Whitehorse man taking his cross-country trip one step at a time

With every step he takes, Whitehorse resident Richard Zier-Vogel is approaching his dream of walking across Canada. 

The idea for his trip came to him when he biked across the country 10 years ago.

"About halfway across the country, I came across a man walking — walking across the country — and ever since then I've wanted to do the walk instead of the bike ride," Zier-Vogel said.

He started walking from Beaver Creek, Yukon, in March 2018, and is dividing the walk into stages. He said he's doing it that way because of his work schedule at the First Nations dental clinic in Whitehorse. He is presently walking the final leg of the trip.

Zier-Vogel is currently walking through Quebec, and thinks he can reach his final destination of Cape Spear, N.L., in about 75 days. From end-to-end, his journey will cover more than 8,000 kilometres.

"Everybody sees this country — or part of this country — by car, or plane or whatever, and I just thought to be on the ground walking it … would be a good accomplishment," Zier-Vogel said.

Although some people who walk or bike across the country are hauling camping gear with them, Zier-Vogel has been towing along his shelter.

Richard Zier-Vogel/Facebook

He describes the homemade camper as a "mini Airstream trailer" a little over 2 metres long. He has named the green-and-white contraption the "Plod Pod."  The pull-along trailer is on wheels and attached to him by harness while he walks, and gives him a sheltered place to sleep.

Zier-Vogel walks about 42 kilometres each day, and he said although he doesn't regret the journey, he also wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

"I give this advice to everybody I see: don't do it," laughs Zier-Vogel. "It's tough physically and tough mentally."

Once Zier-Vogel arrives in Cape Spear, he plans to leave his shelter there and return back home to Whitehorse.

Submitted by Jim Guild