By Audrey Lupton
I walked slowly down the rock embankment, following the light from my headlamp. I held my two dry bags tightly under one arm and a tent and ground pad under the other. My attention was split between the fear of whatever was rustling in the bush next to me and listening to the voice of my friend.
“Good morning, sunshines!” one of our leaders yelled. The two new college graduates huddled around the camping stove as they made their beloved coffee. I haphazardly stuffed belongings— my dirty clothes, a ground pad, toiletries, and a sleeping bag— into the dry bags. I sat on my kayak and watched the black waves crash on the rocky shore.
The eight of us had already broken down camp, divided group gear between us, and packed up our kayaks. I pushed my kayak into the water; the sky and the water were still black. I turned off my headlamp and forced my eyes to adjust to the darkness. We paddled until we were in the middle of the bay where dark blues and oranges began to tear through the darkness of the sky.
We used carabineers to hold our fleet of kayaks together while we passed around granola and dehydrated milk. I rolled up the sleeve of my raincoat. My watch displayed the time— 4:30. This was the earliest we had woken up on our trip, the average time being 7:30. We talked about how we were going to kayak quickly to get to campsite by lunch so we could nap on the rocks while taking turns reading Harry Potter aloud, a favorite past time of our trip. We watched light blues, pinks, and yellows push the night away.
By 4:45 we had finished our granola breakfast and the sky was at it’s full beauty. The sky was a collage of blues, pinks, oranges, and yellows woven between clouds. The same sky was reflected over the smooth waves. This sky marked the last day of our trip. We had spent 21 days removed from society. I travelled to the Georgian Bay with seven other girls who became sisters to me. This trip brought me a new sense of adventure, confidence, and love for nature.