Last week the Gibsons Paddle Club had an opportunity to welcome two voyaging canoeists on their epic journey. Jennifer Gosselin, Pierre Pepin and their dog Jasmine have crisscrossed North America by canoe for the past two years. From their home in Quebec, where they sold everything they owned, they embarked on a journey for no other cause than to experience the journey itself and to experience people.
They have paddled, sailed, lined and poled their canoe around many of the rivers and ocean shores of North America. When they cannot canoe, they put it on wheels and walk, sometimes over 250 km.
On Thursday, April 6, their Wild Raven Adventure brought them to Gibsons, where the Gibsons Paddle Club welcomed, fed and housed them. Stories were told and friendships made. This couple was overwhelmed by the generosity the Sunshine Coast community provided. For many of the Paddle Club, it was their first time participating in voyaging canoe culture and traditions.
On Saturday, the adventurous trio left the Coast. Weather and water meant it would be a “canoe on wheels” day. Their journey will take them to Vancouver, then up the Fraser River to Hope then to paddle and walk their way across Canada to finish in New Brunswick in the fall. You can watch and participate in their progress at www.wildravenadventure.com
Pepin and Gosselin have travelled tens of thousands of miles and met thousands of people – when they left Gibsons, they said the Sunshine Coast welcome was among the best they had experienced on their entire odyssey. The Sunshine Coast made such an impression that they plan to return when their journey ends. They will be producing both a movie and a book when it is all done, and we know that Gibsons, the Paddle Club and the entire Sunshine Coast will be part of their story.
For those of you who were unable to meet Pepin and Gosselin, be sure to follow their progress at www.facebook.com/wildravenadventure
The Gibsons Paddle Club was born out of voyaging canoe traditions. Representing all of the Sunshine Coast, they practised what they’ve learned. Pepin and Gosselin, on their Wild Raven Adventure, will tell our story wherever they travel.
– Submitted by Ed Hill