An ending and a beginning. Beacons and ancient water trails

Lake Superior Water Trail.

I arrived into Thunder Bay at 2:40am. There was no moon. No stars. But there was a fire. An ancient beacon lit by a friend so I could find my way.

 

After paddling 1000km and spending 105 days on the water and on the shore it feels like the water in me is fused with the water on the lake. I can still feel waves inside me, and stillness. I still hear the song of the loon, the slap of the otter’s tail, the songs of mermaids made by the water lapping into the caves and crevices of ancient rocks.

 

The largest fresh water lake in the world and her north shore is as old as the world itself. And right now it is as quiet as it has ever been in the last 500 years. Nature is quietly healing from the logging , mining and closed down pulp mills of the last two centuries. And so do those who travel here.

There are many remote sections where I never saw another person for 10-12 days and many times when there was no cell or satellite phone service. I knew if there was a problem I would have to save myself.  There are things inside a mirror can’t show that an experience like this can reveal. In my most frightening moments when night time enveloped me before I had found a safe place to camp, and wind picked up to toss me around on waves in the dark, it was the women I spent three days with in a water ceremony in Michipocten who came to me. I sang their grandmother song to the drumbeat of my fast beating heart.   A spiritual alchemy took place that shifted fear to courage, dangerous water to safe passage. In the darkest moments I never felt alone. 

 

There are many highlights, moments with the light on the water, waking up to the sound of a giant’s footsteps shaking the ground I was sleeping on, or to a starry night reflected in the water’s calm surface so I couldn’t tell where the sky ended and the water surface began. I have never before had the experience of developing a relationship with the spirit of a body of water, or sat in the warm womb of an Ojibwe sweat. It has been one of the most profound experiences of this journey and in my life.

Today I am repacking to begin the 1200km Path of the Paddle canoe route to Manitoba tomorrow. Made up of six connected trails weaving rivers and many lakes with 195 portages, these inter-connected water trails have been used for over 10,000 years by the Cree and Ojibwe and the ancestors that came before them.  Having been called chicken wing for years by my close friend Jenica, the portages have me feeling a bit intimidated. But I carry the drumbeats, the wisdom and spirit of Gichigami in my heart as I carry on to the next part of this journey.

Deep gratitude to all of the people who have helped me on this part of the journey. And to all those who work to protect Gichigami, on behalf of the present and the future, thank you and big love. You carry the torch of hope through the darkness of greed and selfishness. 

Blessed be

Dee xo

Below are more video and media links from the past two months. You can also scroll through the photos and posts on Instagram and Facebook, the links for those are below as well.

 

 

 

 

link to article: https://nyti.ms/2sPCUlH

** very honoured to make the pages of one of my favourite newspapers, The New York Times. Two corrections: I conquer nothing, rather I explore, experience and learn. And secondly in the article it talks about a bike ride to the Baha. I never started in Seattle, I began the ride in San Diego. 

 


 Lisa Laco on CBC Radio in Thunder Bay.

 

 

 

The entire interview can be heard here, http://www.cbc.ca/listen/…/superior-morning/segment/13791314

 

 

 

TV and WEB

Thank you CBC News! and to Naturally Superior Adventures & Joel Cooper for making it possible to do an interview on the shores of Lake Superior. http://www.cbc.ca/news/multimedia/across-rivers-and-tundra-adventurers-take-on-canada-s-great-trail-1.4164173

COOL SHORT FILM

When I started this journey it was my hope other indie artists would connect and co-create with me. While I was in Old Woman Bay, Eric and Michael did just that and cut this short film.  

 

  http://www.dronebees.ca and   http://www.hivestudios.ca   

FACEBOOK PAGE LINK

https://www.facebook.com/500Daysinthewild/

INSTAGRAM

https://www.instagram.com/diannewhelanphotos/

 

2017-11-23T05:57:56+00:00

7 Comments

  1. Betty Reynolds August 27, 2017 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    Happy to read your made it to Thunder Bay safe and sound,,,was a pleasure to meet you safe travels my friend

  2. Melissa K. Ruckmick August 27, 2017 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    Deanne,

    We can’t wait to have you on our show IMPACT at Roundhouse Radio in Vancouver BC, Canada! Please let everyone know to tune in on the web at http://www.roundhouseradio.com, listen live at 1pm PST. Warmly, Melissa

  3. Ellen August 29, 2017 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    Love you Dee and hope to catch up with you again. You certainly have enhanced my summer. Grandmother Moon

    • Dianne Whelan September 1, 2017 at 12:26 pm - Reply

      Love you too moon grandmother. Shine on xo

  4. Karen September 6, 2017 at 8:38 am - Reply

    Beautiful words, beautiful post Dee. So glad you’ve experienced my corner of the world and grateful to spend this time together xxo

    • Dianne Whelan September 7, 2017 at 6:01 am - Reply

      Thanks Karen, you are a beacon providing support and grateful that you sharing the journey.

  5. Kathleen baleja October 7, 2017 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    Just found this comments section! Love following the Quetico portion of the paddling. I have been showing my 91 year old Mom the satellite tracking. She is flabbergasted. “.wow” “super” ” but why are they doing this?” Lol.

    Go Dianne and Karen Go!

Leave A Comment