Borealis Paddling Expedition
The Borealis Paddling Expedition is a canoe trip consisting of 5 women who will paddle through the Boreal Forest, Tundra and Arctic wilderness.
The Drive North
The Crew
05/29/2005, Hidden Bay, Wollaston Lake

After four days on the road we finally reached the Boreal Forest of Northern Saskatchewan. We had a great sendoff weekend at Manito-wish with our families and friends. It was spent attending the final pack up touches and our moms sent us off with loads of wonderful foods for the road show. We are so appreciative of the last three weeks we spent at Manito-wish , as it really helped us channel our energy and focus on the trip. On May 23rd we packed up two vans and a trailer with all of our food, gear, paddlers and three drivers. It was a party to say the least. We made a few stops along the way in Duluth, Winnipeg and Prince Albert to pick up some randoms and also drop off our re-supply rations in La Ronge and points north.

Along the trip we met some incredible people who went out of their way to help us. The first of the first were Bill Layman and Lynda Holland. These two paddling gurus have been helping us since we began planning this expedition, so seeing their home in La Ronge, Saskatchewan was a real treat. We poured over maps and drank four thermoses of coffee. It was a great morning! From Bill and Lynda's we went to Robertson's Trading Post, where we met Scott Robertson who is generously facilitating the drop off of our second re-supply in Stony Rapids. Scott introduced us to Ivan, Karen and others who were more than encouraging and helpful in every way they could be.

After leaving La Ronge we headed north on Highway 905, the epitome of a pot-holed northern gravel road. We drove for seven hours over boulder fields and mudslides, as well as making the occasional uranium truck dodge. We then dropped off our second re-supply in Points North Landing, an airstrip that services the local mines. The pilots and staff were all incredibly helpful as we evaluated the current ice conditions and planned our route. Despite our uncertainty about how much ice we will encounter, we have decided to stick with our original route and begin at Hidden Bay, Wollaston Lake. The locals think we're very early, a little crazy, but well-dressed in our Gore-Tex and Toques to say the least.

A huge thank you to our drivers- Sadie, Anna and Kate. We couldn't have found three better people to help us start our journey. Watching the vans drive away was an intense and emotional experience... but there's nowhere we'd rather be right now than here, in the woods, as five. We aim to update our website in the middle of each week, with new photos to come. Please stay posted.


Who: Meg, Nina, Beth, Karen and Emily
Where: Camp Manito-wish YMCA
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