Hail Brave hearts
Come and explore with me. Come into the adventure of your lives. There’s no time to waste, the days are passing. Make a plan, make several plans. Learn and strive, push your limits. Take the time to prepare. Healthy food, proper clothing, skills, companions, strong bodies and strong minds. Into the unknown, you travel.
A sketchy route has been marked on a page. Lines and drawings, hopefully familiar. A post is the site marker, a mountain range on the left, stay on the river and follow the trail. Animal tracks cover the ground. The new fallen snow is heavy and trail breaking is hard. Persevere, for today’s travel distance is long. Fortunately the terrain is gentle, rolling uphill but not too difficult to climb. Somewhere out here is a cabin for us. We can rest in shelter and escape the wind and the cold, then push on. It’s a better trip than it used to be, before the route through the country was found, before the explorers and before the map makers. Now we have a plan to follow. The bleak, cold winter closes in, but we chose this life. We are homesteaders, looking for our land.
Land! There’s plenty of land! But ours is still a long way off and we persist in our travel. A trading post is lurking close by. Stay on the trail and follow it closely. We need supplies. Supplies and a place to rest, some warmth and some shelter, food and a hot drink. We chose this life. Come on.
Come on, brave hearts, a new life is calling. The freedom it brings will be worth all of the pain. The hardship, the struggle, the will to survive. Keep at it. Don’t stop. The winter is a good time for travel. As cold as it is, the path is easier, travel along the rivers and frozen lakes. It’s relatively flat and easier to see, it’s cold, but faster and we cover more land.
What is now just sport is survival to us. The dogs must run and we are grateful. Fast and steady they hurry along. The dog team runs and they seem to know the way. Skills and training, education, courses, work and labor to learn these skills. All to become homesteaders in a land offering freedom, survival, a chance to choose for ourselves and a chance to be autonomous. But it’s work and we have now traveled so far. Out to the west to settle these lands. Push on, push on, the day if fading. Run you fabulous dogs! Take us away to our world awaiting. To trading posts and teepees, to waterways and farmland. Take us to our destiny, our hearts are soaring. The cold winters wind, howls beside us, but go on. On to our home, to farming and prosperity. Come on, you good dogs, run forever, transport us across Canada, open the way and save us again.
written by Dr. Louise Hayes
March 19, 2018
dog sledding competition in Russia. What was used hundreds of years ago to open up Canada is now international sport.