Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Publish Date: 2003
Special feature: Autographed
The Great Lakes Heritage Coast is includes 3,000 km (1800 mile) coastline along the north shore of Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Georgian Bay, and the islands of Cockburn, St. Joseph and Manitoulin. The Ontario government recognized this Coast as a natural resource to be preserved with their first priority being the protection and restoration of its coastal ecosystems. Under this initiative, the government appointed Gary and Joanie as Champions of the Coast. To support the initiative in their official role, the McGuffins spent three months paddling the Great Lakes Heritage Coast and reporting on their adventure in real-time.
In the summer of 2002, from July through September, they paddled with their three year-old daughter, Sila, and their Alaskan malamute, Kalija, from the Pigeon River at the Minnesota-Ontario border to Severn Sound on Georgian Bay, in a 6.5 metre (21 foot) cedar strip canoe. Among the necessary camping, food and expedition supplies on board, they also carried a system of communications equipment necessary for sharing the adventure through weekly radio broadcasts, newspaper features, and web site updates.
Their route took them along the most magnificent freshwater coastline in the world. Through Joanie’s passionate narrative and Gary’s evocative images, the McGuffins share with readers the experiences of paddling with woodland caribou, gliding beneath towering cliffs, studying ancient red-ochre pictographs, camping where people have camped for thousands of years, discovering fossils of the earth’s earliest life forms, and exploring the bedrock headlands and the other geological wonders laid bare by retreating glaciers ten millennia ago.
Paddling over the same waters traversed by people for thousands of years, the McGuffins take us on an epic journey, describing the exhilaration of journeying as a family on these vast bodies of freshwater, the warmth of their campfires on cool nights, the brilliance of stars and northern lights, and the peace and solitude of being immersed in the beauty and mystery of the natural world.