This post is long overdue, but life got busy. We’ve both tried to write this several times, but something has always got in the way. Usually it’s been good things – catching up with friends we haven’t seen in months, or making another finishing touch to our house. But it’s still prevented us summarising our thoughts on completing our great Canadian adventure. And that is the essence of what was so incredible about our summer. There was very little to get in the way.

Being home is great. There’s nothing quite like sleeping in your own bed, in your own home, surrounded by your own familiar possessions. We’ve loved seeing family and friends, hearing about summer activities and adventures and meeting the many new additions. We’ve enjoyed paddling our kayaks on the sea, running in the hills, surfing and mountain biking. We’ve taught on courses, and found our feet again at work; enjoyed Christmas and are looking forward to the new year. Before all of this we even managed to squeeze in a few days visit to Newfoundland – perfectly timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Mike’s gran’s birth in St John’s. We might just move there one day…

But we miss our own adventure. We miss our boat Bertha, who has a new home in BC and will await the coming of spring. We miss the sound of the birds, carried on the morning mists across the water and the sound of the river or the gentle lap of waves on the lake shore. We miss the grumpy beavers slapping their tails in disgust as we glide past and the satisfaction of long days on the water before cooking dinner on an open fire and collapsing into the tent. Ultimately, we miss the beautiful simplicity of a life spent outdoors in pursuit of a single goal. 2 mugs, 2 plates, 2 bowls; dip, dip and swing. And now, life feels very busy.

“How was it? Was it amazing? What was the worst day? What was the best day?” These are the most common questions we have faced since returning home. But how do you summarise a trip like this? It’s something we’ve been trying to do since arriving in Montreal, and we’re not yet sure we’ve managed it. Many people have said that the trip, and the blog, seemed to end very suddenly. We feel the same, despite the five month build up. The weather forced us to put in some long days towards the end, so we raced towards Montreal rather than enjoy and absorb the last few days.

Mike will tell you that when we finished I was reluctant to have a shower because I knew that was the first step away from the trip and towards ‘normalcy’ – and I didn’t want normalcy! I wasn’t ready for it! We joked we could get back in the boat and paddle straight back to Alberta, only we weren’t completely joking. Nothing in Montreal felt quite right – not the nice hotel or the loud restaurants. Having no aim and nothing to do was agony.

The wonder of human adaptability is that within a couple of weeks of starting we had normalised paddling every day, cooking over a fire and sleeping in a tent. And the tragedy is that it is just as easy to go back to living in a house and using every pan in the cupboard.

But  another wonder of humans is their ability to show such kindness, compassion, empathy and enthusiasm for the exploits and adventures of complete strangers. So we’d like to once again thank everyone who followed our blog, housed us, fed us, sent us a message or simply waved at us from the shore. We hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas and we wish you a very happy and healthy 2018.


Happy New Year!!!


10 thoughts on “Reflections

  • Nous sommes heureux d’avoir de vos nouvelles. Vous avez été très courageux et
    persévérants . Votre voyage et votre belle histoire a marqué et d’une certaine manière a influencé Thalia et Ulric. Nous avons été si heureux de faire votre rencontre, un vrai cadeau.
    Hope that you will addapt well to your old life style and that you will never forget that you are always welcome next to our fire.
    Nadine, Thalia, Ulric and Eric

    • Thanks Eric! We hope the influence has been a good one…!? Have you moved yet? and are you any further with plans for your own adventure??
      We have made it to Perth which is sunny and glorious and people spend their days almost entirely outdoors running, swimming, paddling, so we are relishing it.
      Work starts on Monday but I think we are both looking forward to it – a new and different challenge…
      You guys featured in our talk the other night and it brought huge smiles to our faces to describe how you found us and turned our day around. You’re also all very welcome wherever we may be, whether you arrive by plane or boat (but especially if it’s by boat!).
      Cas and Mike x

  • Cass and Mike, so well said. So true, even for the bike. And so grateful you walked to our camp in Kenora to raise your voice above the thunder, say hello, and inspire us. I hope we’ll cross paths again. Happy New Year!

    • Thanks you guys and thanks for the mention – it has been a funny time and I’m sure you guys knew exactly what we meant in that post!!
      However, we’ve made it to Perth now and the start of the next adventure (sadly much more work focused) which we’re launching into with open hearts and minds.
      In terms of crossings paths… you got any plans to cycle across Australia any time soon?
      Cas and Mike x

  • Hi Cass and Mike.
    Happy New Year. I hope you were able to enjoy a wee dram to bring in 2018!
    Enjoyed your latest post. Hope it is not the final one. You “spin a good yarn” and folks readily connect with you! I’d love to see you put all the adventure stories and photos into a book. (But that takes time)
    As you indicated, it is always nice to return home, to “unwind” and refresh.
    I expect that you are missing that excitement/anticipation that you experienced on your cross- Canada voyage. I’m sure you will carry that eager outlook into future adventures.
    I would like to keep in touch. Do you still have my email address from the Inreach/Garmin textmessages

    • Hi Wayne!! And dogs! And happy new year to you too (albeit very belated).
      We managed several drams whilst we were at home (unsurprisingly): with the move to Australia ahead there were several bottles that demanded to be finished rather than packed away for a year. It was a hardship but we struggled on!
      We’re not sure if the blog will continue. The canoe trip was such an incredible journey and although we’re excited to be in Perth we’re not sure it holds the same sense of adventure and audacity!
      We haven’t embarked on a book but are going to get on with editing some video footage very soon so that will appear on here at some stage… hopefully! If life doesn’t get in the way…
      We’d love to stay in touch. I will boot up the garmin and send a missive from there.
      All the best to you,
      Cas and Mike

    • Hello Robin!
      Funny, we think about the trip… well, every day! We often find ourselves humming ‘dip dip and swing’ which became a bit of an anthem, and I’m looking forward to mid May when we can start to test ourselves with exactly which camp spot and where we were a year ago…
      We’re in Australia now, working, tragically. It’s another adventure of a very different kind but we’re managing to enjoy ourselves paddling on the ocean and kite-surfing when we can.
      I have started writing a book and it may turn out to be the book but that remains to be seen! And plans for the next adventure may be afoot…
      How is your clan? Have you reunited since Thanksgiving?

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