The Wetfoot Blog

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Reminiscences - Courageous

Our week continues with Karen Stanley, Program Director at Camp Manito-wish YMCA, on where trail has taken her.

Oh, to be courageous…

All of my wilderness experiences starting with my first 3 day canoe trip,
have continued to challenged me to be a better person. I have learned to create a vision, to be ultra aware of my surroundings and how I affect them. They have encouraged me to be courageous. I have been introduced to people who make me stronger and who have kindly nudged me (and sometimes outright pushed me) to try things that, if left to my own devices, would not likely have ever tried!

A good friend of mine, Emily Stirr, speaks of this vision, intention and courage we gathered for an adventure we set out to have in 2008.

Excerpt from the 90 Day Borealis Paddling Expedition 2008 Journal Entry by Emily Stirr:

Tonight we are camped on the Dismal Lakes at the point from which we will begin our Watershed to the Rae River. We have literally taken our last paddling strokes on big open water and will likely be portaging out of this campsite. Somewhere way back last fall, each of us let ourselves get caught up in the collective energy of this group and ever since we have been working to get ourselves here, to a place called the Dismal Lakes and try our hand at what for us is exploration in its truest sense. We have done what research we could about this area; we have trained our muscles to paddle and portage, and have made detailed measurements of mileage from one small lake to another to a stream to another stream and eventually to the Rae River. We have almost everything we need and are almost fully prepared to set the alarms, get up in the morning, and give it all we've got.

We wanted to have an adventure. We wanted to be courageous. We did the research. We trained both physically and mentally. We went.

I believe the start, middle, and end of our travels to the Rae River sum up what wilderness travel has given me: need for a vision, desire for a challenge, and a life of creativity.

This was the right place for each of us and the right time to explore.
In life, we cannot ask for a greater gift than to be doing something we love.


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