Paddling in Canada
Canada spans six time zones, reaches three oceans and has the longest coastline in the world. With over two million lakes and rivers, Canada is a paddler’s paradise. There is no better way to experience this country than by canoe, a vessel of creation that has become a favourite Canadian legacy.
Like so many others, we moulded our vacations to fit our working schedules. We arranged backpacking treks to numerous continents around the world. We hiked in the Amazon, trekked through the Guatemalan Cuchumatanes Mountains and along the coast of Portugal. We went snorkelling in the barrier reefs of Thailand, sailed on a catamaran in the Belize Sea and camped at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. After a strenuous hike in the Mojave Desert, we were reminded of how fortunate we are to live in a country that has more water than any other nation in the world. As much as we enjoy travelling to other lands, we are inescapably drawn to those that take us on wilderness excursions in our homeland, Canada. For us, there is nothing more soothing to recharge our mind and body than dipping our paddles into the calm waters of a northern lake, to enjoy the peace and quiet of early morning mist on the water or to watch a beautiful sunset cast its shadows on the forested land.
We felt the need to do more of what we wanted but on a grander scale. We were following a dream when we decided to paddle across Canada. Our busy office careers had come to an end. The time had come to recharge and to refocus on an exciting new chapter of our lives. As a husband and wife team, we embarked on a journey that would take us over 8,515 kilometres on intricate waterways from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. From manoeuvring tidal currents, high winds and waves to pulling our canoe over the Rocky Mountains, we were immersed in this land of great diversity. It was a journey of discovery that enabled us to be engaged in Canada’s rich history, heritage and culture.
We continue to explore this vast land and are always looking forward to the next adventure in the backcountry. Whether it is paddling, hiking or snowshoeing, living life close to the earth allows us to connect more deeply and spiritually with our natural world, giving us a sense of freedom and peace.
We agreed that if we were to paddle across Canada, others should benefit. We singled out a local hometown non-profit organization, Loving Spoonful. Loving Spoonful connects people with good food across Kingston and area. They work toward a healthier, more connected community by providing programs and championing policies affecting food security, poverty, social inclusion, and community health. Millions of Canadians are challenged by food insecurity – access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food is a basic need and should be treated as a human right.
We named our cause ‘Canoe for Change’. Our journeys across Canada continue, and so do our fundraising efforts!