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After five years, adventurer’s ocean-to-ocean-to-ocean walk ends at Clover Point

One woman’s record-setting 20,000km solo trek through Canada

By Cameron Welch
November 13, 2022
Latest News
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

After five years, adventurer’s ocean-to-ocean-to-ocean walk ends at Clover Point

One woman’s record-setting 20,000km solo trek through Canada

By Cameron Welch
Nov 13, 2022
The Clover Point sun shines on Melanie Vogel after her 20,000km walk. Photo: Cam Welch / Capital Daily
The Clover Point sun shines on Melanie Vogel after her 20,000km walk. Photo: Cam Welch / Capital Daily
Latest News
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

After five years, adventurer’s ocean-to-ocean-to-ocean walk ends at Clover Point

One woman’s record-setting 20,000km solo trek through Canada

By Cameron Welch
November 13, 2022
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After five years, adventurer’s ocean-to-ocean-to-ocean walk ends at Clover Point
The Clover Point sun shines on Melanie Vogel after her 20,000km walk. Photo: Cam Welch / Capital Daily

On Saturday just after noon, Melanie Vogel reached the final milestone of a 26-million-step journey. The hiker, originally from Germany, left Toronto in 2017 and walked from the Atlantic to the Arctic and now Pacific. She went via the 28,000km Trans Canada Trail / Great Trail, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. With her arrival at its terminus at Clover Point in Victoria, Vogel became the first woman to walk the trail to all three coasts.

The companionship of a dog and the kindness of strangers

She was the only human for most of that journey, but she adopted the stray yellow lab-husky Malo in Manitoba and he joined her for the rest of the trek. She was glimpsing green streaks of Northern Lights, approaching her Arctic Ocean target, when the pandemic hit. Vogel stayed with a kind couple for a few months, then made her home for a year and a half in the tiny town of Eagle Plains. She lived and worked in the hotel, and wrote about the experience.

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Vogel finally reached the Arctic Ocean this May before making her way south. Fittingly, her long walk with her dog ended in a place where thousands of people walk with their dogs. Along Dallas, she let Malo off-leash “to roam and meet other dogs and tell his story.”

Though billed as a solo walk, she says her feat was only achievable with the help of strangers all over the country that actually—those who walked with her, fed her, gave her a place to sleep other than her tent, or made arrangements for her when COVID hit. This was illustrated at Clover Point, where the journey ended not alone as she’d imagined but instead surrounded by supporters who’d followed her progress online.

Melanie Vogel's dog Malo completed the journey with her. Photo: Cam Welch / Capital Daily

Lessons learned from walking 20,000km in her shoes

She hopes that her journey will inspire more people—particularly women and girls—to get out into nature, and remind the public to protect natural resources such as water and forests. That lesson is one she learned from her own immersion in vast natural areas, but also, she told Capital Daily, from the wisdom of the First Nations communities and elders she got to meet. 

She also hopes to show people what she realized on the road: “the power of slowing down.”

“When you walk it’s not just that you build a connection with nature, but you build a connection with a community, you build a connection with other people, you build a connection with yourself—because you’re taking time, which many people don’t take anymore.”

“We are rushing everywhere,” she told Capital Daily, “Everyone is. We see things along the way, but we don’t really see.”

The slow road walking taught her to pay attention and savour details. Her favourite moments in hindsight aren’t the big and dramatic events, but “these small little things along the way that could really touch my heart—a good conversation I had, a butterfly that would suddenly settle on my hand.”

You can see a map of her journey, and diary entries from along the way, here.

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Cameron Welch
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