The setup, design and implementation of this website has been generously donated by DFC International Computing Inc. – recently moved into the Kingston region from the Toronto area.
The Paddling Team
Growing up in a family passionate about the outdoors helped shaped the person I have become today. As a child, I spent many days camping, canoeing, hiking and simply being outside enjoying the beauty around me. As a mother, I passed this love on to my very own children. As an adult, I still absolutely love the great outdoors. Any chance I get, I go hiking, back country camping and canoeing! Now that I am happily retired I will continue to do the things I love even more!
Today I am dedicated to reducing my environmental footprint and preserving the natural beauty around me. I live a very healthy life style and believe that you are what you eat! I am always looking for my next challenge and different ways to push myself. Also, I am an advocate for people with mental health issues and for those who live in poverty and I have spent a lot of my time volunteering for causes that support these issues in our society.
We live in a beautiful country discovered by very brave explorers. A few of my favourite Canadian moments I have enjoyed on my many adventures are; meeting diverse and friendly people, snow shoeing through the woods on chilly winter days, watching the mist early morning on a quiet lake with a cup of coffee, canoeing by a pack of wolves sunning on a beach, autumn colours, swimming with the fishes, listening to undiscovered Canadian musicians, only hearing the sound my paddle as it dips into the water, and most importantly enjoying our freedom.
I have always had a passion for the big outdoors! I enjoy doing anything from hiking, biking, canoeing, wilderness camping to having a beer on a patio and enjoying the fresh air. I like to take life each day as it comes and to focus on the simple things that give us pleasure.
I have always considered myself to be conscious about our planet but I have really become passionate about the environment, being sustainable and taking care of Mother Nature in my adult life. Along with these passions, I am also trying my best to teach my grand children these very important ideas. Our oldest granddaughter joined us for the first week of our epic paddle from Ottawa to Nova Scotia.
Another area of my life that I am dedicated to is volunteer work. I have done volunteer work as a softball coach, cub scout leader, and trail maintainer with the Rideau Trail Association. I will continue to volunteer where and when I can, especially in my retirement, for the causes I believe strongly in.
The Home Support Team
Our Uncle John shares a passion for the water! He resides in our nation’s capital, with a wonderful view and access to the Ottawa River right at his footsteps. During our adventures, John is in constant communication through e-mail, as he provides updates for us by tracking our progress. John tracks us on our GPS Tracking Device (SPOT). John also loves to dance and to teach others to dance. He enjoys puzzles that challenge his mind which keeps him quick on his toes! John is a proud grandparent and sees his grandchildren whenever he gets a chance! We always looked forward to his statistical reports and information as it shows us potential hazards and points of interest along the route. John plays a very important part of the Home Team by providing encouragement and support as we paddle on!
It is with sadness that the love of John’s life and our dear Aunt Marion passed away during our trip. We will always remember her jest for life, her love and support.
Rachel, one of our adventurous children is the Content Manager for the website. She has a zest for living and passionately immerses herself in anything she takes on. She is a teacher and has taught abroad in Guatemala, Venezuela and South Korea. She loves finding and taking in the sights that only locals are privy to! Rachel has enjoyed everything from river paddling in Mongolia to climbing switchbacks up volcanoes in Latin America. She has accepted the role of compiling, writing, editing and inserting updates sent from us during the trip to the website blog. Together with DFC International, she ensures accuracy and professionalism when it comes to our website and social media updates. Rachel is also an emergency contact for our ‘SOS’ Team shared with Paul Vanden Engel. What would we do without her!
Paul Vanden Engel
The second member of our SOS Team is Paul, Carol’s brother. Paul is a steward for the environment and has a passion for trees and their extremely vital role. He has made a huge impact in Kingston by restoring, teaching, and working towards preserving its urban forest. Paul not only tracks us daily through our GPS Tracking Devise (SPOT), but we have the reassurance from him that if we are ever stranded, Paul will find a solution to bring us home. Nothing will hold him back from retrieving us off any river, lake, or swamp anytime or anywhere in Canada! Paul has driven days to pick us up at the end of our route and is always ready with his wife Denise, to help us get to our next destination. We want to thank Paul for his ongoing commitment in this important role for our Home Team!