'A very profound experience': Man canoeing across Canada makes stop in Winnipeg

Published July 12, 2022 2:35 p.m. ET

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One Canadian has decided to do something a little different for his summer travel plans—canoeing across the country.

Bert TerHart made a stop in Winnipeg on Monday during the months-long expedition he’s named ‘Kai Nani Across Alone.’

“Over the course of your life you’ll hear, ‘You can’t. It’s too far. It’s too hard. You’re too old.’ You’ll hear way more cannots than cans and way more nos than yeses,” he said.

“Those are pages out of somebody else’s book. They don’t have to be out of your own book.”

TerHart, who is based in British Columbia, noted one of the reasons he’s decided to take on this challenge is because he’s a proud Canadian, who wants to see the country as it was seen by Indigenous people and the first Europeans who came to Canada.

“It’s a very profound experience to experience Canada in the way that the very first Canadians did,” he said.

“It’s incredibly rewarding and it gives you a very deep appreciation of the people that were here first.”

TerHart is not the first paddler to make the trip across the country; however, he is taking a different path,

Though it’s more common to begin the journey in Alberta’s Rocky Mountain House, TerHart started his trip in Vancouver, paddling upstream through the Rockies and portaging more than 600 kilometres with a 200-pound canoe.

“That’s uphill, upstream, through the province of British Columbia,” he said.

TerHart has also opted to leave the GPS at home, which he said is a challenge.

“I just have maps and a compass, so that’s a little unusual in this day and age. People rely on GPS navigation for everything,” he said.

However, he said the most difficult aspect of his trip is that it is “relentless.”

TerHart noted that he travels about 40 kilometres a day and expects the entire trip to take 210 days.

“Every single day you’ve got to go,” he said.

"There’s no rest days. There’s no stopping. There’s no sightseeing.”

He’s documenting his experience on his blog and social media.


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