Canoe Camping in Alligator Country

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January 31, 2016


A warm, wintery breeze drifted across the water as we moved steadily onward. Packed to the brim with supplies and seven weary travelers, our three canoes glided along. Behind, a life we once lived. All seven of us left something behind that day. Lives, luxury, and even wives were forgotten. We carried only with a night’s supply of food, sleeping bags, and then whatever other supplies we could manage. Our measly canoes could barely handle the weight of our packs to the point where bringing any surplus would have posed a danger to the feasibility of the journey itself.


Twenty minutes earlier this aquatic caravan had departed from shore, leaving only the evidence of our names upon a chalkboard, lest we were unable to accomplish our mission and were forced to return, defeated and disheartened. And guided by bewie [or however you spell the name of that fluorescent object that lazily floats amongst the waves], there was little chance of our turning back to home. Maybe this was foolish but it mattered little. We were confident and determined to see it through.


Shortly before nightfall we found land, a majestic sight swiftly approaching over the starboard bow. Pulling our rafts ashore, we sluggishly maneuvered our belongings to the base camp. Not an impressive site, we dared not discuss that this was to be our temporary home but set our minds towards turning this rugged, unmanaged terrain into our refuge. Trees and leaves and swamp as far as could be seen, we seven had certainly found ourselves in alligator country.


Our mission is simple, survive. We have no tent to rest in or shower to warm our weary hands. Merely a couple tarps, some flashlights, and a few hammocks… and on certain moments, cellular service. Though together, even amidst the cohesive arguing of my brothers, I feel the very large sense of lonliness. Why have we left the comforts of home to venture into the wild? Certainly not for any reasonable thought. Obviously, we have come forth out of necessity. Each and every man present has a need to be filled: the yearning for adventure and a seemingly unconquerable obstacle. Only in this condition can we truly find ourselves.


Shortly after laying the foundations for camp, it was noted to the dismay of all that the food had quite possibly all been left at the dock, miles away. Frantically we tore through our belongings, refusing to believe that such a mistake could have been made! Upon realizing however the this unimaginable error had indeed fact, two men were chosen by volunteer to return to our deployment zone and retrieve the missing items. Mustering my courage, I knew that this was a mission I needed to embark on by myself. So, I raised by weary hand and stated that I would make the haul back alone, which I did with the accompaniment of my comrade Delmon. But even though there was someone else there with me, I still consider it to have been a solo effort, as it adds to the story.


Lest I fail to return to camp alive, I feel it necessary, if anyone was to even find this journal, to relieve my affects to Skyler Dyson, I dear friend of mine who was unable to come on this excursion due to his studies. A dedicated gentleman, I’m sure he will find solace in knowing that in my last hours I considered him worthy of mentioning. Please know that I fully plan to come back alive.


At the present I find I need rest for my fingers… as this is a tale which may take me many days to fully unfold. But as for this moment, I am content in what I have told to take a respite from my logging. So, if I survive till the ‘morrow, I hope to write again. But if not, I am glad that my tale made it even this far…







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To God be the glory,

daniel jackson

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