Sean Rogders (left) receives a camera from Shoppers Drug Mart manager Colin Scott for his walk from Vernon to Haida Gwaii.

Sean Rogders (left) receives a camera from Shoppers Drug Mart manager Colin Scott for his walk from Vernon to Haida Gwaii.

Local walks for future generations

54-year-old semi-retired Vernon man plans to walk 1,800 kilometres from Vernon to Haida Gwai

Sean Rogders is going for a walk.

A rather long walk.

The 54-year-old semi-retired Vernon man plans to walk 1,800 kilometres from Vernon to Haida Gwaii (with 1,200 kms in ferry trips in between) to raise awareness to issues society faces every day.

He leaves – no joke – on April 1.

“I’m going to be facing everything from starvation to lack of water for days on end as I won’t be packing enough food to make it from town to town,” said Rogders, who works at Fairweather Bingo and volunteers with a number of community groups.

Rogders plans to walk 25 kilometres a day starting from Vernon, heading to Kelowna, then to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal for a jaunt over to Nanaimo.

A native of Vancouver Island, Rogders will then walk up the Island to Port Hardy to catch ferries to Prince Rupert, then to Haida Gwaii.

Once in Haida Gwaii, Rogders will spend nearly three months cleaning up the western shore line before walking home to Vernon.

His goal is to be home around Aug. 24.

Of course, the natural question to Rogders is why? Why take this on?

Well, Rogders, who does not have any children of his own, views the world as his family. And he’s concerned for children and the children’s children.

“I feel very strongly if we don’t step up to the plate very soon and do something to drastically change the way we’re behaving toward our environment, we’re going to find ourselves in a position where it’s too late to do something about it,” he said.

“That’s not a world I want to see left for us and our offspring.”

Rogders cited regions in Africa where he says more than 40 million people have been forced to migrate from their homelands in search of other places to grow food, find fresh water and to farm and eat.

The route he has chosen for his journey will offer plenty of exposure.

“Haida Gwaii represents a spiritual sort of place,” said Rogders. “It’s at the edge of the world, and it’s one of those places when environmental change does come, it noticeably shows up there first.”

Rogders is hoping for some help and support as he prepares for his journey, which he’ll document on his website, www.walkingfar.com. Colin Scott of Shoppers Drug Mart has donated a camera for Rogders to record photos to post.

He is looking for a backpack, sleeping bag and cash donations to help for the most expensive part, the ferry trips, which he estimates will cost around $600.

Donations can be made by e-mailing Rogders at brahminmonk@gmail.com, or by calling him at 778-930-1049.

More information about the trip can be found on Rogders’ website.