As children, our growing brains are fascinated by everything around us. For those of us lucky enough to grow up outside the urban sprawl, our childhoods are spent exploring the forest, rivers and lakes of our backyards. As we grow up, we slowly become accustomed to these experiences. The forested area doesn’t seem nearly as large and mysterious as it did when we were less than four feet tall. Going exploring doesn’t happen as often. Now other things, like the lights and sounds of the city, a family to care for, and bills to pay take up our time and thoughts.
People may have told us it is time to grow up and get a “real job,” so we give up on the idea of finding another world, put away our exploratory kit, and leave the wilderness of our backyard dreams. There are, however, those that still go out into the wilderness to find another world and some of these people make exploring the forest, rivers, and lakes their real job.
Two of these people are Sam Anthony and Tristan Schneider from Winnipeg, Manitoba.
At the ripe age of 19 years old, these two avid paddlers decided they didn’t want to give up on the search for adventure in the wilderness. Sam’s exploratory bug came from paddling with his parents since he could walk and trying to jump out of a canoe into the exciting and fascinating moving water.
Tristan paddled most of his life; becoming an elite level paddler racing all over the world until a back injury ended his career in racing. The two had been friends for years and discovered a mutual passion to start an outfitting business specializing in Manitoba-area paddling. Loving paddling and adventure, they thought this might be an opportunity for them to keep doing the things they love and make a living at it.
In 2016, taking a page out of Steve Jobs’ and Bill Gates’ book, Anthony and Schneider took a hiatus from university education and decided to start their own paddling company. They named it Twin River Travel (www.twinrivertravel.com) after the Assiniboine and Red rivers flowing through Winnipeg. Twin River Travel (TRT) has added trips each year they’ve been in business, along with new routes.
Starting simple with small two- and three-day canoe trips in Nopiming Provincial Park along the border of Ontario, the two young men have filled a niche that has sat empty for years. Only taking small groups and working together to build a successful business over the past two years, the guys started running the Manigotagan this past year and are now ready to tackle more intense trips such as the Bloodvein River. The hope is to eventually also run guided trips down the Seal River.
Currently, TRT’s website offers trips on three of Manitoba’s canoe tripping gems, including two nights on the easy-paddling Seagrim Lakes, three nights on the remote Bird River, and a beginner-friendly, five-day whitewater trip on the Manigotagan River. A trip on the famed Bloodvein River was the newest trip added for the 2019 season.
An inspiration to any adventurer wanting to turn to entrepreneur, Samuel and Tristan’s journey from competition paddlers to outfit owners is a success story showing what hard work, determination, and research can accomplish.
Adventure is all about facing the unknown. The unknown is what made us go wandering out into the forests in our backyards to find that other world. What bigger unknown is there than leaving the standard path and striking out to start your own business?
All in a day’s work on the Bloodvein River in Manitoba. | Main Photo: Dustin Silvey