Launch of the Cedar Spirit

The first launch of the Cedar Spirit canoe before the big adventure on the Fraser River.

Mt. Robson, Aug 8

After a safety and paddle stroke briefing, we launched the Cedar Spirit for the first time today onto the waters of Yellowhead Lake. The sturdy 34′ fibreglass canoe will carry us on our first leg of our journey from our launch site at Tete Jaune Cache out to the Pacific Ocean.

At first the canoe rocked and paddles clacked. It was amazing how one person just a bit too fast or another a little too slow could cause the whole side to band paddles together. We could feel the canoe rock side to side when one side of the canoe was just slightly out of time with the others. A few minutes into the trip, I could feel my shoulders ache and the length of our adventure seemed daunting.

Then as we paddled, we began to count out the strokes and paddle to a rhythm. Our paddles stopped clacking, the canoe stopped rocking, somehow aches were no longer aching and we felt smooth. I could feel a sense of all of us individuals coming together as a group. We circled back to the launch and pulled our canoe out and drove back to our camp at Robson Shadows, where we will spend two more nights before we launch on the mighty Fraser. I can’t wait.