Every morning, he wakes up, laces his shoes and starts to walk.
Ryan Steer has been on the road for a week on his long walk from Vancouver to Newfoundland, and finally back to his hometown of Brantford, Ont.
The phone cuts in an out as Steer dials in from a payphone in Salmon Arm July 11. Every few seconds, the robotic payphone woman interrupts to ask for change to continue the call.
“A lot of it was just soul searching,” Steer says of his walk across the country. “It’s been going pretty good. I’ve met a lot of cool people along the way.”
Armed with nothing more than two knives and camping gear, Steer will stop in a new town for a few days to work an odd job for food and money before hitting the pavement again. He was in Vernon July 9.
“It’s been a little grueling,” Steer says through the static-filled phone line. “The weather has been pretty difficult.”
As Steer makes his way through the Interior, B.C. is in a state of emergency with wildfires raging across the province, causing a thick blanket of smoke to settles in the Okanagan, Cariboo, Thompson, Shuswap, Similkameen, Fraser Canyon and Nicola regional districts.
To cope with the poor conditions and distant travels, Steer is forced to utilize other means of transportation at various points on his journey.
“I’m hitchhiking part of the way,” he says. “It would be impossible to walk the whole time.”
But his ambitions are high, and he’s looking forward to reaching the Rocky Mountains.
“I’m going to try to hike the Icefields Parkway from Jasper to Banff,” he says confidently.
While he makes his way across the country, Steer is filing photos to his friends Adam Norman and Nicole Da Silva who are independent filmmakers in Ontario. When all is said and done, Steer hopes to turn his adventure into a documentary to inspire people to connect with nature.
“Anyone can do this,” Steer says. “I’m by no means a special character.”
For updates on Steer’s progress, visit www.stanleycola.com.