Originally from Dunkeld, Scotland, Michael Yellowlees is walking across Canada to help raise money and awareness for environmental concerns in the Scottish Highlands.
“I dreamt this up about two years ago and (now I’m) sort of seeing through my dream,” Yellowlees said.
With Alaskan Husky Luna by his side and a kilt around his waist, Yellowlees began the extensive trek in Tofino, British Columbia in early March, travelling through B.C. and southwestern Alberta for the last month-and-a-half.
Their goal is to end up in Newfoundland by October, more than 8,000 kilometres from their starting point.
Earlier this week, they stopped to rest in Lethbridge, before continuing their journey east on Friday.
“Physically, we’re holding up beautifully,” he said. “I’m feeling good, I’m feeling strong, it’s more of a mental challenge than anything else.”
The adventurous pair has been documenting their travels over Facebook, amassing more that 1.7K likes on their page.
So far, they’ve raised more than $10,000 for Trees for Life, a Scottish non-profit dedicated to rewilding the country’s Highlands.
“We were born out of the realization that the ancient Caledonian forest that once covered most of the Highlands and much of Scotland, is vanishing,” said Trees for Life’s head of fundraising and engagement, Colin Mackenzie-Blackman.
“When Michael reached out to us and said he’s doing this amazing adventure for Trees for Life, we were delighted,” he added.
Yellowlees says he was inspired to embark on this journey in Canada due to the country’s connections to Scottish heritage and the need for broader understand of the environmental impact.
“This is a global issue, this is something that we all need to be addressing now,” he said.
“If it can inspire one person to go out and do something for the environment, then that’s winning.”
Due to COVID-19, Yellowlees hasn’t been able to sit in restaurants or cafes for food or shelter, but the generosity of strangers has lifted his spirits.
“People have been so kind. People have put us up in motels for a night, brought us food on the side of the road, it’s been, honestly, such a trip of human kindness.”
Yellowlees and Luna left Lethbridge Friday morning, heading toward Taber on Highway 3.