Final leg of an improbable trek

Final leg of an improbable trek

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Mike Ranta’ cross-Canada solo: Week 28

Mike Ranta and Spitzii officially entered Nova Scotia on Thursday, the eighth and final province on their cross-country journey. (Follow him here)

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Last week Ranta got off the St. John River – which would have taken him to the Bay of Fundy – at Washademoak Lake in Lower Cambridge, NB, on September 30, and started heading northeast towards Moncton.

He didn’t want anything to do with the legendary Fundy tides, not that he hasn’t had to deal with dramatic tidal changes.

“The river system I was on [Canaan, Petitcodiac] rises and falls three of four feet; it even runs backwards for about six hours a day,” he said.

This system also had considerably less water than the St. John, thanks to a couple of major droughts over the past few years. It was not his favourite.

“The Petitcodiac, especially. They call it the chocolate river because it’s so brown. It has the muddiest banks I’ve ever seen. The whole thing was kind of gross looking…”

When the water ran out, or got too gross, he hooked up his wheels and headed down Highway 112. There are hurricanes coming up the US coast, and from 2014 he knows that will eventually mean bad news for small craft on the Northumberland Strait.

“I figure I’ve got about a five-day window before I have to start worrying about that, so I’m going to be starting early and doing some night paddles once I get onto the Northumberland,” he said Wednesday morning.

He actually reached Moncton late Tuesday; recognizing his need to keep moving Global TV sent out a crew to interview him on the water, and several veterans came out from the Moncton Legion to meet him. He paddled out of Shediac, and out onto the strait Wednesday. Thursday, he paddled under the Confederation bridge, then made a dangerous crossing of Baie Verte to enter Nova Scotia waters.

He’ll paddle the coast as long as conditions permit. (he was on schedule to pass Tatamagouche, where his 2014 trip ended, Friday afternoon). If the water does get rough, he’ll head for the highway.

“There are a couple of different routes I can take once I get to Cape Breton,” he said, adding he hoped to see his aunt and uncle Claudette and Garry, who live in Truro, NS.

“I’m loving it! And I can’t wait to get to Dominion Beach!”

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