I have mentioned this here and there in various blog posts, but I decided it was time to really delve into it for a moment. Since the day Kyle and I decided to take this journey- to build the boat and take it down the river and beyond- we have received endless support and encouragement. Of course there are always a few doubters and people who didn’t think we’d ever pull it off, but our friends, family, and people who matter the most gave us their most heartfelt support. This whole endeavor would have never happened in a timely manner without my parents, Kyle’s parents, and some of our close friends. But the support and the kindness didn’t stop once the boat was built. We found ourselves at a campground in the Apostle Islands and met 3 different couples/families that we still to this day talk fondly about. Jeff and his wife and their 5 boys- providing great conversation and laughter and then surprising us with fresh blueberries and cherries. Michael and his wife on the Ficher 25 who let us check out their boat and then came and looked at Solvi. They then took these photos of us as we rowed away and shared them:
There was another couple who recognized the origin of the boat and gave many compliments. He also shared a fact about the origin of sleeping bags which I found very cool. My grandparents, aunts and uncles and Kyle’s grandparents and aunts and uncles have all provided support. The friends and family in St. Croix Falls area- Steve and Ryan and Ryan at Shipwreck Boats. They all provided time, tools, and advice on Solvi’s final touches. Kyle’s sister Riley- I have no bug bites and am not sunburnt thanks to you 🙂 Charlie and Nick for their support and encouragement of the time lapse video. Charlie for creating the awesome soundtrack.
And then you! All of you guys who are reading this right now. The support and kind words we have received, particularly after our article came out in the various newspapers has blown us away. We did not anticipate how many people would respond in such an encouraging way. Comments which I read with an open heart and give me motivation to keep writing and sharing. Other people leaving comments and emails offering to help or get together when we row through their towns. That is so incredibly kind and we will do our best to reach out and get together. Sara and Leah have both gone above and beyond to provide us the opportunity to get a warm meal or a cold beer- both of which are very special when on such a budget. Thank you two so incredibly much. It was such a surprise and we cheers and thank you guys often. Katy and my parents who both also provided us the ability for a nice dinner. Kyle’s parents whom have done the same.
The couple I met in Red Wing while floating on the river. Indigo and her husband who sent us this photo. Keep rowing all the way to N.O.!
Phil at the bar who secretly covered our tab. The couple next to him who were supportive and kind. Ryan and his mom Sue and Rick who provided laughter, food, and good times.
I wish I could keep going because I am sure I have forgotten someone or something. But just because it isn’t listed here doesn’t mean it’s been forgotten in our hearts.
Kyle and I have gotten in the habit the last couple years to lay in bed at night, or to sit quietly on a sunny afternoon and say our thank you’s together. We thank people, the weather, Solvi, sunshine, the universe as a whole. We discuss the gratitude we feel within for all the beauty and joy we experience in this game of life. I encourage all of you to get in the habit of thank you’s or gratitude. It’s a great way to boost morale and to be reminded of all the wonderful things in life. I wanted to make this post because we are feeling overwhelmed with support and encouragement from people everywhere we go. Life itself is spectacular, but the people you meet along the way is what it is all about. So as I sign off, my heart filled with love and gratitude, I challenge you to smile at strangers, perform a random act of kindness today, and say thank you for the things, people, or places in life that make you smile.
With overflowing gratitude,
K & D