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River Of Hope Day 7: Metallica Mother Trucker

Updated: Jun 29, 2022

We departed camp at 7:30 am full bellies, great weather and a downwind pushing onward. Uncle Dan was up at 5:50 am with the fire roaring and cowboy coffee rolling. He is adept at any outdoor activity even in his seventh decade of living. He has been a full time cowboy his whole life. You won't meet many made like him anymore. This is a dream trip for him to see the river system with his nephew. I'm so thankful he came along for the ride.

The landscape was changing again to more boreal forest and pastureland mixed. Gone were the steep cliffs or so we thought.

It was always awe inspiring to come around a bend only to watch the river drop like an escalator with a healthy descent and fast water ahead.

We made it to Fort Assiniboine around 1 pm. Today we had to paddle to Vega Ferry no matter, what I was meeting a friend there the next morning for her to start her journey on the water.

As we made our way into the intestines of river winding and winding it's way to Vega the winds got so strong they were debilitating. At least the river wound in 90 degree corners so one way was a downwind and the next section was paddle for dear life. We would raft up and float together, refuelling and resting for the next turn.

There was a standing joke that we don't talk about the wind, there is no wind, what wind? But it was so hard, I hit my wall in this section. I couldn't talk anymore, I was miserable, I hated life. There's only one thing to do in these moments and that is to crank Metallica, put my head down and paddle hard. I wouldn't even look where I was going I just paddled.

The boys were so kind, they gave me space to get my head worked out and when I was way behind they waited then cheered for me as I rounded the corner. Oh my heart.

On our longest paddle day of 87 km unrelenting wind; we finally made it to the Vega Ferry. I have never been so proud of myself and so thankful for the humans I just paddled with. Find people in your life who are this happy when you accomplish something really hard! 480 km total on the trip and an exhausted girl hit the bed even earlier than usual.

This was Victor's last day with us and we were honestly so sad to let him go. Friends for life!

Read Day 8: Here

Sending You Love N SUP,

Lisa Stocking

Owner Paddle Athabasca

CANRVRSUP River 1 Instructor

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