Destination Nor'ouest II/ A. Mackenzie

Louis Michaud

LOVES Wooden Canoes
Reality TV goes birchbark once again...

In 2005 they made the Voyageur's trip from Lachine to Winnipeg. This year they will attempt Alexander Mackenzie's 1793 trip from Fort Chipewyan (Alberta) to the Pacific: 2600 kilometers. They plan to start around the end of May this summer. Application form available at:

It looks like there is no english form... One of the requirements: to express yourself well in french. (not sure of the translation here... maybe "communicate" would be a better word). Deadline for applications is March 10.

It seems they are having a hard time finding participants. They expect the crossing of the Rockies to be particularly gruelling.

Any volunteers ?

Louis Michaud
Yes afew dams and bridges in the way but really a neat trip.The last part is overland.Not the famous hair raising Fraser River at all.
And I thought Alexander MacKenzie was Scottish.
I thought there was a law that everything has to be bi-lingual???

I have a friend up in Saskatuan who builds Voyager style canoes - wood strip. He put together a team and raced the Churchill a few years ago for the Centenial of the Provinence.
They then did the Yukon a year or two ago.
I will forwad him this page although I suspect he is aware of this cross country trek. I think he speaks and reads French even though he is in the west.

Yes,lots of French everywhere but not always by law.
Also these ideas don't always reach the people who could contribute most.
I have not asked the project director why the French restriction, so this is only speculating... The only reason I can see is that the TV channel paying for the adventure is broadcasting in French. If they want somebody to watch their show the language needs to be French. I don't think there is any pseudo-politicobable (and I won't go there...) behind the language restriction. As usual, it's only the`$ speaking. I agree they are cutting off a lot of experience. The participants of the last show could really have benefited from somebody with experience in birchbark canoes: -not- loading all the boxes, bags, etc directly on the ribs and sheeting; -not- sliding a loaded birchbark over a beaver dam just to name a few things...


Louis Michaud
Rimouski, Quebec
That's the point Louis.These stories are fantastic enough in the reality.
Didn't realize it was being filmed.Must have missed the note somewhere.
Grueling! Remember - it was the Scottish who did it in the past, not the French.

Just strikes me that this is just more of the language issues one sees in places like Quebec, etc.
Heads up for Ontario

Just heard that the series will be aired this winter on the TFO channel in Ontario. Should be in Quebec during the summer...

The water around here is still too solid to paddle, it doesn't look like an early spring yet..

Louis Michaud
HaHaHa - 20 here. Can't find my canoes after 6 ft of snow in December.
But I am hoping for an early Spring.
Too bad I can't get the TFO on my wireless.
Survive and we can all go paddling.
Mackenzie was a Scot, but the motive power was entirely voyageur. French makes perfect sense.

The problem with this trip is not crossing the Continental Divide to the Findlay, but the 1,200 miles upstream on the Peace to get there. Any of you who've paddled against even modest flows will appreciate how difficult (and demoralizing) it is to fight a four to six knot current for even a day, much less two months. No wonder they're having trouble manning the re-enactment. Much, much tougher trip than from Lachine to Athabasca.