Canada is big. Really big.

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The slice of map above shows what our tentative travel route will be for crossing Canada. The plan is to go through every province, and to keep the trip in it’s entirety within the Canadian borders.

One big highlight for me will be getting to see all the provinces. I have flown over the western portion and lived in BC, Ontario and Quebec. I briefly visited Newfoundland many many years ago, otherwise I have not seen much of Canada. From this I have a limited view of the mosaic of people that make up our land and share our country.

For the trip planning I took into account several websites and guide books. I did however customize the trip a bit so that we would be able to cross into PEI, which I hear is beautiful. Also some people chose to cross into from Nova Scotia into Newfoundland on the ferry to Argentina, NL leaving a short trip to St-John’s. For our trip we are tackling all 900km of route 1 in Newfoundland starting at the Port aux Basques terminal. This will add a week to the trip, but I would feel like we were missing part of the experience and “cutting corners”.

I have to admit the crossing of the Coastal mountain range, and the Rockies scares the heck out of me. This will be physically intense and require alot of determination. I also read that bears are an issue, particularly for camping (we plan to stealth camp when possible). On the flip side this will be very scenic  and bring us through some of the most beautiful places in Canada.

The only other place which is causing me concern for planning is Thunder Bay to Sault St-Marie. From my research this is a dangerous route, with some towns over 100km apart, with nothing between. This is a heavy route for transports and there is no paved shoulder. I am looking for a way to cut this out of the trip as it is apparently 7-8 days of hell.

Getting to cross Canada on bicycle is going to be an amazing experience. The ability to appreciate the scenery, encounter the many different people, and enjoy the trip on 2 wheels really excites me. I think that just being so close to nature, camping along the way, spending every day in the open air (even the rainy ones) is going to be a life changing experience.

Stay tuned for the next entry where I will talk about why we want to do this and the plans along the way.

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One thought on “Canada is big. Really big.

  1. A mutual friend pointed me in the direction of this blog as I had attempted something similar last year. Unlike you, I was only travelling through four of our glorious provinces (though sadly, I think my overall route was longer than yours). I, unfortunately, ended up giving up about a week into my journey as I didn’t feel I was capable of surmounting the issues that rose up to greet me.

    My only advice to you, really, is to stay safe, and don’t give up. Though giving up was the correct decision at the time, putting aside my bicycle for a bus ticket is something I still consider to be one of my larger personal failures.

    I also kept a journal – which I strongly suggest you do as well, for better or worse – during my travels, which I later put online. I don’t know how much help it will be to you personally, but it may shed some insight. It can be found here: http://tctfail.wordpress.com/2011/07/24/trans-canada-trail-fail/

    Best of luck with your journey, and may it be a lot smoother than mine. =)

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