Wow, what a busy few days! As you have probably heard from your daughters, we have been doing the last minute things needed before we leave. So much has been happening that we haven't even had time to blog! Let's rewind a few days to let you all in on what has been happening.
Saturday July 7th:
Our final official paddle day. We went out on the Mississippi for the final time together before going on trail. We paddled with two old packs per boat that had logs in them to try and best simulate paddling with our heavy packs in the boat. The girls have been getting the hang of the way the canoes handle with a little more weight in them, so we feel confident that they will do great with the roughly 100 lb food pack, 50 lb personal pack, 25 lb guide pack, and the third crew member in each canoe. Soon they will forget what it felt like to handle an empty boat, and trust us it feels very different.
Sunday July 8th:
We all gathered at the Weldon Household where our food has been slowly accumulating over the past month and a half. (Thank you so much for giving up your beautiful basement for us to use in preparing for the trip. It was greatly appreciated!). The girls all brought their personal gear that they will need for the next month such as clothing, soap, journals, etc. We went through the packing list one item at a time in "LVI Equipment Shakedown" style where guides read off an item and the girls hold them up for us to visualize that they do indeed have what they need. As expected, some things were forgotten and noted so they could be brought for the day we physically packed away everything in the packs. We also packed up our Care Package treats that the girls picked out. They brought some good treats that should taste amazing after eating our different variations of similar meals on rotation for two weeks straight.
Monday July 9th:
We all came back to the Weldon Homestead to pack up our food for the trip. The girls did a great job of dividing and conquering and getting it all packed efficiently. We separated out the food for the first half of our trip and second half. The food for the second half of our trip was packed into shipping boxes which we will drop off at an airport on our drive up to our starting point. The boxes will then be flown to Lake Sassaginnigak Lodge where they will be waiting for us to pick up at our half way point. This makes it easier for us rather than having to bring three more heavy food packs in addition to the three we already bring. (Special "thank you" to the Daniels Family for the great lunch they provided!!)
Tuesday July 10th:
Our final day meeting at the Weldon Residence to finish packing. Today, we packed up personal gear and thankfully everyone remembered the things they didn't have (or so we hope, but only time will tell...) on Equipment Shakedown Day. We also tied up loose ends like repacking our Kettle Pack, decorating our care package boxes, and doing our preliminary anti-fungal spray treatment on our boots. (Also thank you to the Weldon's for the yummy lunch!)
Tomorrow, Wednesday July 11th:
Tomorrow we will all meet at Cathedral High School at 7:45am to pack the bus. All crews will be present to load all of their packs and other supplies on to the bus and trailer in preparation for leaving for trail the next afternoon. It's crazy to think that we are leaving in two short days. The first half of the summer flew by, but the excitement has been growing in anticipation the whole time.
Some general reminders:
- The Last Supper will begin at Warner Lake Park (different from where the beach is located) promptly at 3:30 with a short mass and the choker ceremony, photos, and potluck. Please bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on if you wish for during the mass and dinner.
- The girls will all need to be dropped off at Cathedral High School by 2:15pm where we will all load the bus and arrive at the Last Supper together.
- Please remind friends and family that may be writing the girls care package letters that we do not allow any objects in the letters. Only the paper and possibly pictures if you would like. Placing objects in the envelopes risks your daughter not receiving that letter.
- We will be hitting the road at 6:15pm sharp and off on our grand adventure!!
We would also like to take the time to thank all the crew parents. You have all been so wonderful as this exciting journey has unfolded. It has been a privilege to get to know you all and we greatly appreciate all you have done to help it go smoothly. From volunteering your space, talents, food, endless support and empowerment of your daughters, and your trust in us and willingness to share your fantastic daughters with us for the summer has been more than we expected. If anything comes up in the next few days leading up to our departure, do not hesitate to send either of us a text or call at any time. We will see you all very soon at the last supper! TWO MORE SLEEPS UNTIL TRAIL!!!
Your excited guides,
McKenna and Mackenzie