One of the reasons that I chose to paddle my canoe along this route is because I am an admirer of David Thompson and all of his achievements as a fur trader and mapmaker from 1784 until 1812. The Saskatchewan rivers were his highway on his way west to trade for the beaver skins and returning east loaded with the furs for the North West Company.
David Thompson was taken on by the Hudson's Bay Company as an apprentice clerk in 1783 and travelled to the Hudson Bay in 1784 when he was 14 years old. That was the beginning of his lifelong career as fur trader, explorer and cartographer. He became a proficient surveyor while he spent a long period recovering from a badly broken leg. Once he had recovered he travelled across what is now Canada and parts of Idaho and Washington trading for beaver furs, establishing trading posts and creating the survey data that became the maps of the area where he had established the fur trade for the Northwest Company. His maps became the maps that were used to help determine the Canada/USA border and were used as the authoritative map of Canada for many years after his death.
My preparations for the trip are progressing well but the pace will have to accelerate over the next three weeks. My departure date is now decided - June 2. Jenny will drive me to Rocky Mountain House with my canoe and equipment starting on June 1 and staying at Aurum Lodge with our friends Alan and Madeleine Ernst for the night before completing the drive on June 2. This will break up the journey for Jenny and make an early start on the river possible for me.
Since my last post I have approached several businesses for sponsorship with some success. The list on the sidebar shows sponsors who have already provided items that will help me to complete my trip safely. More will be added in the next week as I receive the help that I have requested.
Last Saturday, May 1, Jenny and I went to Hinton to have our winter wheels swapped out for our summer wheels and at the same time I collected some of my equipment from our storage in Hinton. Unfortunately I left my equipment list at home so we will be going back In the next week to collect everything that I need and bringing it back to Jasper where I can start to organize how it will be packed.
These sponsors helped to make my canoe trip possible.
You can help me to achieve my goals for this trip in a number of ways: