What a six weeks this has been for me and the other Brigade members. We’ve gone from the Rocky Mountain Trench in Canada south and west through Montana, Idaho and Washington tracing David Thompson’s journey to map the Columbia River. We did it – and there is a saying that goes something like, ‘If you’ve done it, it ain’t bragging.’. We did it. There were about 60 or so I think who paddled the entire six weeks, and I’m glad to be one of that fraternity.
This wasn’t a ‘Bucket List’ kind of thing for me. In the end, however, it has the same kind of satisfying feeling of carving off a Bucket List item. I look different and feel different (more muscles certainly and a beard that I think will come off after the Museum Board’s next meeting) but I’m not sure I’m ready to articulate just what those differences are. They have something to do with how I see myself in terms of determination, and something about the ability to do demanding physical work without complaint. Kind of a ‘get it done’ approach.
Wrapping this up, I want to thank everyone who helped me get it done – Lorna, my kids, the Museum staff and Board, and lots of friends who encouraged me. I also did this Brigade journey as a fund-raiser for the Kelowna Museum’s curriculum-based Fur Trade Program. So the advertisement is that if you’d like to donate to the program that would be wonderful and help ensure these important parts of our Canadian history are passed on to kids in fun and dynamic ways. You can donate at www.kelownamuseums.ca if you are interested and that link will be on the website by tomorrow.
I also want to thank all of you who took the time to read and follow along with this personal blog/journal/diary of mine. I hope it gave you a little insight at least to the times and places we traveled through and into the experiences we faced along the way. Jay will be doing a video of this journey and I’m sure the final cut of it will be advertised on the Brigade’s website (www.2011brigade.org) sometime in the fall. I have put a bid in to do the narration for this, and I know I would have lots of fun in the studio laying down that soundtrack. Here’s hoping.
Wayne Wilson, July 19, 2011
Kelowna, B. C.