Day 1: Helena to Island 62


A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. William Shedd

Day 1 of any trip is filled with excitement and anticipation mixed with a fair amount of fear. Luckily this year at least some of us knew what we were getting in to.

Three of the students on this year’s trip had gone last year and were eager to share their knowledge with the newbies. It was powerful to see how much they retained from last year and how much that trip had impacted them a year later.

Even for those of us who had done this before there is a level of uncertainty. Each trip is different and the 2019 trip would turn out to be much more challenging then 2018 one had been.


We wasted no time putting our new recruits through their paces. We covered 23 miles on the first day and everyone’s arms were burning. After months of flooding, the water level was just beginning to drop exposing some pristine sandbanks that had been cleared by the high water. We found a beautiful lunch spot at Montezuma Landing and an even more amazing campsite on Island 62.

After teaching our crew how to set up tents, light a fire and cook dinner, we took some time to reflect on the day. Everyone was feeling tired, a bit homesick, but excited for the rest of our adventure.

Just about the time we settled into our tents we were hit by a rain shower that lasted all night but stopped just in time for another perfect day.

Lunch an Montezuma Landing

Lunch an Montezuma Landing

Shannon McMulkin