Kingston paddlers stop in Little Current as part of three-year Canadian odyssey

Glenn Green and Carol VandenEngel head out from Little Current, Killarney-bound on their cross-Canada adventure for a cause. photo by Alicia McCutcheon

LITTLE CURRENT – The Expositor had the opportunity to catch up with Glenn Green and Carol VandenEngel as they passed through Little Current, just one stop on a three-year cross-Canada canoe odyssey to raise funds and awareness for the Kingston-based organization Loving Spoonful (not to be confused with the 1970s band, ‘The Lovin’ Spoonful’).

The pair explain that Loving Spoonful seeks to achieve a healthy, food-secure community by facilitating fresh food access, skill development and community engagement in the Kingston community, but food security is something the couple believes in strongly for all Canadians.

In 2017, on Canada’s 150th birthday, the pair departed Ottawa for Sydney, Nova Scotia via canoe. Then, last year, the couple began their journey in Vancouver, portaging through the Rocky Mountains, through the Prairies all the way to Fort Francis, Ontario.

This year, the couple began in Fort Frances with the goal of ending their trip-of-a-lifetime back in Ottawa. As an added bonus they will make their way down the Rideau Canal, something they have yet to do, back to Kingston. They anticipate another month-and-a-half of paddling ahead of them.

“Canada is beautiful,” Mr. Green pronounced. “The northern shore of Lake Superior is stunning,” Ms. VandenEngel added.

The biggest challenge the couple has faced so far was Lake Winnipeg. As a shallow lake featuring an almost constant chop, many canoeists and other recreational boaters choose to avoid it on their cross-country adventures, but not this pair. They saw a steady and constant eight-day wind that, at one point, left them in the canoe for 12 straight hours—the shore too rocky to safely land. At the end of that 12 hours the couple capsized, but did make it safely to land.

The adventurers say they are largely using the voyageur paddle routes, but are also using famed solo paddler Mike Ranta’s routes as well.

From Little Current, the couple was heading for Killarney, on to the French River and then into Lake Nipissing.

“Our goal is to raise $25,000 for our charity,” Mr. Green said.

“Twelve percent of Canadians are food insecure,” Ms. VandenEngel explained.

“We’re so wasteful as a society—58 percent of our food is wasted,” Mr. Green added.

 “When you eat well you feel well, and when you feel well you do well!’ Mr. Green exclaimed.

To donate, or to follow their paddling adventures, visit their website CanoeforChange.ca and click on the donate link. An email tax donation receipt will be emailed back.