Back in November of last year, I came up with a crazy idea. As Talk Energy Week 2015 was fast approaching (last week of Feb) I began to wonder what role I would play in the week. I wanted to do something fun and different that still had a link to energy in Canada. I looked into how Canadians use energy as well as the major energy sources, and then it dawned on me. I should go on some sort of energy diet! I should do some sort of a weeklong activity during which I would forego the energy that Canadians rely on to provide the essentials of modern day living. As the two most significant users of energy in Canada are transportation, and the heating and cooling of our homes, I decided that I would have to be moving and sleeping outside in order to forego both of these things. Why not take a walk? I figured walking for a cause would probably be a good way to raise some awareness and that’s how I came up with the idea of walking from Montreal to Ottawa during Talk Energy Week 2015. Now all I needed was the approval of the LTE team. I decided to throw in a couple of visits along the way to some energy related sites like the Carillon Hydroelectric dam and Beaus Brewery to see some ways we produce and consume energy.
Our bi-weekly team meeting came and I pitched the idea. The team laughed at first not because the idea was so ridiculous but because they thought I was kidding. Walking from Montreal to Ottawa and sleeping outdoors during February seems more madness than wisdom. Once I explained all of the logistics, they all came around to the idea. They did tell me though that this was my idea and no one would be forcing me!
Now that I had the support I needed, I decided to look into the logistics a little more closely. I estimated that I would need 5 and half days of walking. I would be ending at the Canada Aviation and space museum for their Talk Energy Week Speaker Series on the Friday of the week, which was perfect timing. I also would need a tent since I would be sleeping outside, as well as warm gear to be able to be comfortable on my journey I put all my equipment into a pack and discovered it weighed about 40 pounds. This would seriously slow me down, so I decided that I could live without some of my clothing. I mapped out my route and found four very interesting energy related sites the Carillon Hydro dam, the Beau’s Brewery, the Fairmont Montebello and the Thurso Cogeneration Facility would make great stops, and give me something to break up the monotony of walking. Doing the math and pouring over maps, I decided I would average about 30 to 35 km a day and would have a great experience under my belt. Or so I hoped… There was just one problem – with only a week to go, the long range forecast predicted unseasonably cold weather. With the coldest February on record for the last 150 years, I began to wonder what I had signed myself up for.