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Wednesday, 17 September 2014 10:43

Stranger things have happened to people who have never met

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Call it a whim, a mid-life crisis or even a crazy idea. One or all of these definitions sums up what Keith Lynch is attempting.

 

A former investment banker, Keith says he spent the previous 246 months working in an office so he was due for an adventure. Most people would book two weeks in Cancun.
To those who know him, Keith is not most people. Instead, he decided to canoe from Montana to Texas. There was one small obstacle, a minor consideration if you will — he had never canoed before.
Ambitious? Yes.
Experienced? No.
Undaunted, Keith launched his canoe June 3. A few days later, the fast, swirling current of the Missouri River caused him to capsize. Keith was safe, but a significant portion of his gear washed away including a waterproof bag containing almost $3,000 of camera equipment. Keith continued his travels, but would no longer be able to film and photograph his once-in-a-lifetime journey.  
Enter Norm Miller. To say Norm is obsessed with canoeing and kayaking is an understatement. After all, he’s paddled the entire Missouri River upstream. Yes, upstream more than 2,000 miles.
Norm has never met Keith, but that doesn’t matter to Norm. Keith is a fellow paddler and was in need of help if he was to document his trip.
Having consulting maps and aerial photos of the Missouri River, Norm had a good idea where to look for the dry sack of cameras and camera equipment. After a few attempts, Norm and his wife Kris found Keith’s missing bag Sept. 1. Nestled in some willows, it was 17 miles downstream from where Keith flipped his canoe nearly three months prior.
 “My wife and I have been determined to find it and we did this weekend using a GPS to hone in on the bag’s last known location. The river had dropped about seven feet since Keith lost his bag by the time we found it.
The area had been grown in with vegetation and the water had dropped and was about 150-feet away from the river’s edge. Anyway, the equipment was basically all fine. Now to Fed-Ex so Keith can film his epic adventure,” said Norm.
Keith, who is now on the Mississippi River, says it’s unbelievable that Norm found the bag. He will be able to document his trip thanks to someone he has never met, so the next time you hesitate to help a stranger take a moment to consider what it could mean to him or her. 
Keith’s destination is Dallas, Texas. He expects to arrive before Christmas. To follow his journey, visit www.canoevoyage.com.
(Dominique Liboiron is a speaker, author, teacher, journalist and photographer. For more information about his speaking engagements, phone 306-661-8975 or visit www.canoetoneworleans.com.)

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Dominique Liboiron

Dominique Liboiron is a speaker, author, teacher, journalist and photographer. To raise awareness about heart disease and to honour the life of one of its victims, Liboiron canoed from Saskatchewan to New Orleans. He is the first person to undertake that journey. He enjoys outdoor sports such as camping, hunting, fly fishing and canoeing.