From Juan Pablo Quiñonez:
The expedition will focus in creating a short film with “our connection to nature” as its theme. Two ecotourism and outdoor leadership students will embark on a remote route along the Hayes River from northern Lake Winnipeg through 610 kilometres of wilderness to arrive at their destination on the shores of Hudson Bay. Their journey will follow along a historic fur trade route and one of the few major rivers in Manitoba not influenced by hydroelectric development. Jennifer Ford and Juan Pablo Quinonez are students at Mount Royal University in Calgary; Juan Pablo is an international student from Guadalajara, Mexico and Jennifer grew up in Winnipeg. The two want to reaffirm their connection with the natural world and hope to bring awareness to the lack of environmental consciousness that exists within many modern societies.
The canoe journey will be approximately 25 days spent on the water. Adding to that, a float plane ride from York Factory to Gillam and a train back to Winnipeg. Their journey will pass through numerous rapids and polar bear country.The 24 and 22 year old students will only encounter one community: Oxford House First Nation.
The idea to embark on this expedition came from Jennifer’s father, who completed the route 40 years ago and since his passing in 2011 she has aspired to complete it herself. The Hayes River is a recreational river for canoeists but not overly popular. With support from Mountain Equipment Co-op, they will make a short film about their adventure in an effort to encourage more people to reconnect with the outdoors.
They have started a Kickstarter campaign to fundraise for the expedition at rhythmofthehayes.ca/kickstarter
Last week’s training trip on the Manigotagan River; they will paddle part of the Gammon and Bloodvein Rivers this week.