Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Shkodra, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans, June 13-24!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

An interesting visitor to the park!

Around noon yesterday, a couple of ladies came into the park and explained that they were waiting for someone who was canoeing from upriver. They thought that maybe he was only an hour or two away.

And, the canoeist had a GPS tracking unit with him, so we got them on line and figured out where he was on the river. It didn't look like he was too far away.

While Patricia and Cindy were waiting, we got to know them a little bit and they told us the story of this guy who was canoeing down the river.

It turns out that he's been canoeing all day, every day...for 47 days!

Mike Ranta and his Souris River canoe.

Now, we've had the odd canoeist hit the shore here at the park before, but never anybody on a trip like this! Mike Ranta started out in Vancouver (Richmond), British Columbia on April 1st and has been canoeing (or walking while pulling his canoe!) every day since.

He did a trip similar to this back in 2014, and Canoe and Kayak magazine says he holds the world record for the longest solo canoe trip in a single season.

So yesterday evening (after waiting for him all afternoon), Patricia saw on the GPS that Mike and his dog Spitzii had stopped for the night, and it looked like he was only about 1 km up the river! Of course he would have had no idea that Patricia and Cindy were waiting here for him with his care package. There is no cell service on that section of the river.

He's raising money for Canadian Veterans.

And every vet he meets along the way gets to sign his board and his canoe. I think he's going to need more space!

So she and I hopped in one of the gators to see if we could get far enough along the shoreline to let him know that we were here, and sure enough we found him with his tent already set up and ready to spend the night.

And then this morning, Mike and Spitzii arrived here just after 6:00am. The wind had already picked up and it was a hard paddle just to get to the park. We told him he was welcome to rest up here and use the shower and wash his clothes. So as the wind got stronger, he decided this was a good place to take a day off.

Spitzii is an 8 year old male Finnish Spitz.

And this is his spot on the canoe.

And so we had a visitor for the day, and it was great getting to know him and Spitzii. So, here's his story...

Mike and Spitzii are canoeing across Canada to raise money and awareness for Canadian veterans and the youth shelter in his hometown.

The 44 year old spent 18 years working on Canada's oil rigs, but he eventually sold his house, paid off his debts and decided to spend more time doing what he loves....canoeing. He's pretty confident that he can make a living at it, and so this particular trip is being filmed and being made into a documentary that will hopefully be sold to a network somewhere.

See ya Mike!

Check out Mike and Spitzii's website here...

And of course if you want to help with Mike's cause, you can support him here. All money donated goes to the cause, not towards the trip itself!

"When I'm in a canoe, it's like being caught between the heavens and the earth". Mike Ranta.

Popular Crocs shoes and sandals are on sale again! Up to 50% off...


  1. How lucky for you, and for Mike, that you got to meet each other. It's very good of you to tell his story and pass on the message. You have a knack for meeting interesting people, Kevin. Random, but cool.

    1. Thank you Dinah, we felt privileged to have met Mike and hear all his interesting stories from this trip and past ones that he has one. We wish him well on his endeavor.

  2. what a great visitor to your park!! thanks for sharing his link..will have to check it out!!

    1. We really enjoyed our time with Mike and getting to know him and hear about his trip and the purpose of it. The world needs more people like him.

  3. Love stories like this! The world is full of amazing and interesting people and it's always nice to meet them along life's journey.

    1. We love stories like this too! :-) Yes, the world is full of amazing people and we feel honoured to have met quite a few of them through our travels.

  4. What a great challenge and a wonderful adventure.

  5. Replies
    1. He has done this trip before and this is what he loves!

  6. Very cool! Reminds me of a guy we saw in a peddle boat from Brazil to the Gulf of Mexico. He passed us one day when we were boondocking along the beach in Barra del Tordo. Couldn't believe my eyes. I hope this guy makes a fortune off his documentary. It looks like he is enjoying the fruits of his labor.

    1. Wow, I can't imagine peddling a boat from Brazil up to Mexico. It is amazing what people are inspired to do.

      Mike is not interested in money so I don't think he's in it to make a fortune and if he did I would expect much of money would go back to helping the vets and the youth in his hometown.

  7. A kindred spirit... just in a canoe...

  8. Interesting visitor, for sure. I'll bet that nice, hot shower and warm hospitality were VERY much appreciated by him.

    1. Yes, they were definitely much appreciated! I am sure he will find more wonderful hospitality along his route. :-)


There are more comments on our facebook page at

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.