As soon as I had gotten comfortable where I was it was time to leave again. I drove into the north by myself with a loose idea of where I was going. As I travelled through Montana I caught glimpses of a wilderness that was foreign to me. One night I drove to the top of an old forest road and watch wildfires ravage an opposite ridgeline. It was a powerful experience to be alone in wild to witness such destructive forces of nature. I decided not to spend the night here so that I wouldn’t wake up in a blaze.
Crossing the border into Canada began the pinnacle of my adventure this summer. Everything is bigger in British Columbia. The wilderness is more rugged, the rivers more intense, you feel more remote, and I can no longer rely on the support of cell reception. Soon I was alone in the town of Fernie looking to paddle the Elk River. The whitewater community came through for me again and before long I had made new friends to camp with. The Elk had been a dream of mine for a long time and it was incredible to be able to check it off the list. The waterfall was the highest single drop I had kayaked. Riding the force of the water driving off the lip of that waterfall and plummeting forty feet is a thrill that is hard to describe.
I have come a long way on this trip. I’ve learned a lot and I’ve met some incredible people. This lifestyle has become who I am. For years I’ve dreamed of hitting the road by myself and chasing horizon lines. I’m living out my dreams every day as I travel without a safety net sleeping alone in remote settings through British Columbia. I’ve had to push myself outside of my comfort zone as part of my body craves a familiar sense of security. Sometimes it is hard not to turn back. It is worth it to keep pushing forwards as you gain something that cannot be taken away. A few months ago the idea of sleeping solo in the wilderness terrified me. Now I can comfortably sleep under the stars by myself as I let the cackles of nearby coyotes lull me to sleep.
Humans have an innate fear of what is unknown. Fear is a primitive emotion and most of the time it is unnecessary. In our age fear does a better job at keeping one from living rather than keeping one alive. Awareness and good decision making are responsible for self-preservation. Fear holds you back by making you complacent to continue to experience what is familiar. To take hold of your life you must learn how to conquer your fears. The best parts of life lie beyond your comfort zone.