‘Qash,’ or Keisuke Morimoto, stands by the tent he’s sharing with his friend Atsumu Namura on their cross-Canada journey. (Photo by John Boivin)

Japanese walkers approach Nelson on cross-Canada trek

The pair plan to walk to Nova Scotia

It’s a cold and wet November morning, with a misty rain threatening to turn to snow. Just west of Nelson, on the side of the highway, there’s an improbable sight: a blue two-person tent, pitched a few yards from the traffic roaring by.

I call out ‘Hello?’ and a moment or two later a short, a bearded Japanese man pops out of the tent.

“Hello,” he says back pleasantly, though it’s obvious my calling out had just woken him up. He introduces himself as “Qash.”

He doesn’t know me but I know him. “Qash,” or Keisuke Morimoto, 22, and Atsumu Namura, 26, are on an eight-month walking trek across Canada. They’ve been talked about on local social media, from Rock Creek to Rossland, for the last three weeks.

The men say they are heading to Nova Scotia, pushing their supply wheelbarrow the whole way.

On foot. In Canada. In winter.

You want to ask if they are crazy, but they really don’t know enough English to get that message across.

“It’s fun, and it’s a challenge,” says Morimoto, who says he’s a garbage man in Kyoto. He says they expect to reach their destination in about eight months.

But there’s a lot of kilometres to cover before they get there. Morimoto says they are ready for the weather. They plan to buy more equipment and clothing in Nelson, and they’ve been benefitting from the kindness of strangers.

“People have been all kind,” says Morimoto. There’s evidence of that before us this morning.

While the men slept, someone left a couple of coffees and two slices of banana bread outside their tent. Morimoto is happy and surprised. They just might make it after all.

 

The men are pushing their wheelbarrow across the continent. (Photo: Bobby McKnight)

Just Posted

Kaslo bus fueled by vegetable oil to begin service next month

Mountain Man Mike’s will run routes to Vancouver and eventually Edmonton

Grand Forks woman lays wreath at grave of local soldier buried in England

Cpl. Alfred Gyde Heaven lied about his age to enlist in the Canadian army in 1916

Grand Forks fire chief on paid leave amid bullying, harassment allegations

Fire Chief Dale Heriot on leave until investigations concluded

The quirks and perks of living in England

From Grand Forks to Great Britain: Kalyeena Makortoff on becoming a U.K. permanent resident.

One year later, I know we’ll be okay

‘Collectively, we can’t afford to be complacent, nor can we afford for our leaders to be.’

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

ICBC urging drivers to slow down this May long weekend

Speed is number one cause of car crash fatalities: ICBC

Bucks hammer Raptors 125-103 to take 2-0 playoff series lead

Toronto heads home in a hole after second loss to Milwaukee

Most Read