A trio of long boarders passed through Cranbrook on Thursday on their way to the coast as they’re riding the highway to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House in Calgary and Edmonton.
The three started in right at the Alberta border on July 6 and are on their way to riding across the 1,250 kilometres spanning British Columbia, without any support vehicles and relying on their survival instincts.
Consisting of father-son duo of Mike and Easton Hay and Easton’s friend, Kieth Green, the trio are hoping to have the adventure of a lifetime while raising money and awareness for a good cause.
“When he [Easton] was born, we spent six weeks at the Ronald McDonald house. Most of the time, five weeks in Calgary and a weekend in Edmonton,” said Hay. “…It was just such an amazing gift that was available to us, because we’re from Pincher Creek.
“I appreciated that so much and I spent my whole life wanting to give back…they did something for me, so I wanted to do something more in return.”
They can be found on their Facebook page ‘Journey of Dreams‘ where people can follow links to donate to the Ronald McDonald House.
The trio have been planning the trip for months, organizing the logistics and sorting out all the details needed as they don’t have a support vehicle following them.
“We’ve got big packs, tiny tents, our skateboards, water purifying pumps so we just fill our bottles out of the creek,” said Hay.
“…This is new to us, we’re not big adventurers, this is completely foreign, it’s as alien as you can imagine, but it’s been fantastic.”
They anticipated covering 100 kilometres a day, however, once they got started, they realized it would be about half of that.
“The shoulder of the road has been a mixed bag; some it’s nice to ride on, and others, it’s just brutal,” Hay said.
The boards have been donated from Land Yachtz, a company in Vancouver, and modified with disc brakes that were donated by Brakeboard, out of Australia.
Hay is relatively new to long boarding, after Easton prodded him to try it out. A year after stepping on a board, only inclement weather and the changing seasons can keep him off it.
He emphasizes that even the average, ordinary person has the capability to make an big impact if they have the desire.
They’ve also been getting positive feedback as they’ve made their way from the border to Cranbrook.
“What has been amazing is how many people we’ve come across that have had an experience with Ronald McDonald House,” Hay said. “It seems like everyone that I talk to had a niece that stayed there or their child or their sister or whatever.
It reaches deep into every community in Canada, truly.
“People see it as something in the cities because it’s only in the cities, yet they are not for the cities, they are for us people in small towns where we don’t have access to that medical service.”
Once they navigate the mountainous terrain of the B.C. Interior, they’ll head across the ferry to Vancouver Island and head to Ucluelet,to cap off their trip with some surfing.