in #canada3 years ago (edited)


Here the nation begins and my journey ends: selfie at Cape Spear, Newfoundland, where Canada first greets the rising sun.

I did it!

The rising of the sun above the cold waters of the Atlantic signaled the finale of a long tour. I could drive no farther east than Cape Spear, Newfoundland, my final destination; from here I would hurry home.

Every day since October 1st, 2018, I've shared images from this cross-Canada trip, a journey that took place the previous year, an adventure I've been reliving with you through my photographs.

It all happened in 2017, when I packed up a Jeep and drove it for more than ninety days, traveling west and north from my home in Ottawa, charting a circuitous route to Vancouver Island and the Pacific shore before changing course, turning around and spanning the width of Canada to arrive in Newfoundland and the Atlantic.

I felt weird standing there on the rocks of Newfoundland posing with the flag, there at the end of all things, the end of my longest adventure yet. I was more sad for its termination than I was happy at the completion, because traveling across Canada was not a thing to check off my bucket list so much as it was a temporary lifestyle that, while not always easy, I had thoroughly enjoyed.

Across Canada in 92 Days had ups and downs, highs and lows. I planted tripod legs below sea level and shot out the window of a float plane thousands of feet above Canada's highest mountains. There were days when everything I touched turned to gold and other days when I never even touched my camera, but every day driving alone in my vehicle I felt an unusual sense of freedom: freedom to plot my own course, to go (sometimes literally) where the wind blows and to make my own mistakes but to get it right sometimes too.

The scope of this journey was far grander than anything I had tried before. Encountering summer, fall and winter weather, (not necessarily in that order) driving through forests, prairies and mountains, I covered seventeen degrees of latitude and eighty-five degrees of longitude (five and a half timezones), putting over 30,000 kilometers on the Jeep's odometer. I slept most nights in the back of that Grand Cherokee, and it was the most comfortable portable accommodation I've ever had.

Though I talked with many people and met with friends and family along the way, there was some loneliness. Thankfully audiobooks and music were my constant companions. I listened to everything from Jon Krakauer to Jack London and J.K. Rowling, from Stompin' Tom Connors to Lindsey Stirling and Great Big Sea. I listened in the car during long days of driving and I listened while standing in the cold in the middle of nowhere while my camera recorded the stars.

My main mission, to photograph National Parks in every accessible province and territory, was a success: I visited twenty in total and brought back photos from each one, but that goal was merely the framework for a larger desire... to experience Canada, to see and photograph new parts of my country and broaden my vision of this nation, a beautiful, wild land bounded by three seas, too big to be fully explored by any one person.

It's satisfying to take a dream and make it a reality, and even though plans never go exactly as expected I'm proud that I was able to pull this off and call it a success, one that I'll never forget.

Thus concludes my ninety-two day picture story of Canada, even as we celebrate the final hours of 2018. Thank you so much to everyone who has followed my adventures online, to those who have liked, commented, shared and supported me in other ways.

Though "Across Canada" is over, I look forward to a new period of fresh, exciting things. Which adventures does the future hold? I'm content in my ignorance because I like the surprise!

Happy New Year, friends. May this be the year that your own dreams come true.


Yeah, sorry you had to wait 92 days for it to be over. ;)

A great start of a new year ;) Happy 2019 Derek!

Hehe, same to you, Roos! :D

Such an awesome trip Derek! Unreal picture and I'm sure such a memorable experience. Good work! Hope it's not too long until your next such adventure.

Thanks man! I hope so too. By the way, so glad I've gotten to know you this year thanks to Steem! :)

Dude, same to you! Here's to hoping we get to hang out more in 2019.

Amazing Derek. What a beautiful journey thanks for sharing with us. I hope to visit some of the places in Canada.../someday soon.

I hope you can too! Thanks for following along and providing some arboreal assistance too, haha! :D

Hi Derek - Happy New Year!
That's pretty amazing that you did a cross-country trip. I've always wanted to do that so I'm a little envious. ;)

I'm actually writing to confirm if you applied for a whaleshares account as I'm one of the witnesses there. We've had an issue with some people using other people's names and stealing content.

Thanks, Meredith, Happy New Year! As for Whaleshares...hmn...to be perfectly honest, I don't remember if I applied for an account in the past - I can only tell you with certainty that I haven't applied recently. Should I? :)

Actually, let me amend that - I just signed up tonight after hearing more about it, haha!

That was an awesome journey to follow, congratulations on completing it and your photo goals! Tons of incredible shots. Happy New Year!

Thank you so much, Scott!!! :D

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