05/20/2015 11:34 EDT | Updated 05/20/2016 05:59 EDT

Family canoes through Saskatchewan en route to Montreal

A family paddling from Edmonton to Montreal in a canoe is finding new friendships along the way.

The 5,000-kilometre trip was originally going to be done in a car, but when the vehicle broke down the family was forced to get creative.

"How about we paddle home?" Benoit Gendreau-Berthiaume suggested to his partner Magali Moffat. She was game and so, along with their five-year-old son Mali Berthiaume, the family was outfitted for a river journey.

They plan to make the trip in about 120 days.

"Mother nature has been pretty nice with us," Moffat told CBC News as the family paddled through Prince Albert, Sask., Wednesday. "We had really nice weather, except for a small snowstorm the first few days."

Young Mali is also enjoying the trip.

"I can paddle whenever I want, but I don't really paddle," he said.

The modern voyageurs are getting lots of help from strangers along the way.

Debbie Roy has been following the family's adventures online and when they reached Prince Albert she offered to take them in for the night at her family's home at Emma Lake.

"It's been really exciting for us," Roy said. "It's something that I can't believe that they're doing, so I'm living their excitement through them."

The next planned stop is The Pas, Manitoba, where a local has promised to stock them with a box of food when they arrive.