In our posts from Daisy Crocket we should probably have started with this one, or at least had it published in the early days. This is a great example of great people who spend their arms to strangers and changed lives.
Thanks for sharing this part of your story with us on Outdoor Revival Nikki.
I first rowed into this community 10 years ago while surviving off the land for 18 months. I never thought I would live here then, but coming to Echo Bay once a month to mail a letter home and tell my mother I was alive, was like having a birthday party and opening Christmas presents all in one day. My friend Micah, my feral cat Scout and I were welcomed into this community with open arms and hearts.
They called us “The Kids” and it was a big news event when we were spotted rowing in from our 8-15 hour trip. We always had exciting new stories to share. Echo Bay is like a microcosm of humanity and a beautiful teacher, who never stops entertaining in the most wacky and wonderful ways.
When I left home for my survival trek, I never dreamed I would want to stay in the wilderness when the trek was over, but I found myself crying under my favorite tree when I was saying good-bye.
The wilderness and my wild ways transformed me. After two weeks living in my mother’s downtown apartment I was ready to return to the home I had intimately come to know and love.
For two years, I became a caretaker for a friend’s lodge, trying to reintegrate into modern life. My longing and need for true freedom set me on my way to live my next big dream of building a log cabin.
I visited Billy Proctor, the local legend of Echo Bay and grandfather I always dreamed of having. If anyone could give me advice on buying my first chain saw, cutting down a tree and dragging it out of the forest, Billy was the man.
After sharing my dream with him, he said, “Come on, I want to show you a place.” When we came to best view on his property, we just stood there side-by-side taking in the beautiful view. He turned to me and said, “If I was going to build a little log cabin, it would be right here.
If you want, you’re more than welcome to build your cabin here.” That’s the kind of best friend I am blessed to have now in Echo Bay. Tears of thankfulness always fill my eyes when I think of that day.
Nikki van Schyndel
Adventurer – Wilderness Guide – Expert Tracker & Primitive Survivalist
Tired of waiting for her plane to crash or a worldwide technical disaster to create a real-life survival emergency, Nikki paid someone to abandon her on a deserted island in the wilderness for nearly two years, testing her skills and learning the truths of survival. From dream home to lean-to, diamonds to bear claws, Nikki shares this incredible journey in her bestselling book Becoming Wild.
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