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Monday, March 1, 2004

Great Lakes

An intrepid family of adventurers set out to explore, photograph and bring awareness to the swath of Canadian wilderness called the Heritage Coast

Great LakesAn intrepid family of adventurers set out to Husband and wife adventurers Gary and Joanie McGuffin spent the summer of 2002 paddling their canoe more than 1,800 miles along Canada's Great Lakes Heritage Coast—a stretch of coastline including Lake Superior, Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. Armed with high-tech photography equipment and low-tech transportation, Gary documented the remarkable flora, fauna and landscapes they encountered along the way. His photographs have now been published in a new book called Great Lakes Journey: Exploring the Heritage Coast.

While the book showcases the best of Gary's photography from the three-month expedition, it's more than the pleasant culmination of another McGuffin journey. Publishing is how the McGuffins get their message out to the masses—a message of concern for the natural world.

"We're asked to host television programs, radio, you name it," says Gary from their home on the North Shore of Lake Superior. "But books are what we like to do best because they're very personal. They're based on wilderness expeditions, and wilderness expedition is a very personal, long-term, lifetime commitment."

That lifelong commitment to the outdoors began when they were very young. Their parents were explorers who instilled in them a reverence for the wilderness. Now, Gary and Joanie work together to explore and protect the Canadian wilderness. They've even made it a way of life.

"Through the Lands for Life process," Gary explains, "the government of Ontario adopted the single largest initiative by any province in Canada to protect wild lands in the history of this nation. Three hundred seventy-eight new parks and protected areas were created as a result of this process, so it was a great win."



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