More than 1,000 kilometres into his solo cross-Canada canoe journey, CPAWS board member Jay Morrison is still feeling strong as he enters Lake Superior after leaving Sault Ste Marie. Jay started out from Les Escoumins, Quebec on April 9th, when snow was on the ground and ice in the water. Two months later, his dream of paddling the 8,000 km to Inuvik before the October freeze-up (and becoming the first person to do so in one season) is still within his reach.
It’s a personal goal for the former triathlete and retired civil servant, along with his goal of raising awareness for CPAWS? work to conserve Canada’s remaining Boreal wilderness in the face of advancing industrial development. “(I want) to debunk the myth that the vast Canadian wilderness is an inexhaustible supply of natural resources”, he says. “Human history is filled with examples of the destruction of valuable resources for short term gain which, once gone, can never be replaced.”
So far, Jay’s been successful in getting the word out. With help from CPAWS, his trip has inspired articles in local and national newspapers, and radio and television news spots including CTV?s Canada AM and local CBC and Radio Canada shows. Along the way, Jay has been spreading his conservation message to new acquaintances, many of whom have invited him to their homes for dinner and a good night’s sleep.
Jay’s continued good sprits contrast with the enormous challenges he faces. He has battled 3 metre waves and unpredictable currents in the St. Lawrence, clouds of mosquitoes, and the aches and pains of extraordinary physical exertion. But he remains confident that he can make it to Inuvik despite the setbacks. “What strikes me is that you tend to forget about the hard parts, and even the beautiful scenery is a bit of a blur. What you remember is the people you met, and those who have helped you get here.
“I want to have it both ways ? getting to Inuvik and not missing out on interesting experiences along the way. I guess everyone has to find their own path as long as it makes sense.”
Jay adds, ?I could never have embarked on this trip without all the support I?ve received from sponsors and friends. You are all in my thoughts during my many solo hours on the water.?
Read Jay’s daily blog at http://www.cpaws.org.