We are Canoeing across Canada to Make a Difference!
We both love the outdoors, especially canoeing, and we are dedicated to improving the quality of life of our fellow Canadians! What better way to recognize and support Loving Spoonful in Kingston, Ontario than to canoe across Canada in their honour. Our purpose is to raise awareness and funds for this awesome organization that believes no one should be without fresh healthy food. By doing what we love and having a purpose to raise money and awareness, we hope to make a difference in our beautiful country.
Our Canoe Across Canada Route
This has been a once in a life time and incredible adventure for both of us! Anyone with determination and love of canoe adventures can do the same! Pierre Elliot Trudeau expressed it beautifully when he said, “What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other travel.”
Travelling an average speed of 5 kilometers an hour allowed us to reflect on the world around and gave us an incredible sense of freedom and peace. Watching the sunrise on a quiet morning, paddling 8 to 10 hours every day, big open skies, wind whistling through the trees, the calling of the loon, the song of coyotes’, viewing the milky way on clear nights are all part of the purification Trudeau spoke about.
This adventure has grown into something so much bigger than a cross-Canada canoe trip. One of the most remarkable memories we live with is the friendliness and kindness bestowed upon us by our Canadian neighbours. Complete strangers opened their home to us, invited us in for meals, fed us fresh caught fish, drove us to get supplies, allowed us to camp on their properties, gave us direction, donated to our cause and opened their hearts to us like family. We can’t thank them enough! These amazing people have and will continue to amaze and inspire us! We are so grateful that they crossed our path.
Our 8,515 km paddling journey will take us from the shores of the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. Part three will commence in the spring of 2019.
The Route Part 1
The first stage of our trip was completed in mid-October 2017. It all began at Petrie Island in Ottawa on August 2nd, 2017. From here, we navigated down the St. Lawrence River maneuvering tidal currents, freighters, mud flats and long portages. From the mouth of the St. Lawrence we headed into New Brunswick towards the St. John River!
We are awestruck by the beauty of our gorgeous Canadian geography that one can only see from a canoe. Pods of seals, rocky shorelines, sandy beaches and extremely high winds and waves challenged and greeted us as we paddled down the east coast towards Nova Scotia. The spectacular fall colours of Cape Breton Island marked our finish in Sydney, Nova Scotia.
The Route Part 2
The second stage began in Vancouver, British Columbia in May 2018. Our start was a challenge as we paddled up stream against the strong spring mountain run off along the Fraser River. When paddling was not possible, we biked 400 km on converted rail way lines over the Coastal and Cascades Mountain ranges. We cycled through picturesque towns, railway tunnels and over trestle bridges. After, we picked up our paddles again to canoe through the pristine lakes and rivers of the Kootenay Mountains.
When biking or paddling was not possible, we pulled our 240 lbs packed canoe over 300 kms, with fierce determination and blistered feet. Over the Rocky Mountain Range we walked through Crowsnest Pass over the Great Divide and into Alberta.
As we entered the swift muddy waters of the Old Man River and the South Saskatchewan River, we marveled at the views that surrounded us. We paddled through the majestic valleys of these rivers passing canyons, badlands, and coulees, rarely seeing the flat lands of the prairies. We canoed through the largest fresh water delta source in North America which brought us to Cedar Lake and then into Lake Winnipeg.
Lake Winnipeg presented us with unique challenges of extreme remoteness, high winds and waves while camping on isolated beaches. Bears visiting our campsites and paddling past a pack of wolves was an exciting yet humbling experience. These were constant reminders of the beauty of this vast Canadian country that we call home. Plus, capsizing our canoe on this huge lake only made us more cautious for the dangers that could still lie ahead.
The Last Part of the Journey still to Come!
The third stage will commence in June 2019. We will begin where we finished the year before in Fort Frances, Ontario. We are looking forward to returning to the majestic pine trees and rocky shores of the Canadian Shield. We will venture into Quetico Park, the cold deep waters of Lake Superior towards the Ottawa River. Every stroke of the paddle will bring us closer to our home and destination of Kingston, Ontario!
We are so blessed in Canada for many reasons and are filled with gratitude to have the privilege to paddle across this great nation of ours. The 8 months has taught us a valuable life lesson which is to live in the moment every day while not losing focusing on the incredible journey right in front of you. We look forward to paddling, exploring, and living life close to nature not just for the final leg of our trip but for many more paddling adventures to come!
Come Paddle with Us
We welcome people to join us during any part of our trip! On the website, you can find our route and updates on where we will be and where we are heading! So come and join us on this epic journey for the love of the outdoors and to help promote an awesome cause.
Be Part of the Change
There are many ways you can make a difference and help our worthy cause! You can join us on our paddle, donate directly to Loving Spoonful on our website or simply volunteering in your own community to help the quality of life of our fellow Canadians.