Completing The Journey

Jim and the team reach Hopedale after 33 days in the bush

BY JIM BAIRD

The sun rose on the distant ocean horizon as we paddled hard into headwinds, the trip challenging us to the very end, before we reached Hopedale. In all, we were 33 days on the water.

The ferry, the only link to the road system, was leaving that evening and we didn’t want to miss it. Still, we knew not to push our luck in getting there. In the north, time does not dictate your travel, the weather and conditions do.

Marty pulled a piece of moldy pita out of his pocket and took a bite. It was the last scrap of food we had left.

When our canoes finally reached Hopedale, we climbed out and congratulated each other on a great trip. Marty pulled a piece of moldy pita out of his pocket and took a bite. It was the last scrap of food we had left. Ted asked for a piece, and when Marty handed it over Ted threw it in the water. We all had a good laugh, then walked to the restaurant for bacon and eggs.

It turned out however, that our ferry was actually going north up the coast as opposed to south to Goose Bay like we’d thought. We jumped on the ferry anyways and sailed up the coast to Nain, coming back south past Hopedale to Goose Bay. I can’t believe the captain actually let me try driving the thing! On the voyage, we visited every community on the northern Labrador coast and enjoyed the breathtaking scenery along the way, one last adventure.

Each Wednesday, C&K will release a new episode of Lessons From the Trail, presented by Nova Craft Canoe and Brunton, makers of the TruArc compass.