With something under 20km to go or the day, and a long descent to boot, I covered the last 12km in under 2 hours. A record to end the long portage from Kinbasket Lake Resort to Saskatchewan River Crossing with an exclamation mark.
Barely discernible in the distance is my first glimpse of the North Saskatchewan. The cutbanks you see there will be part of my world for the next 5 weeks at least. Seeing them made me realize I had arrived.
Endings are really beginnings in disguise and this would be no different. The end of the gruelling highway portages with Karta. The beginnings of the long paddle down the Saskatchewan. The end of cars, trucks, and big-rigs roaring past just a few feet away, the beginning of the rapids, runs, and ruffles girded by house size boulders.
Sadly, Saskatchewan River Crossing would also be the end of the Shoreteam’s constant accompaniment. Swimming in a mix of emotions and fighting back tears, I thought ahead to new beginnings here too. Now, near the headwaters of the Saskatchewan, would be the beginnings of the paddle down the river that defined a part of Canada almost as big as Europe itself. Here, at least for me, Thompson’s footsteps echo loudest. And, here to share it all, my older brother Jan.
Courier de Bro if you will. Modern day explorers if you like.