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Our pioneering, warm, hospitable spirit is what we, as Canadians, are known for internationally (well right after hockey that is). It is this character that endears us to the world and makes us proud of where we come from. But are we the embodiment of these virtues on our own soil, or is this merely a hangover of days gone by? Is the image of the inviting, helpful Canadian, with a strong sense of community, no more than the modern equivalent of thinking the igloo is our standard style of housing? Or is our true character, the generous heart that Barb found, merely hidden by our brand name labels and the frenetic pace of our urban centers?

I believe that we are still the same generous warmhearted people at our core that Barb found on her journey over half a century ago. I believe this is the spirit of Canada and I am willing to bet my quality of life for the six months of my journey on this character. Kat and I will make it across this country with nothing but the bare necessities and the generosity and kindness of the Canadian spirit to get us there…And if I am proven wrong? If the cynics are right, that this vision of Canada is merely a fond memory of the past, well then it is going to be a lot of camping and nonperishable food items. If that’s the case, let’s hope that Kat proves to be a better conversationalist than the average horse. (I best be brushing up on my “nay” just incase!)

This journey is also about daring to do what is not done. Riding across Canada is something that “is not done”, and especially not by a lone woman. It is not done today and it certainly was not done in the 1940s when Barb made it to the Pacific. To me, this is exactly why it must be done. We will never grow and discover all that we never knew we did not know, unless we blaze our own trails and inspire others to be “ill-behaved” and dare to make history. Canadians throughout history have made such journeys and wrote the story of our country, though the details of these tales are rarely recalled these days. Barb was one, as was Agnes Dean Cameron who journeyed 10,000 miles from Chicago to the Artic Ocean in 1908 and wrote of her experiences in The New North. Another inspirational example is Mina Hubbard who spent two months mapping and exploring Labrador in 1905 and wrote of her exploits in her book A Woman’s Way Through Unknown Labrador. I want to not only tell our story as these women and many others have done before but experience our nation through the faces of our people and character of our landscape.

Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History is the story of one woman and her horse taking the path less traveled to meet the heart of Canada today, to see where we as Canadians have journeyed over the last six decades and who we have become.

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