Cross-Canada canoe expedition makes stop in Saskatoon

Click to play video: 'Man canoeing across Canada to mark 150th birthday makes a stop in Saskatoon' Man canoeing across Canada to mark 150th birthday makes a stop in Saskatoon
WATCH ABOVE: An Ontario man is marking Canada's 150th birthday by canoeing across the country with his dog – Jun 9, 2017

Mike Ranta is spending most of this year in a canoe to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

The Ontario resident is over three months into his seven-month canoe trip – one that will last 214 days.

READ MORE: Man paddling across Canada for veterans nears end of adventurous journey

It began April 1 in Bella Coola, B.C. and Ranta hopes to finish the journey on Oct. 31 in Cape Breton Island, N.S.

“I do consider myself a modern, hybrid voyageur,” Ranta said while taking a rest stop in Saskatoon.

“It’s a very addicting way to travel. I love the energy level you get. It’s just beautiful.”

Along the way, Ranta is collecting signatures on his canoe of Canadians he meets. He says people have been generous throughout his travels, frequently giving food and drinks.

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Ranta said he sold everything he owns in order to pursue being a professional solo canoeist.

“I used to work on the rigs. I was just as guilty as a lot of people, chasing the dollar,” Ranta said.

“I got away from the material things, and realized, after losing a few friends, what’s important in life.”

This trip will mark the third successful cross-country expedition for Ranta.

READ MORE: Edmonton pair behind foldable kayak weighing less than 6 pounds

For each trip, he has been joined by his four-legged sidekick, Spitzii, a nine-year-old Finish Spitz.

“He’s my bear scarer, my navigator and sometimes you get a little bit moody, but he’s the guy that puts me in a good mood,” Ranta said.

The entire seven month journey will also be documented by photographer David Jackson.

“Mike is such an important piece of Canadian history, and I figured he needed to be documented,” Jackson said.

Jackson said Ranta is a great character to document because of his authenticity.

“He wears cotton clothing. He eats Kraft Dinner. He’s not some performance high-endurance athlete,” Jackson said.

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Ranta says he eats lots of fish, but still loves McDoubles and “Tim Hortons of course.”

“You get that fresh air in you. You get good food and everything falls just into place after that,” Ranta said.

As Ranta continues his quest, he says there’s still more of Canada he wants to discover. Next, he plans on exploring Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories.

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