Paddler’s home town arrival marks half-way point of 8,000 km trek

Original article from The Chronicle-Journal

With contributions from: Marlene Davidson, MNO Atikokan and Area Métis Council President and Ken Simard, MNO Region 2 Captain of the Hunt

Mike Ranta
Mike Ranta and his paddling companion Sptizy arriving in Atikokan,
Ontario during their 8,000 km canoe trek across Canada in support
of Atikokan Youth Initatives.

In 2011, Atikokan’s own Mike Ranta (and his dog Spitzy) embarked on a 5,200 kilometer trip which he completed in 132 days. Now, warmed-up from his previous journey, on April 1, 2014, Ranta and Spitzy embarked on an 8,000 km+ canoe trip. An epic adventure that will take this self-identified Métis coast to coast from Vancouver to the Cape Breton Island, it is anticipated to take 180 days.

Ranta’s goal is to get as many Canadians out as possible to join in on what he calls the ultimate Canadian experience. He said he hopes to see many supporters along the way, whether paddling alongside him, or even just to sharing stories and experiences of the great Canadian wilderness.

Besides aiming to set a record for the world’s longest solo paddle, Ranta said he wants to inspire young people in his community. Through his journey, he’s fundraising for Atikokan Youth Initiatives, an incorporated non-profit charitable organization that is development a new youth centre for teens in the community.

Ranta and Darlene
Mike Ranta with MNO Atikokan and Area
Métis Council President Marlene Davidson.

Since April, Ranta has already crossed three mountain ranges which included portages of more than 100 km and the vast and windy North Saskatchewan River that spans the Prairies. Ranta has recently entered the portion of his journey that will take him through the rugged Canadian Shield that covers Northwestern Ontario, and the wild and unforgiving Lake Superior.

From there, it’s the beautiful Ottawa Valley and into the fast St. Lawrence River. Following the shore of the St. Lawrence will bring him into the Maritime provinces. After several portages, he’ll be into the powerful tides of the Bay of Fundy before portaging to Cape Breton Island and ending in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Atikokan and Area Metis Council President, Marlene Davidson recently welcomed Ranta as he returned to his home town on July 16. Davidson presented him with a Métis sash and an Ostrom canoe pack. MNO Region 2 Captain of the Hunt Ken Simard also joined in greeting Ranta while in Atikokan.

Mike and Ken
MNO Region 2 Captain of the Hunt Ken Simard presenting a Métis
flag to Mike Ranta in Atikokan.

Ranta provides daily updates by a satellite link to his Facebook page People can also leave messages of support for Ranta and view photos on this page.

To donate to Atikokan Youth Initiatives visit