May 26th – “Getting Ready”

Tomorrow I start the travel portion of my sabbatical. So that means today, I’m getting ready to go. My day started with the following text to a friend (who used to live in the north), “what’s the best way to get to Thunder Bay?” I loved her response, “drive to Sudbury and hang a left”. I like that kind of clarity.

I’m not a last minute person, so I started packing yesterday. I’m only gone for four days for the first part of my trip, so there is not a lot I need to pack, but I need to make sure I don’t forget anything. There is a hierarchy of items, so I have listed them from most to least important:

Wallet

Phone (and recharger)

Tim Horton’s gift cards

So long as I have these three things, I will survive. From there, the list is fairly predictable:

Clothes

Running shoes

Books

Toothbrush

Snacks

Bug spray

Bag For My Head (Lori’s making me drive her car to save on the price of gas. It’s the size and colour of a car that Barbie would drive. Remember, I’m going to the land of the pick-up truck.)

Someone asked me today if I’m excited to go. The answer is, “YES”! The first part of this trip will allow me to spend time on the open road exploring a part of Ontario that until now has been a mystery to me (north shore of Superior), while at the same time, exploring a little of the inner landscape of my own thoughts and ideas.

The second part of my adventure, the trip to the Yukon, will fulfill a dream I have had of visiting the far North. It was a dream that came to life after reading Pierre Berton’s book, “Klondike”. The gold rush of the late 1800’s was a phenomenal chapter in Canada’s short history. To walk the same streets as the explorers and adventurers that left everything to seek their fortune, will be a true, true gift that I will carry with me forever.

I leave incredibly grateful to those who allowed me to have this adventure. Thank you to my family, and the amazing congregation at NWBUC whose generous support will inspire every mile of the journey.

I am taking on my adventure my Inukshuk, the Inuit symbol that reminded the northern traveller that you are never truly lost, and that eventually, all roads lead back home.