Since coming to study at Quest, I have written several blog posts about my adventures in Squamish and the surrounding areas. Such adventures have varied from mountain biking to Alice Lake Provincial Park and camping in the Canadian outback to hiking for hospice and skiing in the famous Whistler Blackcomb ski centre. It is through Quest’s amazing location in the “Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada” that I have been able to become part of so many amazing outdoor adventures that have truly shaped my experience in Canada, thus far. As a result, as part of the tradition, today I will write about my last outdoor adventure that I will never forget, which is about my very first time White Water Rafting!
Apart from working at Quest during the weekdays, this summer, I have been spending my weekends working for “Sunwolf” resort, located in the town of Brackendale, British Columbia. According to its website, the rustic Sunwolf resort was first opened in the early 1900’s. However, as years went by, the interest in running this resort began to diminish. Sunwolf resort remained closed for many years until 2010, when two rafting guides, who were living in Whistler, heard about it and saw the potential that this resort had. After deciding to purchase this resort that was once forgotten, the team worked really hard to get everything up and going. They built and renovated several cabins, opened a famous local spot “Fergie’s Café,” and introduced rafting trips in the Squamish and Elaho rivers.
As part of a staff training and retreat day, the owners of Sunwolf decided to treat us, the staff, to a day of games, fun and “get to know each other” meetings, and finally, white water rafting. I had never gone rafting before so I spent numerous days reading about white water rafting, watching videos on YouTube, and talking to friends who had done it before. To be honest, I was quite nervous, especially because the weather was going to be really cold and rainy. However, by the end of the day, I realized that deciding to go on this expedition was one of the best decisions I ever made.
The day started early in the morning with an all staff meeting. After learning more about the history of Sunwolf resort and also getting to know each other, we headed to the changing rooms to get dressed into our wetsuits. Afterwards, we got on the yellow school bus, and headed to Elaho river. It was a bumpy, one-hour drive but we were all singing and telling stories, which made the trip go by a lot faster. By this time, it had started raining a lot more and I was getting very nervous.
Once I got on the boat, however, I realized that this was not going to be very hard. Our guide was helpful and knowledgeable, many of my coworkers had done this before, and also, I had some experience with boating and kayaking in Albania. Most of the trip was quite bumpy and hard to maneuver, but you know what, it made it that much more interesting and funny.
At one point, our guide asked us if we wanted to jump from a cliff, and in a united voice we all answered, “Yes.” From the river, the cliff looked relatively small and easy. However, once I climbed to the top of it, I began to change my mind. I contemplated about jumping for a few minutes, but at the end, motivated by the cheering of my coworkers, I decided to jump. What an awesome feeling that it was! During the expedition, we stopped in a beautiful location and had lunch that was prepared with care from our guides. We even started a small fire to keep us warm, because we were all shivering from the cold and rainy weather. Afterwards, we continued our journey through rough and big waves, sharp curves, and fast flowing river.
We made it back to Sunwolf Resort late in the afternoon. By the end of the day, we were all tired, cold, and could not wait to go home. At the same time, however, we were overwhelmed by an immense feeling of joy. It was such a beautiful day filled with laughter, support, and friendship. Thank you so much to Sunwolf resort for such a fun day. I truly enjoyed white water rafting and look forward to doing it again.