An Ontario man is preparing to travel to Yellowknife from Fort McMurray by canoe.
Mike Ranta, from Killarney, has been paddling across Canada with his dog Spitzi for many years, which includes a trip from Vancouver to Cape Breton Island in 2016.
This time around he’s going north with a friend to see Canada’s third coast.
Ranta tells Mix News this trip is as much fun as it is a way for him to raise awareness for our veterans.
“They see some amazingly, horrifying things that you and I can’t fathom and it’s because of their sacrifice why we don’t have to deal with it either.”
He’s hoping his trip encourages people to donate to different groups that focus on helping veterans. He’s also planning to auction off his canoe after his trip.
The entire adventure is expected to be around 1,400 km and take between 30 to 35 days to complete.
Throughout the journey, Ranta plans on visiting as many First Nations communities as possible to experience their culture and hospitality.
“We’re known around the world as good people and polite and we get to set the example for the rest of the world and how it is to live in harmony and in multiculturalism and that comes from the very start of our country and our First Nations.”
The trip to Yellowknife is part one of a bigger journey.
Next year, Ranta plans on traveling up to Tuktoyaktuk, at the northern tip of the Northwest Territories, where he’ll get to finally see the arctic coast.
“Right across Canada, there are so many sections that have got this unique energy that’s so positive and that’s what I’m looking forward to, to get up there and experience that.”