Day 47 – 47.5 km (total – 1010.1 km)

Enough is not simply about being satisfied with what we have, it’s about feeling the fullness of the partial. - Irwin Kula

Although I still have 6500 odd to go, I celebrate the partial of my first 1000 kilometres today!

When I first moved to Haliburton to work at YMCA Wanakita, this burly, giant guy picked me up from the bus station to welcome me to my new job at the outdoor centre.  His name was Matty and he ended up being my roommate for the next couple of seasons.  He also became a good friend (even though he’s a Habs fan!).  And he’s a good friend with Sarah as well, so we’ve had some fun times over the past decade.  He has lived up in the Yukon for the last couple of years and this morning, he sent us this email that I thought I’d share.  Thanks Matty!

“So I found myself sitting in the local community centre last night, with about 35 other individuals, to discuss wildlife conservation and management in the Yukon. The participants were all local folks, mostly trappers and outfitters and First Nations. The meeting was called to gather input from the public and similar meetings are happening in every community in the Territory to hear what people have to say. Now, to set the stage. Picture a shuffle board on one side of the room, a piano in the corner, and a large U-shaped table in the room with all the attendees seated around the outside. A large plaque hangs on the wall indicating when the community centre was established. The local outfitter’s wife baked about a dozen pies, and they were on a table on the side, waiting patiently beside a large tub of vanilla ice cream.

Hiking Cape Chignecto back in the day!

Hiking Cape Chignecto back in the day!

The meeting got underway with an introduction by the facilitator, a guy I’ve worked with in the past who is very good at listening and making everyone feel welcome and at ease. The conversation started in immediately with incentives for trappers, because it currently isn’t worth their while. Consensus was that there are too many predators, which means not enough moose for local people to harvest. That has been the main topic in all the meetings held to date. After much input from attendees, and deliberations about extended seasons, costs of trapping, the high intelligence of wolves and their intricate social behaviours, an elder spoke. He spoke very softly, you could’ve heard a pin drop for sure. Everyone leaned in to listen. He was wearing a large cowboy hat, had a weathered face, and I would not have wagered a guess on his age, because his face was timeless. He said “People just don’t get out on the land as much as they used to.” Case closed. This was immediately followed up with a comment from across the room, “Trapping just can’t compete with Nintendo and Playstation”. I immediately thought of you guys and your adventure and your challenges and the immensity of your task and the enormity of your vision really hit home.”

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