As we look back on our cross-Canada canoe odyssey, one of the most rewarding memories we have is our interaction with our fellow Canadians. From the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean we experienced boundless generosity and kindness. As it is impossible for us to show our eternal gratitude to each and every one of you, we hope that this ‘thank you’ will find its way to you!
Thank you for allowing us to camp on your front yard, private land, beach, wharf, pow-wow ceremonial grounds, sacred pilgrimage sites, in your trailer, cabin or gazebo. Thank you for giving us a warm meal and a bed to sleep in; for allowing us to do our laundry or take a much-needed shower. Thank you for allowing us to relax in your sauna! Thank you for taking us into your homes, trusting us, giving us shelter, giving us encouragement and sharing our common bond of being Canadian. Thank you for chasing us down to give us food, fresh fish, home-baked bread, fruit or vegetables whether you were in your boat or in your car. Thank you for sending, receiving and holding our pre-packaged dehydrated food supplies. Thank you for waving at us when we were walking down the highway with our canoe, honking your encouragement, giving us directions and providing weather reports. Thank you for stopping to chat with us, cheering us on and giving us hope. Thank you for helping to carry our gear over a portage, to the shoreline or to a campsite. Thank you for being interested in our trip, offering us your assistance, loaning your weather radio, and being concerned for our safety and our well-being. Thank you for fixing, mending or repairing our equipment. Thank you for asking about our cause for food security, sharing your ideas for a food-secure Canada, and your generosity in donating over $29,000! Thank you for taking us sightseeing, telling us about your community history and for sharing your own amazing stories. Thank you for giving us an early morning coffee, hot water, drinking water, wine or a cold beer! Thank you for looking after our home, vehicles, and plants while we were away. Thank you for giving us cards, sending emails, following us on Facebook, Instagram or our website blog – your words of encouragement kept us going! Thank you for waiving parking, mooring, or campground fees. Thank you for driving us or lending us your vehicle to get supplies! Thank you for assisting us in times of emergency and getting us back on track. Thank you for slowing down in your motorboat or vehicle when passing us; to the coast guard for steering us out of the shipping lanes and to government personnel for getting us over, though, and around borders, dams and canal lock systems.
We did not have a support vehicle following us as we paddled and portaged across Canada. However, we had an amazing home support team! Without them, our job would have certainly been more of a challenge than it already was. Thank you to our one and only sponsor, DFC International Computing for creating and maintaining our website. The website was an invaluable resource that gave an insight into our journey and most importantly our cause! Thank you to our Uncle John Mowle for providing us with statistics, point-of-interest information, detailed maps and data on upcoming hazards. The reassurance of being prepared for the route ahead kept us safe and gave us peace of mind. Thank you to our daughter Rachel Vandertol, our home office volunteer who assisted with website editing, weekly website blogging, and troubleshooting. Sorting through hundreds of texts and pictures took patience and dedication which Rachel excels at! Thank you to our brother Paul VandenEngel for his diligence in tracking us and being on call, day or night, to rescue us if needed. Many hours were spent by Paul, and his wife Denise, to pick us up after the completion of each leg of our three-year journey.
Each of these incredible people spent hours upon hours of time and dedication assisting us in their own special way. For this, we will be forever grateful!
A very special thank you to Loving Spoonful for believing that we could actually paddle across Canada! Thank you for encouraging us, believing in us and allowing us to represent our combined passion for food-secure communities. Being able to access affordable, healthy fresh food is a right that each and every Canadian should have. That right is why Loving Spoonful works so diligently to connect people with good food across Kingston! Kingston is so very proud of you and so are we…….
Glenn Green and Carol VandenEngel