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Kayaking to the Sea: Sault Ste. Marie to Quebec City

Tim Gallaway kayaking

Last weekend, Tim Gallaway, a PaddlingLight contributor, left on a 850 to 900 mile long trip from Sault Ste. Marie to Quebec City via kayak. I asked him to share a little information about his trip to PaddlingLight’s readers. The goods are below, but first this is how you can follow Tim’s journey:

Kayaking to the Sea

I’ve had to repeat this bit so many times it has more or less become a script.  It’s quite interesting really.  I’ve come to recognize what questions are about to be asked and if the person asking me the questions thinks I am crazy or not (for the record, I am not crazy).  So here is the conversation:

Them: What are you doing for your trip?

Me: I’m going to kayak from Sault Ste. Marie to Quebec City.

Them: Wow!  How long will it take you?  That’s a long way.

Me: It’s about 850-900 miles and I figure it will take me 6-7 weeks.

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Them: Can you carry enough food for that whole time with you?

Me: Nope.  But there are a lot of towns between here and there.  I’ll re-supply when I can.

Them: So are you going through Detroit?

Me: No, I’m going the north route along the old Voyageur Route up the French River and down the Ottawa River.

Them: That sounds like a really cool trip.  Are you keeping a blog or something?

Me: Yes but I don’t have the means to update it on the water.  I can tweet though to @KayakToTheSea so people can follow my progress.

(This is the part where some people think I am crazy)

Them: Are you worried about bears?

Me: No.

And that is the cookie cutter conversation that typically occurs when I have to describe my trip in a nut shell.  And that really describes it pretty well.  You can check out my site for a few more details but there just isn’t that much more to say.  I’m doing this trip because I really want to.  It’s been the light at the end of the tunnel for me for the last few years.  It’s gotten to the point where it consumed my every waking thought as other expedition kayakers can relate.

It’s not for a cause or anything other than to try to inspire people to live out their dream adventures.  I don’t have any official sponsors.  I’ve gotten some help from some great companies like Smartwool and Reed Chillcheater with a few clothing and gear things but other than that it is not a sponsored trip.  I want to prove that you don’t need to be a big time sponsored paddler to do this type of thing.  You just have to have a drive to take the time and do it.

Expedition Map

kayaking to the sea

About Tim

Tim Gallaway on a Lake Superior beachTim Gallaway is an ACA L4 sea-kayak instructor, guide and Greenland-style paddling buff based out of the eastern end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  When not teaching the subtle arts of sea kayaking you can expect to find Tim on long solo expeditions, in the surf and rock gardens, building Greenland style skin-on-frame kayaks or running local whitewater in “his other boat.”  In the frozen water season, Tim is a mechanical engineering student. Read his other contributions: Head North to Old Woman: A Lake Superior Kayaking AdventureTHE SKELETON COAST: Paddling Lake Superior’s Desolate Southeast Coast and Ninja Paddling – The Path of the Ninja Paddler. Check out his website Kayaking to the Sea.


  • Good Luck Tim!

    Sounds like an awesome expedition

    Go Kayak Now!

  • It’s refreshing to see someone doing something because he wants to and doesn’t feel he has to do it for a cause, save the world, save the bears, save the whales or whatever. Do it for yourself, for the challenge, to grow as a person. Anymore, people can’t walk out their door without doing it for a cause. Has anyone seen a marathon, 10k, or any other race that was done just for the competition and not some ‘cure’? Does everyone feel that guilty that they can only exercise if they give money to something? Good on you, Tim. Have an exciting adventure.

    (sorry for the Ayn Rand rant)

  • I’m glad you are doing this Tim….you will never regret it:} :} :} NEVER!!!! when I left college I traveled to Canada
    and crossed to the coast the down the west coast to LA{hyw 1}……came back a year later. Did it on a stock 1948 Harley…went over Rodgers pass in the snow, got into Revelstoke in a downpour…gone a year…no regrets after almost 40 years:} :} ENJOY….Best Wishes Roy

  • Best wishes, and enjoy your trip.

  • I have to say I was quite nervous about this expedition when Tim first talked about it 3 years ago. Now that he is underway, I am so excited for him and look forward to the “spot tracker” each day to check his progress. As a mom, you always want to see your kids experience life to the fullest. I’m sure Tim is doing that right now as he paddles and portages on the French River. We are excited about traveling to Quebec in late June to retrieve him. I’m planning to take some fresh clothes along for him! Maybe his adventure will inspire others to get out and experience what this world has to offer.

    • It’s a good trip and I think he’s going to really enjoy it. A ton of people are excited about it, and I hope he writes a magazine article about it. It was good meeting you last year. I really had a great time paddling with Tim.

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