French man exploring Canada and U.S. on foot using three mules as pack animals

Emile Brager wanted to see Canada and the United States, so he thought what better way than to walk.

Emile Brager wanted to see Canada and the United States

Emile Brager is walking across some provinces and states to explore Canada and the United States. (Submitted by Jamie Baier)

When Emile Brager decided he was going to see Canada and the U.S., he settled on a less-common approach. 

The French man decided to buy three mules and walk across provinces and states. 

"I enjoy the landscape, and the wildlife, and I like to meet people," Brager said. "It is a good way to visit countries." 

Brager started his adventure in Idaho on July 1, 2019. He bought the three mules and travelled through Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota before coming into Canada at the Saskatchewan border. Now, Brager is staying with a rancher near the Saskatchewan-Alberta border.

"It is like a teenager dream, so work on your dreams and put them into reality," Brager said. 

Emile Brager said his mules are named 'Jojo,' 'Jack,' and 'Sully.' (Submitted by Jamie Baier)

His mules' names are Jojo, Jack and Sully.

Brager walks with his three mules along rural roads. He stays with people and buys feed for his mules from ranchers. Some people offer him beds in their homes, others offer him a spot in their barns. People usually understand quickly about Brager and his trip, he said. 

"Ninety-nine per cent of the people have a capacity to help, helpful and a smile. The Canadian hospitality is really, really something good," he said. 

The trip was going well until the Winter hit. Brager said he has proper winter attire, but does prefer to sleep inside.

"The problem is not the night, when you are in the sleeping bag it is OK. It is the morning when you have to get out of the sleeping bag," Brager said.

Emile Brager bought his mules in Idaho and started walking. (Submitted by Jamie Baier)

When it's too cold he stays in one place for a bit. Right now he's at a ranch helping a rancher feed the cows, he said. 

He plans to continue when the weather warms up enough for the mules. 

Tomorrow will be another day — so enjoy today and don't worry too much about tomorrow.- Emile Brager

Brager is six months into what he expects to be a two-year adventure. 

"I enjoy that every day. It is the warmness I meet in the landscape, in the wildlife and people," he said.

Brager writes and takes pictures every day. He said he isn't sure what he'll do with the material after. 

"Tomorrow will be another day — so enjoy today and don't worry too much about tomorrow. Just prepare it to keep safe and keep going."

With files from The Afternoon Edition and Fiona Odlum


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.