Monday, November 26, 2018

6 Month Countdown begins!

Precisely 6 months from today in spring of 2019 - in collaboration with Bird Studies Canada - we will be in St. John's Newfoundland about to start our 3 year hike along Canada's Great Trail from Coast to Coast to Coast for the protection of Birds, Important Bird Areas and our nation's wild spaces. If you have an interest in ornithology, are a twitcher or simply love to watch birds then please feel free to follow along on facebook or on our website ( If you have friends interested in the outdoors, wildlife or bird research we would encourage you to share and get the word out and support Canada's birds!

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Explorersweb Article by Kristine De Abreu!!

A Huge thank you to Kristine De Abreu at Explorersweb for the great article on our upcoming trek! Be sure to check it out!


Couple Launches Three-Year Hike Along World’s Longest Trail

The Great Trail, also known as the Trans Canada Trail.

In early 2019, Sonja Richmond and her partner Sean Morton from Ontario will embark on a three-year journey along Canada’s 24,000km Great Trail. The longest recreational trail in the world, it links all three coasts and includes a 6,000+km loop into the Northwest Territories. The couple will start at Cape Spear, Newfoundland, the easternmost point of Canada, and continue west to Victoria, British Columbia before turning north.

The Great Trail, formerly known as the Trans Canada Trail, took 25 years to complete and was only fully connected in 2017. It links over 400 individual trails and 15,000 communities across Canada.
Since its completion, foot travellers from around the world have come to Canada to tackle this supreme hiking challenge. Recently, Dana Meise of Alberta became the first  to complete the entire route. It took him 10 years. Before him, Sarah Jackson was the first woman to finish the trail’s east-west section, while Melanie Vogel of Germany is currently thru-hiking the entire trail on her own.
Faced with a three-year absence from gainful employment, and no sponsors as yet, Richmond and Morton have had to make difficult financial decisions. They have placed their home on the market, set a daily budget of $20 a day and have been scrambling to find last-minute sources of gear or donations — as yet unsuccessfully. Their current budget affords them a basic diet of “coffee, sugar and plain oatmeal for breakfast, a simple wrap or peanut butter sandwich for lunch, dehydrated rice and beans or pasta for dinner, and tea.” They hope to round up enough support at least to add some trail mix and energy bars to their diet.

They plan to carry backpacks with tents, sleeping bags, pot and stove, water bottles and a filter, two changes of clothes, Therm-a-Rests and two to five days of food. Because the trail frequently passes through or near communities, they can reduce their weight by shipping backup gear and winter clothes to local post offices, and stocking up regularly at grocery stores. Still, Sonja Richmond estimates that their pack weight will increase to 23 to 33kg  in winter. “In the Prairies and up north, we may switch from backpacks to carts,” says Richmond.

Before this expedition, Richmond completed her PhD in forestry at the University of Toronto, while her partner is a freelance photographer and writer. Richmond currently works as an analyst at Bird Studies Canada. En route, the couple hopes to raise awareness of the birds of Canada.

The Great Trail consists of roadways, greenways, lakes and rivers, mountains, islands and tundra. The trail combines wilderness and rural portions but also major cities such as Montreal and Toronto. This varied landscape offers travellers a choice of transportation: bicycles, kayaks or canoes, even horses. Some parts can only be negotiated by watercraft.
The Great Trail consists of smaller trails like the BLT trail. Photo: Mother Nature Network
Because of their shoestring budget, the couple lacks a packraft or canoe and will detour around rivers and lakes until their third year. By then, they hope to acquire the means to paddle the fluid sections of trail.

Their stories and photos will appear on their Facebook page, Come Walk With Us, and their website.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Congratulations to Dana Meise !!

After a decade of trailblazing and inspiring his fellow Canadians, today Dana Meise completes his trek to visit all three of Canada's oceans along the Trans Canada Trail, now known as the Great Trail.  After starting his hike in 2008 in Newfoundland Dana has since hiked west to Victoria British Columbia and now has completed his trek north and arrived in Tuktoyaktuck Northwest Territories. 

Over the years Dana has overcome a number of obstacles, but while doing so has inspired countless Canadians to hike the nation's trails, get outdoors and to explore the geography, history and culture of the country!  Congratulations of your magnificent achievement and at completing your Great Hike! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Norfolk MYFM 98.9 announcement!

A huge thank you to Norfolk MYFM 98.9 whose article and radio presentation introduced our trek to Norfolk county this morning! Thank you so much!

Simcoe couple plan to begin a 23,000 km journey
November 14, 2018 07:26 am

Some couples like to do things together, special things between just them. For some, it’s going to lovely restaurant or watching a certain movie.

For Simcoe couple Sonya Richmond and Sean Morton…they have something else planned all together.

They are partnering up with Birds Study Canada.

They plan to blog their experiences, post pictures, and speak with students across the country. They will begin their trek in May, and it will take them about three years to complete their 23,000 km walk.
More information can be found at

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Another night of preparations....

Another night of preparations. It is amazing how much time you spend at a desk preparing for a hike outdoors.

Friday, November 9, 2018

First CBC Article on our upcoming trek! by Conrad Collaco

Ontario couple to take 3-year walk across Canada, from coast to coast to coast

'We have some savings but our current budget is about $20 a day'

Sonya Richmond and Sean Morton, from Simcoe, Ont., take their first steps, this Spring, in a three-year trek that will take them all over Canada from coast to coast to coast. (Sonya Richmond)
Ontario couple to take 3-year trek across Canada from coast to coast to coast.

Sonya Richmond and Sean Morton, from Simcoe, Ont., are planning to take a trek, starting this Spring, across all of Canada from coast to coast to coast. 8:20.
As city planners will tell you, any good place to live is a good place to walk, with lots to see and do within walking distance. For Sonya Richmond and Sean Morton, from Simcoe, Ont., all of Canada, from coast to coast to coast, is walking distance.

In the Spring they'll take their first step on a three-year trek across this entire country, from east to west and north to south.

Richmond spoke with the CBC's Conrad Collaco about the long walk she and her partner are about to take.

You can read an abridged and edited version of the interview or listen to the full audio interview by hitting the play button above.

Sonya Richmond, planning to walk across Canada

Sonya Richmond and her partner Sean Morton plan a cross country trek to raise money and awareness of the importance of protecting wild birds and their habitats. (Sonya Richmond )

What made you want to take a walk across Canada?

We wanted to have an adventure and we wanted to share a positive message. There's so much beauty and diversity and so many amazing places that are part of Canada. We really wanted to share that with people. We're also going to be collaborating with Bird Studies Canada. We'll be raising awareness of the importance of protecting wild birds and their habitats. By doing that we are hoping to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to get outside and connect with nature. Is there any one place that has you particularly excited to visit?  
Both of us are really excited to see Canada's north. I've never been to the Northwest Territories and seeing the Arctic circle is something we're both really looking forward to. 

How do you even plan something like that?
We take it in small steps. We started by looking at a map of the trail and figuring out which part we are going to walk and which part we will paddle. Then we made the decision to start in Cape Spear, Newfoundland and walk west to Victoria, B.C. then paddle up north in our third year. Once we did that we did some math to try to figure out how long it would take to do each section. Since then we've been reading guide books and following the posts of the other people who have been doing this. That's pretty much where we started.
There's so much beauty and diversity and so many amazing places that are part of Canada. We really wanted to share that with people.

- Sonya Richmond
Who has done this before and what did you learn from them? 
The big news right now is Dana Meise. He's set to become the first person to ever complete the entire trail from coast to coast to coast. He's up in Tuktoyaktuk right now and is set, I think, to finish tomorrow. Sarah Jackson was the first lady to solo hike the east-west portion of it. We've been looking at her posts. 

The Great Trail begins in the east in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador and the west in Victoria, British Columbia and in the north in Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. (
I guess what has come out most to us is that there are a lot of great places to see and the people they have met are fantastic. We're really looking forward to it. They have all faced challenges out there but they have all been able to overcome them. 

How have you had to change your lives to prepare for this journey?
We are in the process of getting ready to sell our house. I will be leaving my job in the Spring. We'll be leaving behind our friends and families and our pets. We're really going all out.
We've been saving up. We have some savings but our current budget is about $20 a day. We're looking for sponsorship right now. We probably will be collecting donations at some point.

What's been the most difficult thing about planning this?
I guess it's trying to predict our itinerary. The weather is one thing we can't predict and it's going to have a huge influence on us. The other thing that has been difficult is trying to figure out how long it will take us. We do have some experience hiking long trails. We know the pace we can do on those trails. We're hoping to connect with as many people as we can. That's going to affect where we choose to stop and what we choose to look at. That's a big unknown for us.
 How have you physically prepared for this?
We've done some longer hikes before. This summer we walked the East Coast Trail in Newfoundland which is part of the Great Trail and we've been walking on the Bruce Trail. And we're trying to walk at least five kilometres every day after work. As we get closer to leaving we'll extend the length of our daily hikes. And we'll start carrying more weight with us.

How are you preparing for Winter weather during your walk?
We will bundle up. We have some good winter gear and we hope to get a little bit more from sponsors. One thing working in our favour is we hope to get back in to Southern Ontario by next winter. We think we'll be back in the Brantford area by December. Then in our second year, hopefully we'll be west of the Rockies by the time the really cold weather hits. If we can keep that pace, hopefully we can avoid the worst of the winter. If we have a bad winter that is really cold, we may get off the trail and do some things to try to raise money for birds or raise awareness for birds.