SCOTSMAN TREKKING ACROSS CANADA WITH HIS DOG NEARS GREATER SUDBURY

Source: CTV News (Extract)
Posted: September 3, 2021

SUDBURY – A Scotsman and his dog are on the Canadian adventure of a lifetime, walking across the country, from one end to the other.

Michael Yellowlees planned the trip for three years before taking the plunge earlier this year. He and Luna just passed the six-month part of what he’s dubbed, ‘Michael and Luna – A Rewilding Journey.’

“When I was first talking about it, I think a lot of people were like ‘are you sure?’ And I think a lot of people were thinking I was mad and to be honest, I think they’re right,” Yellowlees laughed.

Yellowlees is no stranger to adventures like these; he’s already trekked across Spain and India. Canada is his biggest challenge yet.

He spoke with CTV News outside the trading post in McKerrow, Ont.

Armed with a guitar, cart, and an impeccable Scottish kilt, he’s seeing more sights than most Canadians will in their lifetime.

“You know what, the kilt’s a magical thing, I think,” he said. “I was discussing this the other day. It keeps you warm when it’s cold and it keeps you breezy when you’re warm. It does well, the kilt, it’s some good weather gear.”

While this is a personal feat for the young man, he’s also trying to raise funds for Trees for Life, which is helping in the regreening of Scotland’s Caledonia pine forest.

Yellowlees said the forest used to stretch from coast to coast, but centuries of forestry have left the landscape decimated.

There have been struggles along his journey — difficult terrain and horrible weather. There was even a stretch near Kenora where Luna got lost for roughly a week before she was able to find her way back to camp.

The journey has already earned him thousands of fans in Canada, the United Kingdom, and around the world.

“It takes a special person, it’s not only physical … it’s mental. He’s on his own with Luna and that’s it,” said Marie-Lyne Loubier, who’s been following their journey from northern Ontario.

There is real excitement in the air about how passionate Yellowlees is about the project. His friend Wayne Chisholm said there’s a contingent of Maritimers that are ready to welcome him as soon as he crosses the Nova Scotia border.

“I said you’re going to enjoy the trip, a lot of it, by who you meet and how much they support you on this. And he’ll tell you that’s been the joy of this, regardless of the funds raised,” Chisholm said.

“They’ve just been showing me beautiful kindness, bringing me water, bringing me meals on the road. They’ve been absolutely fantastic all the way, so it’s been really amazing,” Yellowlees said.

The mission started in Tofino, B.C., and Yellowlees said they’ll continue until they reach Cape Spear, Nfld.

He’s hoping to reach Sudbury by Saturday morning where he plans to walk with local MPP Jamie West. Afterward, it’s off to Ottawa before he continues into Quebec. 

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