It doesn’t matter what you end up doing this summer. Our friend will have had a better time.
Eternally sunny contributor Magee Walker (whom you may remember as an Oakley Women’s Rep from some time ago) was one of almost 4000 Canadians that wanted to see their country at the ground level. Along with her boyfriend Cedric Schell, they’re making their way along the Trans Canada Trail, starting in the East and working their way back west.
When she sees an opportunity, Magee jumps on it. “I always enter contests… You never know! The only thing holding you back most of the time is you.”
The bonus for us is a firsthand look at this awesome adventure – the bonus for Woods Canada is Magee’s writing experience. You can only get good material from good writers; it doesn’t matter how big the company’s blog is.
We heard back from the couple, now beginning to make their way across the Maritime provinces, about the Long Walk Home.
ML: This has been a whirlwind couple of weeks – what has been the most eye-opening moment for you?
Magee: Just being selected to become the Woods Explorers was a completely surreal experience. More than 3,800 people applied for this position, and I figured the odds of us actually making it were pretty slim.
The moment we were told in a boardroom in Toronto that Woods Canada wanted us to be their explorers was insane. It is pretty incredible for a company to say that out of everyone who applied, we best represent the traits they are looking for – adventurers, storytellers, explorers. That was definitely a moment I’ll never forget.
Cedric: The most eye opening part of this would have to be the week of training before we took off, where we started to get a picture of exactly what we were going to be doing and what was expected of us out on the trail. It’s going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity, but there is work involved as well. Hopefully, we’ll be documenting the best we can and showing Canadians the best parts of the TCT, inspiring them to have their own adventures.
ML: Even though you two live together, 5 months is a long time to be in each other’s pocket…
Magee: Yes! It is! We’ve lived together for more than a year, but even when you live together, you work separately, you hang out with your own friends, and you do your own activities. On this trip, we will be together all the time.
On the plus side, this is really the first opportunity we’ve had to work together as a team. In the past, one of us has held a supportive role while the other is going through something. We’re only a week in, but it’s been cool to discover and draw on each other’s strengths and experiences.
Cedric: Yeah, five months is a long time. Some parts of it will be a challenge for us, because we haven’t even spent that much serious one-on-one time living and working together. It’s going to take a lot of compromise and negotiation on both of our parts.
But there are also going to be some easier things about it. It’s nice to know that Magee will be with me the entire way, and I wouldn’t have done this with anybody else. I think that knowing each other as well as we do will work to our benefit in most situations.
ML: Is there a section of the trail or an aspect of the entire trip that you’re looking forward to? What about nervous?
Magee: The East Coast was high on our list, and our time in PEI thus far has certainly not disappointed. I’m excited to explore the Rockies, because it’s always cool to spot differences and similarities between mountain towns.
I’m both nervous and excited to paddle Lake Superior. One of the guys who made it in the top 10 for the Woods Explorer position is a paddling guide, and he said it can get rough out there. It will be incredible to see a rugged, wild side of Ontario, though.
Cedric: I’m not really nervous about anything, but I’m definitely looking forward to the paddling sections of the trail. I think it offers a lot of potential for adventure and different camping styles. It might bring up a lot more challenges then we might have hiking. The MacKenzie River and the Sea to Sky Marine Trail legs of this trip are at the top of my list.
ML: Are you racing the other group? Where do you expect to cross paths with the other team?
Magee: It is not a race, thankfully – I don’t think I’m cutthroat enough for that. Ultimately, it’s two different pairs having their own unique experiences on the Trans Canada Trail. For instance, Adam and Melba (the other pair) were out on Vancouver Island mid-May and they had an awesome time, but I know that our own adventures out there when we arrive mid-September will be totally different.
I think that’s what this is really all about: showing Canadians that everyone’s experiences on the Trans Canada Trail is entirely their own. The setting is the same, but the stories and memories are unique.
Cedric: We expect to cross paths in Ontario, and hopefully we will be able to camp up together for a few days. Adam and Melba are a great couple, we got to spend a lot of time with them while we were training in Toronto. We’ll be really happy to see them halfway through this trip and share all of our stories and have a good time.
ML: If the other wasn’t able to join, who would you have entered the competition with?
Magee: I always said that if, for some reason, they picked me and not Cedric, I wouldn’t have done this. But at the same time, I like to think that I still would have applied, had I not known Cedric.
The challenge is finding someone you can put up with for five months. The hard part is that for most of the time, it is just you and the other person—there’s no group dynamic to bounce off. Honestly, I don’t know if I could do it with anyone else.
Cedric: I probably wouldn’t have entered at all, because it was Magee’s idea!
ML: What are you hoping to take away from this experience?
Magee: I want to try new activities that will challenge me. I want to connect with areas of my country that I’ve never seen. I want to meet interesting people along the way and inspire others to head outside. And I’m also taking away some pretty sweet Woods Canada gear with me – we get to keep it when we’re done!
Cedric: I’m hoping to take away a great knowledge of Canada. This is an experience that a lot of people would like to have, and I don’t take it for granted. Hopefully, I’m going to be able to remember the moments and cherish them, and learn more about Canada’s cultures and its landscapes. This is something I’ve always dreamed about doing.