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River Of Hope Day 9: Are We There Yet?

If I have ever been thankful for the river gods it was today. An emotionally and physically tired body was pushed by down winds towards Smith. They were some of the fastest miles we put in as we were sails out on the river keeping a fast pace even without paddling.

Finally sore, tired and ready to be done...but not? I enjoyed this whole trip immensely but also hated it some days. Like really what is the point? Why do I do this? It's pointless, isn't it?

100 km left on this trip in this photo. There were many times I didn't believe I would ever get to this point.

What's the point of anything in life truly?

I was humbled as I approached the Smith Bridge this was the last section of river that I hadn't paddled previous.

Smith to Athabasca I have done with friends on a two night fun trip. It was nice to know what was ahead and not.

After making significantly good time with a downwind I knew the river would take a sharp southern turn, along with it a crosswind instead of downwind. After the first 50 km was done the last 30 km crept along monotonously.

This was the last time we would pull into shore to make camp for the night. In all reality I wasn't done at all. I did not want to get off the river, it had become a part of me; a place I felt I belonged and not in the "real world".

We had the most bugs of any site this night, Trevor and Uncle Dan had camp down to a science and I was so appreciative of their support. This night I was actually so tired I couldn't dish up my own supper or get out of my chair. Perhaps a bit of adrenaline dropping off as I was so close to home.

Well over the 600 km mark and an 80 km day behind us; one last sleep on the river.

In the boat I had brought with me the sign the girls made for me five days ago, it made me smile each time I looked at it.

I curled up in bed to finish the book I had started on the second night of this trip. It seemed fitting that I finish it on the last night; while out on the river.

If you haven't read The Old Man and The Sea, by Ernest Hemingway please do. Simple easy read but so powerful and fitting for my journey.

Off to sleep, content in my soul, weary in body.

Read Day 10: Here

Sending You Love N SUP,

Lisa Stocking

Owner Paddle Athabasca

CANRVRSUP River 1 Instructor

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