Hi Kara! I found your blog and it sounds like you have a terrific family! My son grew up and decided to paddle across Canada! He is coming into faro in the next day or two! He is a big (wonderful) guy named Steve. If you see him and his friends please say hi to him from his mom! We love him so! If your boys ever come to Minnesota they are welcome in our home! Thanks! Jan keaveny
Neat! But what are the chances I will run across Steve, I thought to myself? I wrote back to Jan and told her that if we found Steve we would invite him up for a cold beer and a hot meal.
Saturday we spent a couple of hours down at our school volunteering to clean up after the previous night's high school graduation. As we were walking out, I saw two scruffy guys in expensive gear walking out of the library. Ah ha! I walked right up (because anyone who knows me, knows this is exactly what I do), and said, "Hey, which one of you is Steve? Jan sends her love!" The guys looked at each other and back at me with confused expressions on their faces. They told me that Steve was back at the tent, but how the heck did I know Steve?
So I told them about the email and proceeded to make good on the offer I told Jan about and invited them up to our house for beer and hot food. I rounded up their partners, including Steve, from their tents down on the Pelly River. Steve looked stupefied when I yelled, "Hello Steve, your mom misses you! Come on up for beer!" It was hilarious!
This group of four friends are canoeing 4000km across the north. They started in Skagway (hiking the Chilkoot in snow), then towed their canoes across the frozen Lake Labarge, afterwards paddled down the Yukon river and now up the Pelly River. They will eventually cross the Northwest Territories and finally head into Nunavut finishing up their trip in Chesterfield Inlet. Why? They explain the trip nicely on their website:
The crew hopes the trip will promote awareness of the role responsible recreation can play in conserving Canadian rivers and perhaps those through out the world. Keeping these river systems and expedition routes navigable and pristine should appeal to outdoor professionals, weekend warriors, and living room admirers alike.
Matt and I have a solid history of taking strangers into our home or helping them out, so this was nothing new! We have taken in pilots stranded due to weather, a PhD student doing research, a young offender who had beat up guys with a crow bar for booze, northern bloggers who happen to visit our community and on and on. We enjoy the company of all sorts of people and love the stories they have to share. Matt and I are also firm believers that kindness comes around.
All of Saturday afternoon and late into the evening were spent in the company of Steve, Matt, Pete, and Winchell. We discovered that Pete had once even canoed to Kugluktuk during the time we had lived there! They told us stories of their previous trips, shared how much they missed loved ones, show us pictures of this adventure, and entertained our boys. I made sure they ate their weight in good food (ham and bean stew, moose sausages, fresh veggies and chocolate cake) and Matt kept the beer flowing. They all got to use the phone to make calls to family, shower, and enjoy some computer time.
We took them back to their camp late that night. Since Sunday they were only going a short distance upriver to a scheduled supply stop and rest day at Lynx Tracks B&B which is just 15 minutes out of Faro, I put out the offer for them to come back to town to visit again. Earlier in the evening the conversation had turned to tv and a couple of the guys shared my addiction to the Game of Thrones series on tv. They were out of their minds when I told them I had the entire season on the computer because they had only watched a few episodes before they headed out on their trip. So I told them if they came back in on Monday, I would set them up for a Game of Thrones marathon. They couldn't pass that up!
So late Monday morning, I drove out to Lynx Tracks and picked the four of them up again. We spoiled them with a vat of moose stew for lunch, homemade chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven for snacks, and homemade pizza for supper. Again they were able to shower, use the phone and the computers plus do laundry. I set two of them up for their Game of Thrones marathon down in the basement. Pete and I had some great zombie conversations and he gave me a parting gift of a new zombie novel that I am now pouring over. Late that night I returned them to their tents and they sure looked content!
It was a fantastic run in with strangers and I know their mothers were sure happy to know they had been well fed and taken care of! I had many a thank you messages from Jan, the mother who sent the first email, and then I had this message from Matt's mother:
My name is Sue Harren- the mother of Matt. I cannot express in words our thankfulness for all you did for our sons!
My husband and I are also the parents of two boys and your acts of kindness will have a lasting impression on your sons.
If your travels ever take you to Minnesota please look us up. We have a place for you to stay!
These touching emails from worried mothers wondering how their boys were doing really touched me. It made me think about the adventures my own boys will take one day. I hope first off that our sons will share in our belief that kind acts make this world a better place, and second that they will be the recipients of kind acts when they head out to explore the world.
We wish Pete, Winchell, Steve and Matt safe travels and we hope to see you up north on our door step again soon! Oh, and expect a parcel from us at your stop in Fort Simpson- we found a leathermen in our truck that one of you forgot and we will make sure it gets back to you. Thank you Jan for sending that email and allowing us the pleasure of meeting that crazy crew!
Check out their website here and if you see them in your community up north, invite them in for a meal. I can vouch for them being great guys! And read about their version of this visit here on their blog.
|Feeding the crew! Matt, Winchell, Pete and Steve along with my Matt and Hunter.|