Challenges are nothing new for 31 year olds Pamela Harrison MacDonald and husband Geoff MacDonald. The couple lists several 100 mile ultra marathons, survival training, canoe guiding and long snow shoeing expeditions in Northern Ontario as just some of their accomplishments. As if that isn’t enough, Geoff has made 51 skydiving jumps and Pam lived in the wilderness of New Jersey in a self made shelter for one year, bathing year round in a creek and walking a four mile return trip to town for supplies.
Geoff, who holds a Geological Engineering Degree from the University of Waterloo and Pam, who holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Alberta, first met in 1997 at a ski patrol course in Calgary and were close friends for 6 years before they began dating in 2003. The couple were married in June 2006.
After 10 years of planning and dreaming, the adventurers have embarked on an 8000 mile journey by canoe across Canada, along with their 17 month old Alaskan Malamute dog Taq.
The odyssey kicked off in Victoria on March 22 and has progressed, in spite of high winds and rough water, to their arrival in the Comox area on April 10; but there are many trials ahead. The trip is expected to take 3 to 4 years, finishing up in St. John’s Newfoundland.
Pam and Geoff have diligently saved, researched and financed their dream trip themselves, and now they want to share their experiences and their love of Canada with all Canadians and others who may be interested from around the world.
Through an online purchase from Regenesis Holistic Inc., an online Comox vitamin store, owned by Mary and Glenn Fidler, the couple became friends with the Fidlers and Regenesis has subsequently designed and hosted a website and online newsletter to chronicle the trip.
The 18 foot red canoe, with Taq sitting in the centre, will be noticed along the coast as they travel on to Quadra Island via Okisollo Channel, and onward to Bella Coola and the headwaters of Dean Channel for the start of the first 50 kilometre portage into the Coast Range mountains and beyond.
For maps and up-to-date information on the journey’s progress, log on to Pam and Geoff’s website at https://www.canoeacrosscanada.ca or subscribe to their free newsletter by visiting www.regenesis.ca