We’re WildStreak. In 2016, six friends from around the United States decided to get together for an all-women’s river trip. We weren’t looking for a first descent or gnarly whitewater, because we’re regular people with day jobs, not extreme athletes. We simply wanted to be together in a deep, remote wilderness — to breathe it in, to taste it, to feel it against our skin.
After months of planning and too many six-way video chats to count, we chose to canoe the Spatsizi and Stikine rivers in northern British Columbia. But as relatively privileged white women, we recognized that we had an opportunity to leverage our trip to raise money for nonprofits that lead girls who might not otherwise have the opportunity into the wilderness. And since all-female outdoor trips had been so formative in our own lives, we chose organizations that offered all-girls trips: The North Cascades Institute and Girls on Ice. We ultimately raised $4,000 for those organizations, thanks to our friends, family, and social networks.
In early August, 2016, we finally departed from Bellingham, Washington, and drove 20 hours north to Iskut, British Columbia, the homeland of the Tahltan people. From there, float planes carried the six of us, three canoes, and our piles of gear and food into a region known as the Sacred Headwaters, where three of North America’s biggest salmon-producing rivers rise. We flew over the newly-built Red Chris Mine, which provides jobs in this remote area but also threatens the health of the rivers and the life that depends on them. Forty-five minutes later, our pilot touched down on a lake, we unloaded our gear, and he flew away, leaving us alone in one of the continent’s greatest wildernesses.
To read more about our trip, please see the following links:
Go North, Young Woman, by Sarah Gilman, High Country News
Klabona: Birthplace, by Krista Langlois, Canoe & Kayak
Since our inaugural trip in 2016, our lives, careers and families have grown and changed, and it’s been difficult to carve out the time for another big adventure. Still, we hope to do more WildStreak trips in the future, and use each one to raise money for nonprofits that get girls outside. If you’re interested in doing something similar, feel free to get in touch for more information about how we pulled it off. You can also find a list of organizations that support girls in the wilderness here.