To those who seek solitude in nature there is no greater stage than the mountains, allowing us to feel minute and as we feel small physically our problems shrink exponentially with it.
As we made our way to the put-in at McLeod Meadows in Kootenay National Park. Anticipation was at a pinnacle, the warm sunny days ahead we’re setting us up for a perfect trip. As we approached the river and began getting our gear out it almost seemed surreal what we were about to embark on.
Our first day we had a deadline to meet, make our way out of the National Park to make camp for the night. It is unlawful to randomly camp in a pristine wilderness park such as the Canadian Rockies unless it is in a life threatening survival situation. In order to maintain its beauty the park designates campsites to use.
As the valley began to close in around us making our way towards Cross River. Our group settled in on the current. Rosie The Raft and her companion unicorn Estevan were a sight to behold on the water.
Nothing in life should ever be taken too seriously, except river safety but Rosie and Estevan were safe at all times on the water with their trusty guide Reta from CANRVRSUP and unicorn wrangler/photographer Ashley Voikin.
Although this is a well-travelled river people are respectful of each other’s space and finding a peaceful spot for the night was not difficult.
We made our way to the river right for the night to set up camp, being on this side allows us to wake with the sun and have the warmth of its rays soak into our skin as we began the next day.
Settling into camp eating supper with the sound of water running over rocks and the promise of three more great days ahead of us.
Willy Wonka’s Cheerleaders
Morning dawned and the crystal blue waters now ran chocolate brown like Charlie In The Chocolate Factory sans the edible flavour. With this came the opportunity to send the Palliser Rapid at high water.
As the raft approached first to the rapid, a massive camp on river right of paddlers noticed the eccentric group of people coming down the river. They were so stoked to see us that they ran and lined the edges of the river bank cheering on Rosie, Estevan and the SUP paddlers hitting Palliser Rapid.
With each person through they supported us screaming for the clean sends and total carnage swims with equal delight. To say this was a trip highlight is an understatement. Their stoke and enthusiasm boosted us for the rest of the day. But wait it’s not over.
An epic adventure requires a fitting farewell, the final day was not without its own majesty. The water ran clear on this day and we again had a jewelled vein to follow past the monolithic rocks.
Rosie and Estevan quietly drank in the views as Ashley continued to capture them with her lens. We approached the final take out slowly, with reverence for the landscape we were able to spend the past three days in.
Spirituality occurs naturally in the outdoors, feeling part of something bigger is felt deep in the soul out on the water. Being able to return again is always a gift, never to be taken for granted.
Lead Guide / Owner CANRVRSUP
Compiled and Edited by Lisa Stocking
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