Canada’s Great Trail (AKA the Trans-Canada Trail_ may have only officially been completed and opened for about a year, but already it is spawning some impressive adventures. This pat spring for instance, we saw the first hiker complete the entire length of the 24,000 km (14,912 mile) route and now we get word that two sisters used much of the trail for their crossing of Canada, coast-to-coast, on horseback.
This past Saturday, Katie and Jewel Keca reached the Pacific Ocean, dipping their toes in the water there as they brought an end to what was one epic expedition. The journey began in 2018, when the two young women set out from Mahone Bay, in Nova Scotia and rode for 116 days before pausing their grand adventure in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. This summer, the returned to the trail and resumed their ride however, spending another 134 days on the trail to reach the finish line.
Katie, who is 25, and her sister Jewel – age 20 – have been avid riders for their entire life and have always dreamed of traveling across Canada on horseback. According to the article above, their family was supportive, but a bit skeptical, challenging the ladies to come up with a plan to complete such an adventure. They did so by not just plotting out a course along the Great Trail, but by working multiple jobs to raises the funds they needed to live on the trail, along with their horses Aurora and Phoenix, for extended periods of time. When they were out riding, the duo would spend as much as 12 hours a day in the saddle, methodically covering as many miles as they needed to make slow, steady progress towards their goal.
The journey wasn’t just a long-held dream for the Keca sisters, as they also used the trip as fund raiser for several guide dog organizations, bringing in more than $12,000 through those efforts. They also hope that their expedition will serve to inspire others to chase their dreams as well. Whether or not they have more horseback adventures in their future remains to be seen, but for now they’re happy to have put an end to this one, which often featured challenging trails and unexpectedly rough weather. I’m sure, after spending so much time on the trail over the past two summers, they’re ready to be back home and relax a bit before plotting their next adventure.
Congrats to Katie and Jewel on an amazing trip. And big thanks to my friend Rick McCharles of BestHike.com for sharing this story.
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