Just a Step Out - My Family Travels

What is it like? To be able to step out of this city, to step out of our own comfort zones called home and to see what’s beyond our borderline? I used to feel stuck – confined in a room, familiar to what was here, but ignorant to what was out there.

It wasn’t until I had the opportunity offered to me to join the North Cascades Wild Program that my life faced this borderline. This program was a two week back country trip that consisted of backpacking and canoeing 46-miles throughout Ross Lake with a group of ten strangers. Whoa, wait. Two-weeks? Ten strangers? 46-miles? Could a 17-year old city girl really survive this? I was skeptical for I did have inadequate outdoor skills and had a strong dislike towards insects. Was this trip going to be two whole weeks of fun or two whole weeks of torture? Even though this question roamed throughout my mind, I accepted the offer and took the step out.

I found myself at one of Ross Lake’s campsites, McMillan, sitting at an old picnic table around these ten strangers and I labeled them as followed – the overly talkative one, the one who passed way too much gas, the crazy one, and you can assume the other seven were also very interesting characters. So I began my journey with a prejudice view on these people, but as the days passed, I began to see the true beauty in everyone and in everything. Who knew that I would love paddling as fast I could along the shore to avoid getting struck by lightning? Who knew that these people, who I would never have thought to even talk to in my life, would I begin to love? I had great conversations with that talkative person and I was actually impressed with how large of a quantity the gassy person could produce gas. I admired the crazy one’s generosity to have piggy-backed me across the lake to land so I wouldn’t get my hiking boots wet. I didn’t have to deal with grooming myself, using electronics, or any of my problems because no one was there to complicate things or to judge. It felt like it was a time where I could get away from all of my worries. A time where I could just live a simplistic life and revert my life as a child with an open mind filled with wonder for everything. The 12th day arrived, but surprisingly, I didn’t want to go back home. The departure was a very sad one, but I looked back at the beautiful lake and smiled. I am truly thankful to have been able to attend this trip for I not only learned a lot about stewardship and appreciate the wilderness more, I also learned a lot about myself and appreciate myself more.

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