Canoeing the Seal River - Kathleen and Michael Pitt

After discovering the beauty, grace, and adventure of canoeing in 1987, Michael and Kathleen devoted most of their free time to gaining paddling experience throughout southern British Columbia on a wide variety of rivers. Their first canoeing adventure in the Northwest Territories occurred in 1990, when they paddled three weeks and 565 km down the Nahanni River from the Moose Ponds to Blackstone Landing on the Liard River. In 1993 Michael and Kathleen spent 37 days, all alone in the Barren Grounds, paddling 950 km along the Thelon River to Baker Lake at the head of Chesterfield Inlet.

Kathleen and Michael returned to the North in 1995 to spend 4 weeks traveling 650 km down the Coppermine River from the site of historic Fort Enterprise to the Inuit community of Kugluktuk (formerly Coppermine) on the Arctic Coast. Two summers later Michael and Kathleen descended the Seal River in Northern Manitoba, where they spent 3 weeks paddling 300 km from Shethanei Lake to the western shore of Hudson Bay.

For their most memorable wilderness adventure, Kathleen and Michael spent the winter of 1999 living in a 1-room cabin north of the Arctic Circle, from where they paddled 4 weeks and 550 km down the Anderson River to Liverpool Bay on the Arctic Ocean. In 2001, Michael and Kathleen again journeyed to the Barren Grounds -- to the same location where they began their 1993 Thelon River trip. This time, though, they traveled east -- over the height of land -- and then down the Snowdrift River, along treeline, toward Great Slave Lake.

Grey Owls Cabin
In his professional life, Michael was employed at the University of British Columbia as Associate Dean and Professor of Grassland Ecology in the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences. Kathleen also served at UBC as Manager of Production Services in the Information Technology Deparment. Work, however, interfered unacceptably with their true passion for isolated, unpeopled landscapes. Kathleen said goodbye to commute traffic, deadlines, memos and office walls in 2000. Michael escaped 18 months later.

In 2008, Michael & Kathleen moved to 565 acres (228 ha) west of Preeceville, SK, where they enjoy walking along snowy, crunchy trails beneath crisp, blue skies and a golden Saskatchewan sun. As a part-time diversion, they also operate Meadows Edge Bed & Breakfast (

Kathleen and Michael have also written and published the following books (

Pitt, Kathleen and Michael Pitt. Three Seasons in the Wind: 950 Kilometres by Canoe down Northern Canada’s Thelon River. Second Edition. Hornby House Publications. 2000.

Pitt, Michael D. Beyond the End of the Road: A Winter of Contentment North of the Arctic Circle. Agio Publishing House. 2009.

Pitt, Michael D. Franklin, Oops, Mud & Cupcake: Canoeing the Coppermine, Seal, Anderson & Snowdrift Rivers in Northern Canada. 2014.