25 Jul, 2009 Parting Ways

Hard to believe, but I am flying out today. On to the next leg of this journey, Wilberforce Falls, via Yellowknife. That means that Carl and I will also be parting ways. After almost a month together in the highest of the high arctic, my brother is going home as I carry on. For a long, long time, we had been talking about this trek. About Carl leaving his family and work behind to join me in my pursuits. I was honoured that he had decided to make the sacrifice to join me and to help me in so many ways. Taking the physical and mental challenge of lugging our gear around. His willingness to become a cameraman, and take creative direction, as best he could without any prior experience. Taking his share of camp duties and then some so I could continue my work. I could go on. But there’s also the intangible: being my older brother, and only other sibling, I somehow always knew that he was looking out for me in a way that only a big brother can. Even though I’m 40 now, and have left the Big Wheel behind many years ago. That brought a special and unique quality to this trip that will make it memorable until we are old and gray, and for that I am grateful.

Due to logistics, Carl’s flight will be leaving tomorrow, but he drove me to the airport for mine today. As I checked my bags, the big black one zeroed out the scale which sent the lady behind the counter to get her manager. He came in and said that it was over 100 lbs, and that they could not take it. With only minutes to go before take-off, a mild panic set in. I then remembered that I had Carl’s empty backpack inside, so I ripped it out, threw a few things in it and then checked it separately. That brought the big one’s weight down and I was cleared to go.

That was it. Done and ready to board. Carl and I said our goodbyes and I walked onto the plane. Felt a little sad moving on without him, after all we’d just been through. But I knew he was eager to get back home to his family and within a couple of days he would be there. I sure that was part of my feelings. He was getting to go home, and I wasn’t yet. As wonderful and inspiring as this land is, his parting reminded me that my loving wife and daughters were still more than a couple of weeks away from me, and I’m longing to be with them. So it’s a good time for a change of scenery, as I head for the beautiful falls of Wilberforce, in the south-central arctic. And the way there is through Yellowknife. Here I go.

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