Dana Meise began hiking nearly 6 years ago with the goal in mind to hike solo across Canada via the Trans Canada Trail. This is no easy feat as the trail a stretches a span of approximately 23,000 kilometers. To date Dana has hiked a whopping 16,000 km over approximately 1,000 days, where some days he has hiked nearly 70 km. With no benefactors or charities involved, this hike is simply an opportunity for Dana to explore, adventure, and experience all that Canada has to offer through the Trans Canada Trail.
We met up with Dana as he hiked the section of the Trans Canada Trail that connects through Westhills. Battling a bit of fatigue from his most recent 7 month hiking stint, he spoke about this journey which started in Newfoundland and has brought him to Vancouver Island and more recently the Westshore. He spoke with such passion about the history, community and beauty that the Trans Canada Trail encompasses. He made mention to portions of the trail that were once used by the First Nations people thousands of years ago. It’s amazing to think that something that was an important transportation route so many years ago has been preserved and can still be experienced to today. The Trans Canada Trail displays a unique preservation of the Canadian history with landmarks, the connection of amazing cities and people along the way.
His eyes lit up when he spoke about the beauty of his mission, as many of the things he experienced only those that have walked the trail would understand. From beautifully forested trails to spectacular Albertan mountain ranges to vast British Columbian ocean landscapes, Dana has seen a lot of what Canada has to offer.
Dana also distinguished the community aspect of his journey and all the people he has met along the way. He has come across thousands of people on his hike from all walks of life and from many different cities in Canada and all over the world. Although the scenery may change, the Trans Canada Trail holds true and acts as the rope that ties all these different communities and people across Canada together.
Even though some nights have been treacherous, thinking about Dana’s story of the time he slept outside in negative twenty degree weather, the experiences of history, beauty and community are things he will never forget. These same experiences are at our fingertips. With the Trans Canada Trail and the Galloping Goose literally in our backyard at Westhills, we encourage all of you to get out and use these amazing features to your benefit. Meet your neighbours and enjoy the history, beauty and community that Dana spoke about