After a 48-day journey, Rance Cardinal has reached his destination.
The 24-year-old completed a 1,200 kilometre trek on foot from Sioux Lookout, Ont., to Humboldt, Sask., on Sunday.
Hundreds of community members anxiously waited for Cardinal’s arrival, waving signs of support and donning Humboldt Broncos’ team colours. His family members from Saddle Lake, Alta., travelled to the Saskatchewan city to welcome him at the finish line.
“For the boys and Dayna!” exclaimed Cardinal as he entered Humboldt.
Cardinal started his journey on April 11 and set his sights on Humboldt after the Broncos bus crash on April 6, which killed 16 people and injured 13 others.
“Everybody’s doing their part. I felt like the best way to show my part and show healing would be walking. It didn’t matter how far it was, I just had in my mind I’m going to get there,” Cardinal said.
Cardinal said he never thought about quitting and the trip helped make him stronger, both mentally and physically. He said he hopes to pass the strength on to the people of Humboldt.
“Ever since I lost my brother, for five years, I have not clearly been myself. Ever since I passed the Saskatchewan border, I found Rance Cardinal again.”
The community joined him on the last stretch of the journey through Humboldt to the Elgar Petersen Arena, where a ceremony and meet and greet was held.
Cardinal said he plans to stay in Humboldt for three days before driving home.
“I’m ready to play some hockey,” Cardinal said.