One of the very first things I did when I put pen to paper on actually doing this trip was to write down every major category of planning that would need to happen to make this adventure happen:
UB Exit (my job)
While I didn’t use this as my strict outline for actually doing the planning, one item on the list came up today: Re-entry
It’s kind of an odd thing to think about two weeks into a 3+ month trip. But my first off day of the trip is today, I’m sitting in Mighty MO Brewery in downtown Great Falls enjoying a few beers as the cold rain continues to fall, and a very interesting article was posted on the MO River Paddlers facebook page.
The link is a translation to an original article by Martin Trahan, a Canadian explorer who paddled across the entire US, including the Missouri River last year. While his trip was about 9.75 times more epic than I expect my trip to be, including PTSD from riding out Hurricane Michael along the Florida gulf coast, Martin writes a truly heartfelt and revealing article about the experiences when an epic adventure comes to a close, and one returns to their “normal” life.
In thinking about my trip, it was something I was aware of, somehow. I can’t recall what prompted me to add ‘re-entry’ to my list of planning items for the trip, but it’s there. The people who have completed the entire Missouri River descent before me come from a wide variety of occupations and lifestyles. Some are retired, some are full-time adventurers, some are just taking a break from busy careers – probably the category with which I most closely identify. Going back to sitting behind a desk after 3+ months of paddling down a river, sleeping outdoors (almost) every night, and leading almost a 100% different life than what I am accustomed to is quite a change. It’s impossible to know how I will feel after the trip, how well I’ll be able to re-integrate back into normal life, or what other types of insane ideas I’ll have for how to continue to scratch the adventure itch that I know will be there in my life after this.
Not sure what the point of this post really is, probably just some ramblings after a couple beers on a rainy afternoon when I am more content to be here than out on the river. Certainly thoughts to keep aware of and on the horizon as I round the next riverbend and tally up the river miles.