Wild Northerner Magazine Summer 2017 - Page 8

An experience on Superior like no other

HEADLINE: An experience on Superior like no other

BY SCOTT HADDOW

Wild Northerner staff

Two centuries ago, fur traders made their way along the coastline of Lake Superior in voyageur canoes.

Naturally Superior Adventures is recreating the experience for paddlers this summer to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday with the Lake Superior Voyageur Canoe Brigade.

The program consists of six guided, all-inclusive wilderness adventures in replica 36-foot voyageur canoes. Starting July 2, from Sinclair Cove in Lake Superior Provincial Park, each brigade will travel six - to 10 - day legs, finishing August 19 at Old Fort William in Thunder Bay.

The route traces the same coastline that was paddled by the fur-trading voyageurs in Canada’s early days, two centuries ago.

“There are up to 14 people in the voyageur canoes and a real community builds within the canoe and group like no other experience can,” Naturally Superior Adventures owner David Wells said. “That is the beauty of these canoes and experience. It builds real and strong bonds and friendships among the people paddling.”

Each section of the journey will focus on a quintessential Canadian theme, including First Nations, voyageurs, French-Canadian culture, Canadian art, music and explorers. Each section features a special guest host or hosts. The segments will also feature a paddling minstrel to serenade participants around evening campfires when available.

The special guest host/ hosts for each section are bound to be memorable. The hosts are no strangers to the paddling world and add a dynamic element to each canoe. Some of the hosts include Kevin Callan (author of 15 books, public speaker and known as The Happy Camper), Becky Mason (daughter of legendary paddler Bill Mason and renowned artist, writers and filmmaker), Reid McLachlan (paddling guru and talented artist), Michael Burtch (published author and filmmaker), Darrell Makin (veteran Superior paddler and author) and Rodney Brown (musician with 40 years and 11 albums under his belt).

Callan has accomplished a lot in his life with the outdoors and canoeing. He has paddled Lake Superior many times. Callan has never done it in a voyageur canoe. He didn’t have to think twice or long about his decision to be part of the trip.

“I jumped at the chance,” Callan said. “I wasn’t going to say ‘No’. This gives me a chance to go back in time and experience Lake Superior in a new way. We are blessed in Ontario and Canada to have these canoe routes to travel. Being in a voyageur canoe with a lot of people is cool. I can’t wait to connect with new people and have a good time with them.”

The highlight of the trip will be the voyageur canoes and the big water of Superior. The canoes are 12-metres long and 1.5-metres wide. They hold 12 to 14 people and all their gear for multi-day excursions.

Each brigade will be guided by experienced trip leaders who have an intimate knowledge of the coastline, including the best campsites and great stories to share. Your Guides are experienced paddlers with leadership training and wilderness advanced first aid. They are also talented wilderness chefs.

Taking on the expansive waters of Lake Superior is no easy chore, but there in lies the effectiveness of the voyageur canoe and lots of people – strength and safety in numbers.

“A great thing about this trip is you don’t have to be an experienced paddler to be out there and be safe and having a good time,” Wells said. “There are up to 14 people paddling the canoe. They are stable and easy to paddle with everyone on board. The guides have all been through the sections. This is right up their alley. The hosts we have lined up will make a connection and impression with the paddlers. The hosts will make each section more interesting and unique with their stories and experience.”

The hosts look forward to sharing their years of experiences with the paddlers.

“I have it easy,” Callan said with a chuckle. “The trip has guides who will ensure safety and food to eat. I’m not a survival guy. I go out and live in the bush. I like to have a good meal and not rush. Ill be there to paddle and tell stories … provide entertainment.”

Lake Superior holds a special place in the hearts of many paddlers and outdoors lovers. The lake is a must-see, must-do item for any outdoors enthusiasts.

“It’s a beautiful place,” Callan said. “The clear, blue water and different coloured rocks. If you’re Canadian, you have to experience it.”

More about the trip, including more specific information about each of the six sections, can be checked out here: https://www.naturallysuperior.com/lake-superior-voyageur-canoe-brigades/

BY SCOTT HADDOW

Wild Northerner staff

Two centuries ago, fur traders made their way along the coastline of Lake Superior in voyageur canoes.

Naturally Superior Adventures is recreating the experience for paddlers this summer to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday with the Lake Superior Voyageur Canoe Brigade.

The program consists of six guided, all-inclusive wilderness adventures in replica 36-foot voyageur canoes. Starting July 2, from Sinclair Cove in Lake Superior Provincial Park, each brigade will travel six - to 10 - day legs, finishing August 19 at Old Fort William in Thunder Bay.