‘Qash,’ or Keisuke Morimoto, stands by the tent he’s sharing with his friend Atsumu Namura on their cross-Canada journey. (Photo by John Boivin)

Japanese walkers approach Nelson on cross-Canada trek

The pair plan to walk to Nova Scotia

It’s a cold and wet November morning, with a misty rain threatening to turn to snow. Just west of Nelson, on the side of the highway, there’s an improbable sight: a blue two-person tent, pitched a few yards from the traffic roaring by.

I call out ‘Hello?’ and a moment or two later a short, a bearded Japanese man pops out of the tent.

“Hello,” he says back pleasantly, though it’s obvious my calling out had just woken him up. He introduces himself as “Qash.”

He doesn’t know me but I know him. “Qash,” or Keisuke Morimoto, 22, and Atsumu Namura, 26, are on an eight-month walking trek across Canada. They’ve been talked about on local social media, from Rock Creek to Rossland, for the last three weeks.

The men say they are heading to Nova Scotia, pushing their supply wheelbarrow the whole way.

On foot. In Canada. In winter.

You want to ask if they are crazy, but they really don’t know enough English to get that message across.

“It’s fun, and it’s a challenge,” says Morimoto, who says he’s a garbage man in Kyoto. He says they expect to reach their destination in about eight months.

But there’s a lot of kilometres to cover before they get there. Morimoto says they are ready for the weather. They plan to buy more equipment and clothing in Nelson, and they’ve been benefitting from the kindness of strangers.

“People have been all kind,” says Morimoto. There’s evidence of that before us this morning.

While the men slept, someone left a couple of coffees and two slices of banana bread outside their tent. Morimoto is happy and surprised. They just might make it after all.

 

The men are pushing their wheelbarrow across the continent. (Photo: Bobby McKnight)

Just Posted

What’s happening for Family Day in the Boundary

Activities in and around Grand Forks offer something for everyone.

Biologists discover another female calf in depleted South Purcell Mountain Caribou herd

Calf will be moved to Revelstoke maternity pens, then released

Petition on Second Street project presented to council

Over 1,000 signatures were gathered, but staff say council can’t do much about the project.

Man seriously hurt after police shooting near Nelson

Incident has been reported to provincial police watchdog

Mental health, BC Housing council’s picks for resolution issues

Grand Forks council aims to hold the province accountable to local government with draft resolutions

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

East Kootenay mine deaths prompt safety initiatives

Teck produces educational video, introduces new procedures after contractor drowns at Fording River

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

‘Violent’ B.C. man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

Prince George man with ties to Vernon sought by police

Most Read