Haaw’a (thank you): Kayaking Day 8 – Leaving

I’m itchy and everything smells wet and gross…yet I’m not ready to leave at all. I would happily stay, given the chance.

Once again, like leaving my house full of climbing best friends in the middle of a perfect summer to come here, I feel like I am leaving in a perfect era that won’t be recreated. How can I leave in the golden moments? Once again, I am reminded that nothing stays perfect forever, change is the only constant, and trying to keep things the same is like trying to hold water in your hand.

IMG_7929.jpg
Ain’t gonna work, my friend.

Once again, there is too much amazing stuff happening with amazing people, and energy is best spent relishing it while it happens rather than wishing it would stay forever. I am committed to leading dance at home in Charlotte as soon as I get back from this trip, and my Calgary housemates are coming to visit next week…

I comfort myself knowing I will find my way back here someday soon.

This morning I wake to a dry tent despite the powerful rain (horray!), and I don my wet paddling clothes for the last time.

early paddle rainbow last day

We are blessed with a beautiful, calm morning, a rainbow peeking out above the mountains, the sun rising above the trees at our backs.

early paddle magic

Amy calls this sheltered bay “our little patch of heaven”.

one shot says it all

all hair all paddle

early paddle woah

We pack our tents, which have dried in this miraculous last-day morning sun, just before the rain and wind returns. Pancakes and leftover apple crisp for breakfast, sneaking around in the forest getting everyone to sign thank you cards for our incredible guides.

frances knows we are dorks
Everyone cares a lot about moss facts.

Hugs all around, then load into the waiting zodiak to drive back to civilization.

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outfitted for zodiaking

The boat ride is freezing, heavy rain and fog enshrouding us in a thick whiteout. The beautiful scenery we’ve been gracefully kayaking beside for a week is blotted out behind a blanket of mist, and we quiver under our industrial strength raincoats.

When we finally land on shore, we brave the bouncing logging road back to the ferry, where we have to hitchhike back to town. Lucky for us, the first car I see in the ferry lineup belongs to a new friend I met last week, another offshift guide. He loads our gear into his truck and delivers us right to our homes.

I strip all the wet clothes off and throw them immediately in the washer, so grateful for the luxury of mechanical washing and drying. A hot shower feels like magic on my body, and I make tea and tell the grandparents I live with all about the trip.

aw guyssss

Onwards to the next adventure!

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