My alarm rings shortly after 8, 8:08 to be precise, I wake up take a couple naps and shortly thereafter wake up again. It is a lovely day already, the sun shines through the cracks of the drapes, the weather looks to be setting up nice. Note from the wise, when in Alberta anything can happen, you have to plan for everything and anything, especially this time of year. I feel confident I brought the right gear, I think about the early explorers, they didn’t have the luxury of time to contemplate whether or not they had the right stuff with them, I have the feeling that the early pioneers had their fair share of hardships, and that goes for the First Nations people, different times. This is not to say we will have it easy to, I know that some of the folks on board have fear of water, and even one who cannot swim, an unnerving feeling if you are on a river boat in a new place for the first time.
I am not a morning person, in fact I would go as far to say that the morning and me are hardly pals, until I get that first cup of coffee that is, and than things begin to warm up. I make my way to the the Super 8 breakfast room, and I have to say it is a pleasant surprise. I feast on mini wheats, bacon, cookies, coffee, and raisin bran, I also think to myself that the early explorers certainly did not have such luxury, I count my blessings, and put one more cookie in my pocket wrapped in tissue, and finish up. Soon we are all together in the lobby, excitement rising, the group appears chipper, adventure awaits, we set out like gypsies, caravan style and make our way to the rivers edge, where we will rendezvous with GRWA folks. I look out of the car window and take in the surroundings, this is new territory for me, and to be honest I purposefully did not research it online, I want to experience the experience, without preconceptions. To be perfectly clear I initially thought I was being taken down river rapids in some kind of rubber dingy, little did I know what I was about to meet. I am a man of extremes, I like to push my comfort zones, I always have and in all likelihood I always will. That is what it takes, for me, I want to dive in and soak it up, every last morsel, even when I appear to be a grumpy typical miserable artist, I am in all actuality soaking it up, that’s what Mahaloness is after all. We are getting close, the sun sends streaks of light shooting through the forest, Mother Earth is the ultimate artist, the secret to making nature art is letting her guide you and show you what to do, this is also a component of Mahaloness, the ability to let go of the baggage and tap into the source, the current, the wave, the ripples, it is all one and the same to me. At last we arrive at the boat launch, as we unload and walk down to the rivers edge, film crew in perfect silhouette, here we go, the next stage of the journey is a boat ride down the mighty Athbasca, it’s one thing to drive down a highway, you see what you see, and everything flies by at the speed of light, a blur at best. I peer down and Darcy is taking his boat for a quick warm up, the water calm, like glass, a perfect reflection between sky and land courtesy of river. I breathe in and out, the smells is what first captures me, it is difficult to say what exactly the smell is, it is the wilderness, the smell of freedom and simplicity, the land, the water, a paradise that few have the opportunity to experience, even if in close proximity, no this place is special, it calls you and if it likes you it brings you in, that is something I have discovered traveling to these kind of places, it either wants you there or it doesn’t, there is no in between, even paradise has its scary underbelly, here I sense that I am not the high and almighty, this is bear country, wolf country, moose country, just to name a few, here on the banks you and I are small and the land and the river don’t care who you are, if you are not fully in it, you are certainly at her mercy, a humbling feeling comes over me. At the launch site we say our hellos and the filming begins, first up Ania, haha, I mean I am happy she went first, she is a trooper and her first on camera interview with Eppo behind the lens goes well. She laughs, she smiles, her curiosity clearly visible to the camera, I feel a sense of relief considering I did not know her well and had provided her with very little insight as to what might happen, and she went with it, this was going to be a magical one, I could sense it. After Ania set the momentum I stepped into camera frame and Eppo fired away with some questions, I was a bit nervous, though I felt I was in good hands and opened up, the interview went well, I really liked Eppo’s question about water, ‘what does water mean to you? ‘ or something along that line, the answer for me is easy, flow, and that’s just what we were going to to do. We finished up the interviews, packed up our stuff, had a quick debriefing from our fearless leader Darcy and away we went. I felt as if I was in heaven, all my worries melted in the the rays of the sun and the boats made there way downstream, the river journey begins…

Megafotomahaloness -moments of magic #1 through infinity
















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