Part 1: 21-Days on the Bloodvein River

Article and photos by Ben B. / Great Miami Outfitters

Part One:
How does one find themselves white water canoeing for three-weeks in the Northern woods of Canada?

“Eye’s wide at four in the morning dawn. The river is flowing and the environment is peaceful. The sun rises, the coffee is hot, and my heart is full. I am at peace with myself and the beauty around me.”
-Elijah Blasé (my co-leader)

Expeditionary travel has been something I have wanted to experience for a long time. I am a huge advocate of the benefits of spending extended periods of time in the backcountry, and I do not just mean multi-week trips.

Anything exceeding 3-4 days is enough time to fully immerse oneself into the natural world in my opinion. And I have found the more time you spend in the wilderness the more you discover about yourself, your friends, your family, your life, the world, and the natural processes governing everything I just mentioned.

Internal clocks reset, watches become irrelevant, meeting basic needs become your job, and you plan your day according to the weather and the environment around you. You are truly immersed and one with the world. The worst part is, I can never fully explain the value of the trip to other people, not even to members of my group simply because every experience is unique.

What is even harder is trying to explain the experience using as little cliché phrases as possible. The thing is, those cliché phrases hold true to every word. There really is so much to discover about yourself, so much to learn, and so much to experience and I am glad I was provided the experience to do so.

With all that being said, when I learned the summer camp I was working for at the time offered this trip, I was sold. Following that summer, I went back to school for one more semester, found a job for the winter, then packed my bags for Minnesota ready to lead out this amazing summer trip.

My plan was to use this trip as my summer internship. I would do most of the logistical planning and then see the trip through. I could not ask for a better opportunity for college credit. Before working for this company I was a student at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, studying Outdoor Recreation and Education.

As part of the curriculum, we were required to complete a 10-week internship working in the field of recreation. Once the summer was over I had officially graduated. I made sure to pack a cap and gown to wear to the local bar on our last night at camp.

I will talk a bit more about logistical planning for the trip as well as what the experience was like in a few upcoming blog posts. I will go into much more detail in my presentation on February 21st. I look forward to seeing you there!

Sign up for the Ben’s presentation here.
Read Part Two: 21-Days on the Bloodvein River


Bloodvein River

Bloodvein river


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