"When you’re driving on a four-lane highway you never see this."
Ken Bouchard’s father was killed in a plane crash when Ken was three years old, leaving his American-born mother Ruth Agnes MacDonald, to raise him on her own. Stints at summer camp and frequent trips to the Gatineau River Valley instilled in him a lifelong love of the outdoors rivalled only by his passion for history. After taking his retirement from Tourism Canada, Ken set out to navigate Canada’s historic waterways.
In 2008, Ken and a group of friends journeyed from Ottawa to Quebec City in a 17-foot long rowing skiff to join celebrations marking the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s founding of the French colony. The 12-day voyage aboard the Ruth Agnes B. followed the Ottawa and St. Lawrence rivers, past Montreal, through the Lachine Rapids, across Lac St. Pierre and finally, into the harbour of the Old City.
Out in a small boat propelling yourself through such a magnificent current, Ken says you get a “totally different” feel for the St. Lawrence Valley. He’s planning to row to Kingston, Ontario in the summer of 2013 to mark the 200th anniversary of the building of the navy shipyards there.