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Atikokan paddler Mike Ranta ends 7-month solo journey

Mike Ranta is certain he has the world record for longest solo paddle in the bag.

Canoeist expects to break world record

A true water-dog, Mike Ranta's best friend Spitzi will celebrate the win with his owner. They plan on having a steak dinner together. (Mike Ranta)
Atikokan paddler Mike Ranta ends 7-month solo journey, and he's certain he has the world record for longest solo paddle in the bag. 7:51

Mike Ranta is certain he has the world record for longest solo paddle in the bag. 

"Oh I think I got 'er," Ranta said, as he approached the last leg of his journey earlier this week.

"The previous record was 3,200 kilometers, and as of probably Friday I will have gone 7,500. So I just didn't break it, I shattered it," said Ranta, who plans to make an official application to the Guinness Book of World Records. 
Mike Ranta was awarded the "Expedition of the Year" award from 'Canoe and Kayak' magazine this week for his solo, cross-country paddle. His dog Spitzi joined him on the adventure. (Mike Ranta)

Ranta and his canoe-loving canine companion, Spitzi, began their trip on the west coast at Vancouver in early spring.

What followed was a long and sometimes harrowing journey, but nothing could dampen Ranta's enthusiasm.

"It's been wonderful," he said.

Ranta had hoped to paddle all the way to Cape Breton Island, but in the end decided to call it a day on Halloween, near Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia.

"It's very windy and some rain's coming in - more storms - and I'm going to call it a close on October 31. I'm going to shut everything down and call it a successful trip."

'Dream it. Do it.' 

The goal of the trip, Ranta said, was to inspire young people in his hometown of Atikokan. He also wanted to raise money for the town's youth centre.

For months people in Atikokan have been closely watching his progress, and cheering him on. 

When he finally arrives back home, it won't be long before Ranta begins another ambitious project. He wants to work with young people in his community to build an eighty-foot, "world's largest paddle."

He's also already planning his next cross-country journey, for 2016.

Mike Ranta's home on the road. (Mike Ranta)


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