Crossing Canada 1 step at a time

Cross-Canada hiker Melanie Vogel, middle, and her dog Malo stop in the Grouard and Salt Prairie area on Oct. 16. She is welcomed by Grouard – Peace River Trail Net Society president Leonard Sahlin of Salt Prairie.

Dream journey across Canada comes to the Peace

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A woman’s passion to hike across Canada makes its way into northern Alberta and the Peace Country.

Melanie Vogel arrived in the High Prairie area Oct. 10 on a hike on the Great Trail, formerly called the Trans-Canada Trail.

“My dream is adventuring,” says Vogel, of Toronto.”

“I’m doing this for the love of travelling and I love this country.

“I heard about the Great Trail years ago, so I thought why not travel across Canada on the trail.”

Vogel is on the journey called Between Sunsets with her Labrador dog, Malo, by her side.

She arrived in Slave Lake on Oct. 4 and Faust on Oct. 10.

Travelling through the Grouard area on Oct. 12-13, she headed north on the Seal Lake Road and expects to be in the Peace River area Oct. 23.

Vogel was welcomed by Grouard – Peace River Trail Net Society president Leonard Sahlin, of Salt Prairie.

“I’m impressed that she is taking the time to enjoy the nature of our country on a trail designed to showcase Canada’s wilderness and history,” Sahlin says.

Vogel ranks the local trail among the best parts of her trek.

“I really love to hike the Grouard – Peace River Trail,” Vogel says.

“It’s nice to be surrounded by nature.”

She also cherishes the Fundy foot path in New Brunswick and hiking in the snow through Quebec.

Vogel left the eastern-most point of the trail at Cape Spear, NL on June 2, 2017 and hopes to reach the west point of the trail in Victoria, B.C. before winter 2020.

“I will be on the road until it’s finished,” says Vogel, born in Germany.

She will travel about 20,000 km of the trail, which stretches about 24,000 km.

Vogel will not hike on the trail on waterways, which is about 4,000 km.

The long-distance feat is the first for her.

“To prepare for the hike, it took me about one year to get sponsors, build my survival skills and get familiar with the trail,” Vogel says.

She received the Women’s Expedition Grant of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society to support her journey.

All by herself and her dog, Vogel says she enjoys the freedom she has on the road.

“What keeps me going is the hospitality and the kudos I get along the trail,” Vogel says.

“I didn’t expect that generosity when I started.

“The journey is not just about connecting to the land, but also to its people in the provinces and territories.”

Alone on the road, she has so many people with her in other ways, such as social media.

“There are so many people making it possible,” Vogel says.

“You need support, encouragement, sometimes just words.”

She calls it her “Facebook family”.

Another highlight is to see all the wildlife across the country.

“That’s what I want to see, that’s what Canada is about,” Vogel says.

Heading farther north and into winter will be the toughest on the trail.

“Winter in the Arctic will be the greatest challenge,” Vogel says.

“Camping in –30 degrees, I feel like a rock star.”

At the end, she plans to write a book.

For more information or to follow her journey, visit her website at betweensunsets.com or on social media and Facebook.

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One thought on “Crossing Canada 1 step at a time

  1. Glad to see you made it to Alberta and Malo is looking fabulous. It was super having met you and glad you could stay with us when you were walking through in the Qu’Appelle Valley in Saskatchewan. Stay safe, happy trails!

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