The Author

After 31 years of continuous employment in the horse racing industry – the last 14 years as a television commentator at Woodbine and Mohawk Racetracks – Mike traded a comfortable life in Toronto for a backpack and the open road.

On July 1, 2014 he boarded a train in Toronto and set out for Winnipeg, Manitoba and points west.  After 108 Saturdays and stops in 31 countries, he had managed to circumnavigate the world – much of it over land (truck, bus, train, etc.) and over 1000 km by foot!

After catching up with friends and family over the summer, Mike attended Burning Man in Nevada and The World Wide College of Auctioneering in Colorado before heading off to India and Europe for the winter of 2016/17.

On March 23, 2017 Mike accepted a new position with his former employer, Woodbine Entertainment Group. Starting with the opening of Mohawk Racetrack on April 13, Mike will author the Mohawk Journal. This position is similar to one he held in the 1990s and as it does NOT involve on-air appearances, it will allow Mike to travel and earn an income. Income is good.

Mike plans to spend the summer of 2017 in Toronto, however.  Watch the blog for updates on his “new” life, reflections on his 1000-day journey, and plans for future travel.

33 Responses to “ The Author”

  1. Karen Hauver

    Mike: I am so excited for you. What an adventure. You better keep us posted once you get on your way.

    Reply
  2. Duane Marfisi

    Mike, if you hit Christchurch on your travels, be sure to look us up, a fine dinner and wine awaits your arrival. Cheers and happy travels! Dewey

    Reply
  3. Ronald Legault Ottawa

    As a long time harness fan, including,BlueBonnets, Greenwood, Connaught Park,
    and now Woodbine and Mohawk for forty years , good luck on your travel.

    I was an employee of Foreign Affairs for 35 years.

    My area of focus was on South America. (Yo hablo espanol)

    I want to give you a couple of tips:

    Lake Titicaca, One of the highest lakes in the world.

    Short Barrell Chested Men and Women, as they have adapted to lower levels of oxygen.

    Patagonia, Argentina,

    Tall women, looking like fashion models, Red wine from Mendoza.

    Do not eat any more beef this summer, because the beef in Argentina is world class

    The secret Cdn Bull Semem, to assist in the herd development.

    Buen suerte ( Good luck)

    Reply
    • 100Saturdays

      Ron, I think I can go a few days without beef but I don’t know about the summer. I’m really looking forward to the beef and red wine and hoping the altitude isn’t a problem. I’m not exactly ‘barrel chested’ but I’m working on it! 🙂

      Reply
  4. mike magnus

    Mike good luck on your dream trip it will be amazing please post lots of pictures wish I could do the same but not in my cards good luck good health go get the world Mike its a I in a billion trip thanks for talking me into betting and talking me out of bets your knowledge of horses is amazing

    Reply
    • 100Saturdays

      Thanks for the kind words, Mike. I’m sure your racetrack profit margins will skyrocket once I’m out of the way. 🙂

      Reply
  5. David Haney

    Hey Mike, If by any chance you have a connecting flight through Panama”s Tocumen Airport on your way to South America, feel free to make plans to stay a night or two at our mountain home in Los Altos de Cerro Azul, Its only 35 minutes from the airport. Enjoy a panoramic view of Panama City, from high in the mountains of Panama. Accommodation is “on the house” for standardbred loving backpackers.

    Reply
    • 100Saturdays

      Hi David, Nice to hear from you after MANY years. It might even be 35 years as I remember talking to you at Barrie Raceway around 1979 or 80. I think we might have been drinking beer in Lloyd Goodale’s barn. You had what at the time was a very nice pacing mare. Am I imagining that? Anyway, I doubt that I’ll be in Panama as my flight from LAX > Atlanta > Lima is booked and paid for. But thanks for your very generous offer and if I make it back that way on “the second time around”, I’ll definitely look you up.

      Reply
  6. David Haney

    Wow Mike, you have a great memory! That mare was actually a $500 purchase and a gelding named Panjandrum who kept food on the table for a kid that didn’t have a “pot to piss in”. There is seldom regrets when we act upon our dreams. I am happy to hear you are “going for it” Have a fantastic adventure! Safe travels. PS. The Panama offer is ALWAYS open.

    Reply
  7. Ronald Legault

    If you are going to Lima,

    Try the Pisco Sour and the BBQ Chicken

    Do not forget to purchase an Alpaca sweater

    Ask for Grande Size.

    Ron

    Resident of Lima 1981 to 1984

    Reply
  8. 100Saturdays

    Yes, Panjandrum is the horse I was thinking about, but I had convinced myself she was a mare. If I hadn’t already booked a cheap flight from LA to Lima, I would consider doing some or all of it overland and spending some time in Panama. Thanks for the very kind offer though.

    Reply
  9. Gene Sokol

    Greetings Mike, So happy for you. Enjoy, enjoy enjoy. Will be following your wonderful adventure along with Danielle, Chantelle, Bethany and Debbie. I am now retired and living in Peterborough On. You are doing it right Mike…
    Stay happy, healthy and safe on your travels…..Hope to see you in two years in Peterborough…..Gene Sokol…

    Reply
    • 100Saturdays

      So glad that you found the blog Gene. I haven’t posted much in the past two weeks but will get caught up to some extent over the next few days and then try to post every few days after that. Keep in touch!

      Reply
  10. Heather Williams

    HowD Mike,

    WOW!! Four Saturdays in the books already!! I wish I was paying attention when you went through Winnipeg, it would have been nice to meet up with you and get your autograph. I am so envious of your journey because I so much lack adventure. I do appreciate,admire and love adventurous,artistic,talented people like yourself. All the best in your future endeavors. I look forward to browsing your photo gallery. Safe,happy and healthy travels. * Know your limits! LOL

    Heather

    Reply
      • 100Saturdays

        Hi Heather,

        I’ll be with friends in Sydney, Australia. I’ve previously travelled to warmer places just after Christmas but this will be my first Christmas Day outside Canada. The long-range forecast is for high 30s in Sydney.

  11. Marilyn West

    Hi Mike: Enjoyed the details of your visit to Vancouver Island especially since we are visiting my son and family just down the road from Arbutus Ridge. We have watched the tranformation of the Kinsol Trestle since we first saw it in 2001. We related to everything that you recorded in your visit. Will follow you as you enjoy your travels. Marilyn West & Mike Hesse, WEG Mutuels.

    Reply
    • 100Saturdays

      Hi Marilyn,

      Glad to hear that you’re taking this trip with me. I absolutely love the Island and can see myself living there some day. Maybe not for a few years, but some day!

      Reply
  12. Gene Sokol

    Have been following you on your blog as well as facebook, I feel like I am travelling along with you. I see a new career for you in the near future. Have a Merry Christmas down under Mike…and wishing you many many miles of happy, safe and exiting travels for 2015..have a Happy New Year…Gene Sokol

    Reply
  13. 100Saturdays

    Great to hear from you, Gene. Glad the adventure is going as well for you as it is for me. I won’t be back in Ontario until fall of 2016 but we really should catch up when I’m back. Thanks for the nice note! – Mike

    Reply
  14. Ronald Legault

    Enjoy Sydney
    My daughter lives in Darwin
    Mc Wicked. Coleman trained won the Breeders Crown

    I lived in South America for eight years with snow free Noel!

    Reply
    • 100Saturdays

      Hi Ron,

      I think I could get used to a snow free Noel. It’s different, but I’ll cope. I should be in Darwin in March as I head north to Jakarta and Singapore. – Mike

      Reply
  15. Dolly Chua

    Hi Mike, glad to have you join our Mothers’ Day Family Dinner SINGAPORE style. Hope you enjoyed the chilli crabs and not forgetting the raw cockles and braised pig’s large intestines ! We enjoyed listening to your stories of your fantastic trip. We look forward to having you double back with Al and KIaren so we can host you at home for a glimpse of how the locals live in the best place on earth to live in ! Wishing you safe journey as you head for Beijing and beyond. God bless. Dolly Chua

    Reply
    • 100Saturdays

      Thank YOU so much Dolly and Patrick. It was a great evening and without a doubt the best mr meal I’ve had in 10 months. The fish. Large intestine and cockles were great, the chilli crab even better, but I think the beef rib was the best. Maybe it’s just been sooo long since I had anything similar. Anyway, thanks so much for your generosity. I will make a serious attempt to return next winter when I’m back in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. I need to get to KL too.

      Bye for now,
      Mike

      Reply
  16. Michael Percy

    I guess you be writing a book when your done it sounds great . Any chance you coming back to Mohawk and woodbine.?

    Reply
    • 100Saturdays

      Hi Mike,
      It has indeed been great so far and some interesting countries still to come. I’m definitely not writing a book — they’re pretty hard to sell these days — and I have no plans to return to racing either. I’m not sure what I’ll do but there’s still another year to work on that.

      Reply
  17. Randy Renter

    Hi Mike — I see you’re now back to India, and the Hotel Metropolis in fact — my favorites for sure!! We (I, wife Denise, and daughter Katherine) shared the camino with you at Cee and Finisterre in May or June 2016. I just wanted to tell you that I’ve booked a few weeks with Dragoman from Chenai to Kathmandu after hearing your stories of your experiences. Starting in February. I’m pretty pumped!

    I’ve been stalking your blog off and on — very, very cool. Didn’t I see photos of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona?? But the timing doesn’t line up right. I was there 20 years ago for that world-class party — 7 bullfights in 7 days!!

    Reply
    • 100Saturdays

      Hi Randy,
      Great to hear from you, and even better to learn you’re going to spend dime time with Dragoman. I also booked a short trip with them not 12 hours ago! What a coincidence. I have decided to head north before I head south (taking advantage of the weather) and will do drsgoman’s “Nepal Loop” from Dec 10-22. I will then make my own way from Kathmandu to Kolkata for New Years Eve and on to Chennai around mid-January. I might miss you buy a couple of weeks but it will be close. I’ll definitely keep in touch though. You can also contact me by email if you wish: mike_hamilton@mac.com .

      Reply
  18. Angela Stover Johnson

    OMG! hello cousin, I can’t thank you enough for posting this. I am also a descendant of Christian Stauffer, and had also wondered if the farm still existed. I had found one description of the farm from the time when they were forced to give it up and leave. At that time the farm was famous for “it’s nearly 300 year old barn.” Another source said the Stauffers had run a distillery at the farm. They probably made cheese too.

    Reply
    • 100Saturdays

      Hi cuz! That was a pretty special day. I relive it in my mind often and at some point I’ll return to the area and do more research. I didn’t have time to check any municipal archives when I was in Switzerland but I’m sure there are lots of interesting things just waiting to be viewed.

      Reply

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