'I have to find my limit': Sask. adventure vlogger zigzags through Australian wilderness
PRINCE ALBERT -- On Feb. 1, adventure filmmaker Layton Keddy set out to cross a mountainous region of the Australian wilderness along the Bicentennial National Trail between Marysville and Omeo.
“It’s roughly 350 kilometers, but it zigzags all the way through like a horse trail, and they said it’s by far the most difficult stretch when crossing the continent of Australia, and it just absolutely intrigued me and I wanted to try it out,” said Keddy, 32.
When he didn’t answer any of his messages or social media, and his phone was off, a friend reported him missing to Australian police.
“There were people looking for me unnecessarily,” said Keddy.
He could only take on the trip what he could carry on his bike.
Once reported missing, Keddy’s parents back in Prince Albert didn’t really know what to think, said Betty Keddy.
She trusted that her son was okay because he had done long bike trips before, but the missing person report was still worrisome.
Betty also said he posted on Facebook: “I won’t say goodbye because I know I can do it, but I’m warning you now that I will be gone for a while. I have to find my limit.”
Ten days into the trip, Keddy went more than 100 kilometres out of his way to charge the batteries for his camera gear. That’s when he learned from police in Woods Point that he was the subject of a missing person report.
“I still had weeks to go, in my opinion, before I wanted to be in cell signal. I wanted to be away and the only reason I saw the police officers is because my cameras had run out of batteries and I wanted to go and charge them,” said Keddy.
He said he turned on his cell phone and had hundreds of messages from people worried about him.
He called his parents and to clear up the matter. Then, he loaded up his gear and went back out on the trail to finish his bike trip alone.
He said he was having the “adventure of a lifetime” and wasn’t afraid of the long days cycling across difficult terrain.
“There’s absolutely nothing like it. It was the best time of my life,” he said.
Keddy has been doing extreme adventure trips into the wilderness in different countries for about eight years. He documents his trips on his YouTube channel called ‘My Travel Forever Machine’ and on social media.
Keddy said the trip inspired him to get more involved in travel journaling. He plans to cross every continent by bike and document his journey.
“I realized that there’s a message inside me and it doesn’t come out in words, and for whatever reason it comes in the form of me taking photos and writing stories.”
Keddy said he hopes to inspire others to go on adventures.
“I know 100 per cent that I’m going to continue going around the world and continue filming and making videos,” he said.
“For me, I’m just shooting for the sky now.”
After eight years of Layton going on extreme adventures, Betty Keddy says she’s learned not to worry and trust that he’ll be okay.
“I’ve learned to be happy for him, that he’s really doing what he wants to do. And every parent, all they want for their children is for them to do something that makes them happy and to follow their passion – and that’s exactly what he’s doing,” she said.
“It doesn’t mean that I don’t worry about where he is or if I haven’t heard from him in a few weeks,” added Betty.
“You have to let it go, just be happy that they’re following their passion.”