This past year has been a whirlwind. I said goodbye to the oilfield almost as soon as I received my Canadian residency papers, and moved to Edmonton, which is even further away front the epic white water that Canada has to offer. However it was for a good cause. A life filled with the time and resources needed to kayak and snowboard for the rest of my life.
Some have said I am crazy however when you get a chance to step back and look at your surroundings it can be both humbling and eye opening. At first a guys interpretation of the dream is to become a professional athlete. Travel the world on a shoe string making the most of what you have. This is by no means wrong, I just think it is an ill fit for myself and a choice had to be made. A choice to live the best of both. A healthy career that in turn provides a healthy life style.
Saying goodbye to a transient shoe string life style can be difficult, and in my case gut wrenchingly difficult. Driving away from that group of friends you have travelled with for what seemed like an eternity to start a fresh new adventure can be difficult. Self doubt, financial instability and the potential for failure all weigh heavily on ones mind. But you have to take a step, sure if you never leapt you might never have figured out with the other side has to offer.
It has been two and a half years since I moved away from the mountains, the ottawa river and my good friends, and what do I have to show for it? Success, somehow I have managed to achieve that balance. Unfortunately there has to be sacrafice, distance meant that friends loose touch and you each live your lives going in different directions. A necessary evil I guess.
But like anything enough effort can make anything work, and with a work hard play hard attitude I have had a season that has involved more kayaking than ever before. It has been awesome. Lots of new rivers, new people and new experiences.
The first trip of the season was to St Leon creek, which is located south of Revelstoke, BC. And what a river, it is gnarly, step and incredibly accessible. This is by no means a new river in terms of exploration but it is a must for anyone travelling in that direction. If you into driving, the road south is an incredible plethora of winding turns that opens up into a man made lake located in a breath taking valley.
Asides form the kayaking you have the St Leon hot pools to soak in after a few laps and an abundance of camping around the area. This is one of my favourite areas in Canada both for summer and winter trips. With great friends, unreal weather and a great few days under the belt down south and a shut down on the Upper Pingston it was time to head back to Revi and sample some of the local goods....
Photo Credit: Tommy Harding and Sean McTeirnan