Adventurer Mike Ranta and his trusted companion Spitzii, the Finnish Spitz, are starting their paddling exhibition Friday from Vancouver to Cape Breton.
Ranta is from Atikokan, Ont. but has been staying with a friend, Brian Degagne, and training in Lumby.
This isn’t Ranta’s first adventure. He is the first person to cross the North American continent solo, by canoe, in one season.
In 2015, Mike won Canoe & Kayak Magazine’s Expedition of the Year Award.
For this trip, his goal is to set a speed record and he wants to paddle and portage longer, faster and further then any person in history.
The journey is 7,000 kilometres and he hopes to cover 40 kilometres a day.
“I’ll be putting myself into a very unique frame of mind, and into some of the harshest environments this country has to offer,” said Ranta.
“I’ll be testing every limit: emotionally, physically, and mentally as I push myself beyond anything I’ve done before. In my mind, it’s not a test of endurance, it’s showing love for my country and all those who protect us.”
Ranta is paddling to raise money for Canadian veterans and the Atikokan Youth Centre.
Throughout his journey he is collecting pieces of natural material from each province that he will weave into a wreath.
“I’m going to paddle and portage this wreath, I’m going to carry it across this country and with my own hands, I’m going to place it at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in honour of all our fallen,” said Ranta.
His adventure can be followed and donations can be made by visiting him online at mikeranta.ca or on Facebook at Mike Ranta’s Paddle.