A group of enthusiastic history buffs duplicating the journey of famed explorer David Thompson floated into Edmonton yesterday on its way to Thunder Bay.

The adventurers, calling themselves the David Thompson Brigade, will canoe for 63 days for a distance of 3,600 kilometres. They’ll stop at more than 30 communities. The local welcome station was hosted by the Edmonton and District Historical Society.

Members dressed in 19th-century garb exchanged mock musket fire with the incoming canoes to replicate the experience of coming to shore two centuries ago.


“We wanted something that was a crossover between now and then,” said Lisa Maltby, president of the historical society, who was very taken by the experience.

“When I saw those canoes I got all weepy; it was very powerful.”

The journey began May 10 in Rocky Mountain House and will continue through Saskatchewan and Manitoba until it arrives in Thunder Bay, Ont., on July 12.

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