It feels like a lifetime ago that we created our Canada magazine, but certain memories remain gloriously vivid. Travelling along the Keele River in the Northwest Territories with Canoe North Adventures was an utterly life-changing experience. Not only was it one of those rare chances to venture somewhere truly wild - the sort of place you might assume was impossible to find in our modern world - but it allowed me to meet the most astounding people, hear their stories and physically push myself in the most liberating way. It's been two years since I ventured north ... I think I'm due a return journey.
When travelling through some of the globe’s more remote locations you’re likely to have a moment of clarity. Miles from normality, you feel like you’ve found another world, a place where only your immediate reality matters. For me this happened on the Keele River in the Sahtu Region of the Northwest Territories. I’d been paddling in the bow of a canoe for ten days when, late on a sunny summer evening, the water around me became a reflected mass of rose gold clouds, the perfect mirror of the sky above. With no discernible horizon, it was as if I was travelling through a dreamscape where down was up and up was down; the surreal setting a reminder that in this world there is true, untameable beauty. And to uncover it, I’d recommend travelling north.
Along the Keele River you’ll encounter the kind of landscape they envisioned when they first thought of the sublime. It’s a setting that makes you feel small, dwarfed by the surroundings. There are mountains chiselled away by wind and rain, the last patches of summer snow clinging to their peaks, and marbled cliff faces seemingly painted into the scene. But rather than feeling overwhelmed, you’re honoured. It is difficult to find something so majestic, so much bigger than yourself. And here it is, not all that far from the Arctic Circle, a region where many landmarks remain nameless and a canoe is the most desirable form of transportation.
Copies of our Canada magazine are still available to buy here.