'America Extrema': Across a continent by paddle, pedal and foot

Florian Gomet is attempting to cross North America under his own steam. He's almost done it.

Florian Gomet biked out of Labrador last year, and is now paddling toward Alaska

Florian Gomet, 31, taking a rest in Ross River, Yukon earlier this month. He's now continuing his 'America Extrema' expedition down the Yukon River, toward Dawson City. (Nancy Thomson/CBC)

Florian Gomet, a French adventurer now making his way across North America using no motorized transport, says it's probably a good thing he's a strict vegan.

"I would be a very bad hunter because during two months in the mountains, I didn't see any caribou or moose," he said. 

'Just with the power of the life,' is how Florian Gomet describes his cross-continent journey, which began a year ago in Labrador. (

Gomet, fuelled only by a diet of fruits, seeds and grains, recently finished what may have been the most challenging part of his 12,000 kilometre, cross-continent expedition ("America Extrema," he's called it) — an exhausting slog from Norman Wells, N.W.T. to Ross River, Yukon via the Canol Trail. 

He did that on foot, setting off in March after a few months resting and "hibernating" in Norman Wells. It was tough and slow going as he hauled his sled through deep snow, softened by unusually warm spring weather. 

The early melt was a major headache and made him question the wisdom of his journey over Macmillan Pass.

"Everything was wet," he said. "it was really difficult to sleep in a wet sleeping bag. There was water everywhere.

"Sometimes I told to myself it was to escape Norman Wells after 6 months!"

Just body, no motors

Gomet started a year ago at Pointe Saint-Charles, at the Quebec-Labrador border, and hopes to reach Nome, Alaska, on the Bering Sea, later this year. He's now somewhere on the Yukon River, kayaking towards Dawson City. 

A map of Gomet's progress since setting off in April 2015. (

The first part of his journey, from Labrador into northern Ontario, was done on bike. The rest of the way has been by kayak or on foot.

"Just with my body, without any motors. Just with the power of the life," he said.

"For me — I don't why — but since I [was] a child, the snow, the mountains, it's a dream for me."  

With files from Nancy Thomson