of finding these “hidden hot springs” we are on our way towards.
Surprise, surprise, after an hour hike inland and back a few times, we have absolutely no luck.
“I swear I thought they’d be in there,” I say to Rachel.
“Ya, and just when you think anything is for certain…” she looks at me sternly. With a smile, of course.
Nothing is for certain.
But, paddle stroke after paddle stroke, we finally arrive to our campsite. We haul the canoes on shore as we expect to be here for more than one night.
As we climb our way up, we come over a bank and into the forest. It’s like walking into a completely different world. Different universe.
The trees are covered in a moss coating I have absolutely never seen. There are blueberry bushes around every… well… they’re everywhere!
We’re accompanied by some Park Rangers. They’re absolutely pleasant, giving us all the information we need. They even say the hot springs we couldn’t find were not much of hot springs, anyhow!
Contrarily, however, what we learn is that we are only a 40-minute hike from a… Glacier Lake! Never in my life have I thought I would see a glacier lake.
We decide to get our priorities in order. We set up camp and start making dinner. It is here, I catch myself in a moment of bliss. Setting up my hammock between two trees overlooking the river next to a blueberry bush, I realize how I have never called something this beautiful my home. I take a moment of silence. Then, specifically and intentionally send my gratitude to Amy. Without her, none of this would be possible. And to think, she isn’t even here to act as our Momma Bear. (I continue to eat berries.)
After dinner, Barry rounds up the troops. He insists we make it up to the glacier lake before dark. At this point, I am convinced it’s so he can get ice for his mixed drinks… But who really cares at this point…
“HAVE FUN!” remember?
But fun is something BEYOND when we get to the lake…
And to think, we started the day off by assuming we were going to have a relaxing paddle and end up in some hot springs. Little did we know we were going to work our butts off and end up next to a glacier lake drinking bevys with glacier ice!
It’s a story of a story of a story…
Here’s to letting go of expectations and letting Her provide.
She gives us everything we need. And more.