Taking the long way home: Family embarks on canoe journey from Edmonton to Montreal

WATCH ABOVE: An Edmonton family is on their way to Montreal from Edmonton, in a canoe. 

EDMONTON – A couple and their five-year-old son set out on the North Saskatchewan River Saturday for their four-month journey home to Quebec.

Benoit Gendreau-Berthiaume, his wife, Magali Moffat and their son, Mali Berthiaume will travel 5,000 kilometres by canoe from Edmonton to Montreal. Gendreau-Berthiaume recently finished his forestry degree at the University of Alberta and it’s now time to head home.

“We’re just excited to finally get on the river,” Gendreau-Berthiaume said Saturday morning from Capilano Park.

The trio will travel through a number of rivers and lakes until they reach the Ottawa River for the last stretch to Montreal. They’ve packed light, with essential equipment and dry food they will pick up along the way. The outdoor enthusiasts plan to sleep wherever they can.

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“We just put everything in the boat and we’ll have a few months to figure out the details once we’re on the river,” said Gendreau-Berthiaume. “We haven’t had lots of doubts in the past just more questions of how we’ll deal with different situations.

“Now that we’re here, actually, we feel more confident than ever that it’ll be great.”

WATCH: Canoeists take on cross-country adventure

The family has spent the last year preparing for the adventure. The decision to canoe instead of drive or fly came after the family experienced some car troubles. They knew they’d have to find another way to get home.

“As a joke my wife suggested, ‘Let’s just canoe back to Montreal.’ So I thought, ‘Oh, is that possible?'” Gendreau-Berthiaume said.

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“I think at first they (our family) were like, ‘Really? … Flying wouldn’t be easier?'” Moffat added with a laugh.

But, as they say, sometimes it’s more about the journey than the destination.

“This will really kind of be a pause in life and spend some really good family time together where we can just think about the basics,” said Gendreau-Berthiaume.

You can follow the family’s journey on their website, Facebook Page or Twitter account.

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