We will be starting our journey in Vancouver on April 7th. Part of the reason for this is that the earlier we start, the better where the Fraser is concerned. As a result of it's mountain origins, the Fraser will not be into its flood season until May, by which time we will be long gone. The other reason is so that we can set a static date to have a Cystic Fibrosis launch event. More on that soon!
Our intention is to paddle the Fraser - yes, upstream! - to Hope, BC. This is what Mike Ranta did in his own cross-Canada paddle. Others have paddled to Chilliwack instead, which is a little closer and will likely be our fall-back plan.
Of course at this point, the difficulty lies in the time-span between attaining Hope and the Bow River breaking up on the other side of the Rockies. Never fear, we won't be idle! We will be paddling and hiking (as a kind of test-portage) our way across the mountains, essentially doing our last-minute testing before we're truly up against the clock.
As soon as the Bow breaks up and is free of ice, we'll be on our way towards St. John! We will travel down the Bow (through Calgary!) to the South Saskatchewan, right to Diefenbaker Dam. Here a portion of water is siphoned off into the Qu'Appelle River, snaking us by Regina on our way to meet the Assiniboine River. The Assiniboine will of course take us to our home city of Winnipeg.
We want to spend some time in Winnipeg, having a brief rest to see family and friends, as well as replace and repair gear.
On our departure we'll do another CF event, which will an excellent Halfway Celebration for us and hopefully help spread the word about us and CF awareness!
We'll make our way up the Red River and skirt Lake Winnipeg to the Winnipeg River, where we'll play leapfrog with far too many dams into Ontario.
The Land-of-a-Million-Lakes (Ontario) will be our biggest challenge in terms of navigation while we make our way through the many bodies of water beween the Ontario-Manitoba border and Lake Superior, which will be no small task either.
Once we've made our way along the North coast of Lake Superior to Sault Ste-Marie, we'll pass into Lake Huron, then take the French River to Lake Nipissing, Pine Lake, Chant Plein Lake and to the Ottawa River.
The Ottawa will take us through Ottawa City, Montreal and Quebec City.
From there, we will be zig-zagging our way down to Saint John, New Brunswick (via the Saint John River of course), enabling us to truly say we touched both oceans.
We'll update this page as we make changes and improvements!