So, this is what they mean when they warn you “to be careful what you wish for because it just might come true”! For those of you who haven’t heard yet, 2009 has been the transition year in the ownership of Sea to Sky Expeditions from Len Webster to myself. And what a roller-coaster ride it’s been.
Now I know that many people would say that the 10+ years I’ve spent guiding for Sea to Sky could be considered living the dream but somehow the dream kept evolving, and the challenge of running a business, that was also a lifestyle, has been such a strong pull for me these past few years. With the support of close friends and family, a healthy dose of patience and guidance from Len, and a certain young woman’s love the dream finally became a reality.
Of course things couldn’t have been much more real than trying to find your way through the economic mine-field that was 2009! Trying to work with governments, banks, lawyers; as well as learning the accounting, marketing, photo-shop and don’t forget making sure all of the trip logistics were in place was an amazing challenge.
Luckily I was able to learn a few things along the way. One was that although worrying about all of the aspects of the operation can be a hair-loss inducing stressful situation (see above – can’t remember if this pilot exuded confidence or not!); the opposite is true as well. I tried to explain to some folks this summer how having ever synapse firing and occasionally feeling like you are one step ahead of the game is a very satisfying trade-off. The other thing I confirmed, more than learned, was how important being out in the wilderness is for me. Kelly told me this summer that I looked more stressed the closer I got back to a phone/computer at the end of a trip and that I was always so happy to finally be on the trail or water.
All of the tourism industry doom and gloom aside, summer 2009 was another amazing summer in the wilds of BC and the Yukon. As I sat on the beach at the end of the day, back leaning up against a supportive driftwood log I often felt as though I was living in a Roy Vickers print ( http://www.royhenryvickers.com/prints).
Of course it is much more than just the scenery that makes each trip memorable, it is all of the great people we get to meet along the way. As I scanned along and recognized many of the names on this alumni mailing list I realized what a great community we have formed through our shared experiences on our wilderness adventures.
So, I encourage you all to visit this Sea to Sky Alumni blog or our website http://www.seatoskyexpeditions.com/ whenever you want to relive some old memories or are looking forward to creating some new ones.
Next up, a group of us are off to the Banff Mountain Film Festival, another great outdoor community, full of inspiring books and films from around the world. http://www.banffcentre.ca/MountainCulture/festivals/2009/
Mark and the rest of the Sea to Sky Team