Mother Nature made us work for it up until the final paddle stroke!
On August 30, 2013, after paddling about 9,500 km from Victoria, BC, we paddled into Quebec City, QC.
We bucked the tide and donned our rain gear to pull into the Yacht Club de Quebec in the dark on Friday, August 30, 2013. We were actually one day early (possibly the only time we’ve been early for anything this trip) because a nasty headwind was predicted to coincide with an incoming tide (against us) during the time we’d scheduled to arrive on Saturday.
One of the oldest yacht clubs in North America, the Yacht Club de Quebec, were very welcoming, considering that they didn’t know we were coming! They even gave us a pennant to commemorate the occasion. We will treasure this unexpected souvenir of our finish.
God love them, our family and friends jumped into cars and taxis and met us at the Yacht Club in the rain at barely an hours notice. They slipped and slopped down the slimey ramp and sweet-talked the surprised security guard into letting us disembark, drink champagne, and load up our canoe.
Geoff and I continue to be stunned that the trip we have dreamed and planned for years, has finally ended. It has been such a daily part of our lives for so long that it is hard to imagine next summer without it.
How did we feel?
Triumphant, overwhelmed, jubilant, relieved, proud…everything all at once!
Thank you to everyone who attended our celebration. We had a wonderful time and are grateful to our family and friends who made the journey to Quebec City to party with us. We raised a glass to those who couldn’t make it – we’d like to thank everyone for the congratulatory emails and messages.
Not only has our family believed in us from the beginning, they’ve also supported us physically by helping us with logistics, shuttling gear and supplies, and driving us to and from various corners of Canada. This trip has highlighted how important family and friends are – we couldn’t have done it without them. We are grateful to have such wonderful people in our lives.
What is next? How will you top this?
These seem to be a common questions that everyone keeps asking us. Our answer (to both questions) is that we don’t exactly know.
We are tossing around the idea of writing a book, however, that seems more daunting than the actual undertaking of the trip. It is difficult to know where to start and how the publishing process works. Besides, would people buy it? Any advice would be welcome.
Geoff already has a stack of canoeing books by the side of the bed – there are many places in Canada we have dreamed of exploring, but couldn’t fit them into the trip. We don’t know what our next adventure will be, however, we do know that we aren’t going to stop exploring Canada by Canoe.
- Pierre and Jennifer were instrumental in making the party a success. Jennifer loaned us a screen and projector and helped us get everything set up. We really valued all of their tips for paddling between Ottawa and Montreal. We wish them every success on their upcoming paddling adventures.
- Leaving our house for months would normally be a big worry, but fortunately, we have wonderful friends/neighbours to set our mind at ease:
- Mike Nelson and Shannon King checked on our house throughout the summer. Mike turned on our water and got everything ready for our guests and also our return home. It was really nice to arrive home with all of our utilities ready to go.
- Randy and Tipparat Hughes looked after the exterior of our house. Their daughter, Kira, helped Randy mow our lawn and trim the hedges. Also, Randy saw that our eaves-troughs were getting clogged, so he cleaned them out for us. We loved the flowers you left on our table to welcome us home.
- Ben & Deb Guerard hauled our plants back and forth to their home to look after them for the whole summer. I dare say they look better than when we left!