For Dave Nordin (BSc’84), the journey of 600km has come to a successful conclusion.
Just after 11 a.m. on June 17, Nordin reached the entrance of the Geology building, which served as the finish line for his walk from Calgary to Saskatoon. Nordin’s walk, which began on May 20 from City Hall in Calgary, was a fundraiser for both the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the U of S’s Ore Gangue Bursary Fund. Nordin has been connected with the Ore Gangue Students’ Society for more than 35 years. The walk raised more than $17,000 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and more than $4,000 for the Ore Gangue Bursary Fund.
The finish line for the walk was especially symbolic for Nordin. “The Geology and Geophysics department is important to me. It was an obvious spot to end the walk,” he said. “I guess there could have been many other places in Saskatoon I could have chosen, but this spot on campus is the most meaningful for me.”
Nordin has fond memories of his involvement with the Ore Gangue Students’ Society and is passionate about giving back to its current students. ”I got into the Geology department and found a lot of like-minded people and the Ore Gangue became my community,” he said. “I became heavily involved in it. It was my social network. I served on the Board, and I was the President.”
Walking through the prairies at a pace of 30km gave Nordin lots of opportunity to engage in pursuits to pass the time. To break up the monotony of the trip, he memorized lines from popular Robert W. Service works such as The Cremation of Sam McGee and The Shooting of Dan McGrew.
While it was often a solitary quest, Nordin had company through portions of his adventure. Friends and family travelled from Calgary to meet him along the route for a round of golf on rest days. Additionally, his wife Tina joined him for the first couple weeks of the walk. While Dave walked, Tina would park 3km ahead of his starting point, pick up bottles and cans on the road for deposit, and donate the money from the refund to a local charity.
Aside from persistent blisters on his feet, Nordin’s physical condition held up well amidst the rigors of walking up to 30km a day through unpredictable weather conditions.
Nordin does not yet know where his next steps will take him, but is proud of his journey. “I definitely feel a sense of accomplishment,” he said. “It wasn’t climbing Everest. It wasn’t as physically demanding as that. But it feels good to set a goal like this and achieve it. I feel pretty blessed that people are paying attention.”