Bob Saunders, Sandy Briggs, Susan Saunders and Christopher Shank
This is the final leg in a journey that has spanned six years. Chris Shank and Bob Saunders conceived the idea of touring the low Arctic while kayaking on the west coast of British Columbia. Beginning from their homes in Calgary and nearby Cochrane, Alta. they hoped to travel as much as possible in a self-sustained and self-powered manner.
In 2006, they began the trip by cycling to Jasper and continued by canoe down the Athabasca and Slave Rivers to Yellowknife. The next year they were joined by Susan Saunders. From Yellowknife, they kayaked to the East Arm of Great Slave Lake and then followed the Hanbury and Thelon Rivers to Chesterfield Inlet on Hudson's Bay.
The following year, Chris and Bob continued to Repulse Bay. In 2010, after a one-year hiatus, they were rejoined by Susan and Elisa Hart and kayaked from Yellowknife to Kugluktuk, NU, via the Marian and Camsell Rivers to Great Bear Lake, and from there to Kugluktuk via the Dease River, Dismal Lakes and the Richardson River. Sandy Briggs joined them for the first three weeks to Gameti.
In 2011, Susan and Bob were accompanied by Eric Binion and Karl McEwan. Owing to a recent hip operation, Chris was unable to join them. For the first three weeks from Kugluktuk they pulled their kayaks over the ice until they were finally able to begin paddling to Taloyoak.
This summer, Chris, Bob and Susan hope to complete the circle by kayaking from Taloyoak to Repulse Bay. Sandy will paddle with them to Pelly Bay. Their goal? None other than spending as much time as possible in an area they truly love. In the future they hope to have the opportunity to share their appreciation of the Arctic.