After hiking more than 13,000 kms across Canada Dana Miese had a chance to see something he hadn’t seen since he was a teenager, the house in Red Deer he lived in when his life was changed forever.
Speaking Thursday as he was approaching the pedestrian bridge, formerly the CP rail bridge, from the south Miese said he lived in a white house in what is now Riverside Meadows in the mid-1980s.
“The reason I’m doing this is my dad had a brain aneurysm when I was 12 years old in that old white house by the railway track that I’m about to see for the first time in a very long time,” said Miese, 39.
Miese’s father was in a coma for five years in an Edmonton hospital after suffering a brain aneurysm.
“This is the first time I’ll see the house that changed my life forever,” said Miese.
“It took my dad five years to learn how to walk again efficiently, but then he had a stroke and lost the ability to walk.
“My dad is my best friend, he’s awesome, nothing gets his spirits down. His favourite thing to do was for him and I to walk. So I told my dad ‘everyone talks the talk, I’m going to walk it and I’m going to walk enough for the both of us.’ Here I am 13,000 kms later.”
Starting on May 6, 2008, in Cape Spear, Newfoundland, he set out with a goal to cover 23,000 km on a solo hike across the Trans Canada Trail.
He has been to more than 800 cities and cities on his journey. He typically walks six months per year.
“In Manitoba, my family was brought over in a Red River boat, dropped off just south of Winnipeg,” said Miese.
“Now the old cart trail, into Winkler has been turned into the Trans Canada Trail. I walked through the town where they had to be registered and I walked to where they settled and to this maple tree where my great great grandparents were married.”
On Thursday he had walked more than 30 kms and said when he finished he will be happy to have set a record for a solo hike, something that will be next to impossible to take away from him.
Throughout his walk he has taken video, pictures and written some of his experiences down with plans to write a book and film a documentary. He hasn’t picked a publisher yet, but has drawn interest and is considering self-publishing.