The Plan (will change)

When someone asks me where I’m going and I reply “I’m not sure” I usually get either a concerned look, a you’re nuts sort of look, or a that’s awesome look. Often people find security in knowing exactly where they are going, but in my situation and often in many other cases it is safer to be flexible and open to a change in plans.

 My niece is an amazing artist and yes I do sometimes go by the name Uncle Marmu.

My niece is an amazing artist and yes I do sometimes go by the name Uncle Marmu.

For now this is my plan:
Canoe another 800km through the North Channel of Lake Huron and up to Sault St. Marie, along the North coast of Lake Superior where I meet my friend Katie who will paddle with me for 6 days possibly to Thunder Bay.

An amazing new friend will return the Algonquin Outfitters canoe back to Huntsville. I then plan to ride a recumbent hand bike that an awesome paraplegic friend has offered to lend me, 700km to Winnipeg, perhaps with some friends along for the ride.

I will hop a marathon distance (42km) across Winnipeg on a pogo stick. (if the Routes of Change Facebook page gets 5000 likes before September). I have never pogo sticked before but I know that it’s possible. The world record holder did a marathon in 26hrs. I will contact him and ask for advice although I assume he will tell me not to do it because it was the most painful and hardest thing he has ever done. As long as I can avoid long term injury I will be happy.

upside down Markus Pukonen

At this point I’m leaning towards biking the 500 or so km to the Saskatchewan border, avoiding the main highways as much as possible. I will then scooter(on a little push scooter) across Saskatchewan. I’m really only doing this because I like the sound of it.

I will make my to Calgary somehow and up into the Rockies in Canmore and Banff for Halloween and the Banff Mountain Film Festival. I’m not sure what to do from this point on as it will be very weather dependent. I may ski, bike, or hike. Likely a combination of the three. Stopping in Fernie, Kimberly, Nelson, Vernon, and Kelowna as I zig zag my way to Vancouver for the beginning of February. This will be some of the hardest traveling of the entire trip due to the freezing temperatures and mountainous terrain. I generally plan on avoiding icy winters on the Routes of Change but I’m happy to experience a bit of it in Canada.

Markus Pukonen SUPS Georgia Strait.

From Vancouver the plan is to SUP up the Sunshine coast and over to Vancouver Island with T’ashii Paddle School. Then hike across the island to Bedwell sound and dugout canoe to Tofino where I will rest for a while and hang out with my nieces while planning a sail across the Pacific and the growth of the Routes of Change Society.

My route and modes of transportation for most of the trip will be frequently adapted due to a number of factors. The main one is the weather. It makes no sense to paddle as hard as I can into the wind all day long in order to make the distance that I can make in an hour the next day if it’s calm. There are scenarios where I don’t have a choice but to paddle into nasty weather, but most of the time it is not necessary and safer if I don’t.

Markus on the water.

Random person -“Where ya heading?”
Me - “Toronto”
Random - “You’re going the wrong way!”
Me - “No I’m not, I’m just going the long way around”
Random - awkward smile and continues on…