On September 21st, twenty-five Type 1s converged at Strathcona Park Lodge & Outdoor Centre on the shores of Upper Campbell Lake, Vancouver Island. Like tributaries of a river, we came together for a weekend to flow in the first Western Slipstream.
We made the most of what our host location and environment had to offer. Clambering up cracks and crags at the rock climbing bluff and hiking the ridge behind the lodge (eating plump blackberries along the way!) we were challenged and rewarded by eagle-eye views of Upper Campbell Lake and the expansive valley that contains it. We headed for the treetops on the high ropes course, facing the elements with….er…precision and grace(?), surrounded by towering West Coast cedars and pines. A rousing sweaty game of Diabetium kept us moving through the afternoon.
At sunset, we paddled out in kayaks to play a discombobulated game of kayak soccer and launch ourselves off the special kayak-slide into the lake below. With the sun tucked behind the mountains, we scurried to the warmth and glow of the beach-side sauna and raging crackling campfire were we told stories late into the evening.
Maybe it was the elements of mindfulness, meditation and gratitude infused by Lauren Moore or the ever-present scenery bathed in autumn glow. Perhaps it was greater than that, hosted on the eve of the Fall Equinox, the time of year when the earth finds equilibrium on it’s axis and the days split themselves into equal parts light and dark, this Slipstream had a sense of balance unlike any we had felt before.
For millennia, Autumn has been a time of gathering. Seasonal changes have always been our sign to connect, reflect and share all that we have learned throughout the year. In doing so, we gain knowledge and wisdom that not only increases our chance of survival, but allows us to thrive when we head back out on the land.
As our river channels diverged on Sunday afternoon, we headed home, tired from laughing and filled with a deep gratitude for our lives with diabetes, our time spent together and each other. Though we traveled in many different directions, we left knowing that it is only a matter of time before the river currents bring our channels back together.
Many thanks to Lauren Moore for her contributions to the program, to Mike Last of Mike Last Photo for donating his time to photograph and Hank Devos of Dreamsoft Productions for donating his time to filming the weekend.