Looming over the bow of the canoe to the east, I cannot feel but chock full of contradictions. A very small boat needing to go a very large distance. A tiny patch of open water separating me from a continent. A single human being in a vast world. In a fit of enthusiasm I coined the phrase ‘One Man – One Canoe – One Country’. Now, less than 2 days from my planned departure on the first of April, it seems much more like ‘One Man – One Canoe – One Very Bad Idea’.
It’s not lost on many that the 1 April is April Fool’s Day. April Fools indeed. What better day to start a hair-brained, next to impossible solo, canoe/portage trek across nearly 7500 km of lakes, rivers, mountains, and highway. Yes, I’ll be dragging the canoe behind me as I hike down Highway #1, The Trans-Canada Highway.
Be all that as it may, I will depart Gilbert Beach near Steveston BC on the South Arm of the Fraser River on April Fool’s Day. On a fool’s errand no less. But what is living if not one long, never-ending stream of departures? Getting out the door, the actual departing, is more often than not the most daunting if not difficult part of every adventure. I am swamped with last minute preparations and buried under a mountain of minuetia. It seems I’ll never be ready let alone prepared. The calendar, boldly proclaiming April Fool’s Day, is a merciless reminder that departure is not only imminent, but inevitable.
I have a thousand questions that cannot and will not answered until I step into the canoe and take those first few paddle strokes away from the beach. I wish I could say I was unafraid, but I cannot. I can say, afraid or not, that I will try.