Wednesday, 19 November 2014 13:20

Man’s journey is inspiring considering setbacks

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In this month's edition of Your Life is Now, we continue to follow the progress of Keith Lynch, the former financial planner with essentially no canoeing experience who decided to paddle from Montana to Texas, a distance of 4,000 miles.


To call Keith’s voyage inspiring is an understatement. In itself, the undertaking is praiseworthy, but the obstacles that Keith is having to overcome and his determination to complete the trip no matter the setbacks, are nothing short of sublime.
If you’ve been following Keith, you’ll recall that his camera bag spent three months underwater following a capsize early in the trip. Almost all the gear was intact which allowed Keith to film his journey of a lifetime. As we learned in the last Your Life is Now, thieves cut the rope with which Keith had tied his boat to a dock. They cast his canoe adrift, but only after stealing some of its contents.
When we left off last month, Keith had just discovered the theft and was able to pull his canoe ashore, but realized the criminals have left him without food or water in a remote area. 
Keith was very angry and in a state of disbelief. He could excuse the theft, but not the attempt to leave him stranded. Upset and dejected, Keith nevertheless persevered. He directed his anger into his paddling and canoed towards a more populated area where he was likely to find people. Keith was able to get help from a Good Samaritan who gave him a ride to a grocery store. Keith’s trip continued.
Keith is currently in Texas and closing in on his destination of Dallas. However, his trials and tribulations aren’t over. I’ll let Keith explain what happened to him recently on the Red River of the South.
 “I found the perfect spot and established camp around 10 a.m. The campsite had an elevated sandbar with a beautiful view of the river.”
At this point, Keith canoed a few minutes downstream to meet his friends and give them a canoe ride back to his camp.
“As I approached the campsite, I didn’t see my tent. Probably not a big deal since it was behind a series of trees. I paddled closer and closer and still didn’t see my tent. Oh no.
“I approached the site and my tent was definitely gone. I hopped out of the canoe and walked to the campsite. Everything was gone. Everything.
“On the campsite grounds someone wrote a note in the sand which said ‘Keep the heck out!!!’ I knew I was cooked. I scoured the area looking to follow four-wheeler trails. They all came up cold. It’s difficult to describe my feelings knowing the trip was basically over.
“I heard a motor in the distance and eventually a four-wheeler arrived with the sheriff and a private citizen. I immediately explained that someone took my belongings and the sheriff explained I was on private property and they had my gear. I apologized and explained my trip and that we were going to camp there this evening. The landowner explained he thought I might have been a squatter or drug runner. The sheriff indicated there have been Mexican nationals growing pot on Red River lands. Turns out they thought I could have been a kingpin.”
The sheriff returned Keith’s possessions. Keith’s trip continues. We’ll hear more about it in the next Your Life is Now.    
(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. For more info 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.