A kayak camping trip involving two or more people is a series of escalating commitments. They begin with minimal commitments to get together for coffee and chat about a possible venture. As a trip comes together the commitments grow as the participants take on various planning tasks. Perhaps the most important commitment comes when the group first puts in. Here, they entrust their well-being for the duration of the paddling trip to the other participants and in turn make a commitment to watch out for the other participants.
Sarah and I made an major commitment last week when we booked our flights from Chicago to Yellowknife, NWT. We are going on the same flight out to Yellowknife. We'll leave Chicago about 2 p.m., change planes in Calgary, and then arrive in Yellowknife about 11 p.m. local time. We'll return on the same flight from Yellowknife to Calgary, leaving at 6 a.m. However, I am booked on a flight back to Chicago through Toronto, while Sarah was fortunate to find a direct flight from Calgary to Chicago. We'll both arrive back in Chicago about 4 p.m.
There was a couple of days when I had booked my flight but Sarah was still investigating options. I must confess to having a tinge of worry that she might reconsider making a commitment to a Great Slave Lake trip. I even mentioned to my son that he could come along if Sarah opted out of the trip. At 15 and with a strong self-identification as an "urban kid," the thought of spending two weeks in "nowhere" with Dad and mosquitoes made him go pale.
It was thus a very welcome email when Sarah's flight itinerary landed in my inbox. One major commitment made. More commitments ahead.