Escaping to Slocan Lake

Escaping to Slocan Lake

While we’re all stuck at home and unable to travel, I’m learning Spanish. This is my first post in that beautiful language. Wish me luck 🙂 Español enseguida…

After three months in “quarantine”, back home in Canada, I really want to travel. At a minimum, I want to go somewhere new, to explore undiscovered hidden gems, even if they’re in my own backyard. So, when Jim invited us to join him for a week on beautiful Slocan Lake, I was delighted.
Continue reading “Escaping to Slocan Lake”

2015 in 12 Photos

As 2015 draws to a close, I feel the need to look back and reflect upon the year. I’ve had some great adventures and lots of good memories.

January - Sea kayaking in Belize
January – sea kayaking and whitewater canoeing in Belize
February - learning jungle survival skills with two ex-military in Belize
February – learning jungle survival skills with two Guatemalan ex-military
March - Getting accredited as a PADI Scuba Rescue Diver in Honduras
March – getting accredited as a PADI Rescue Diver in Honduras
April - trekking in Nepal
April – trekking the Manaslu Circuit and barely surviving the earthquake in Nepal
May - walking across Scotland from coast to coast as part of the TGO Challenge
May – walking across Scotland from coast to coast as part of the TGO Challenge
June - Absorbing backcountry skills in Colorado
June – absorbing backcountry skills in Colorado
July - Hiking the famed West Coast Trail in unbelievably dry conditions
July – hiking the famed West Coast Trail in unbelievably dry conditions
August - Navigating crevasses and conquering alpine peaks in BC
August – navigating crevasses and conquering alpine peaks in BC
September - Canoeing peaceful lakes in Alberta
September – canoeing peaceful lakes in Alberta
October - volunteering with rescued puppies in Turks and Caicos
October – volunteering with rescued puppies in Turks and Caicos
November - Cycle touring through Sri Lanka
November – cycle touring through tea plantations and cloud forests in Sri Lanka
December - living like a local in Melbourne
December – celebrating my 7th and final continent in Australia!

Spectacular Maligne Lake – a canoeist’s dream

Spectacular Maligne Lake – a canoeist’s dream

After a wonderfully relaxing time paddling Alberta’s only canoe circuit in Lakeland Provincial Park, Sil and I decided to head to Jasper’s Maligne Lake for yet more canoeing. The two couldn’t be more different! Maligne Lake is a striking turquoise colour and it’s surrounded by spectacular snowy mountains. You paddle beneath lush avalanche slopes (where you might spot a bear if you’re lucky!) and relax around campfires as you watch the sunset illuminate glaciers high above.

Coronet Creek campground
Coronet Creek campground parking

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Lakeland Canoe Circuit

Lakeland Canoe Circuit

A year and a half ago I met travel writer Leigh McAdam at the rustic Shadow Lake Lodge near Banff. It was a cold and snowy February evening and we’d each chosen the lodge for a relaxing cross-country ski get-away. Leigh and I got to talking and it turned out we’d done a lot of the same adventures. It was great sharing stories of places we’d both been and I was excited about the book she was working on. Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures has now been released and it’s a treasure trove of fun ways to enjoy nature in Canada. One such trip that she’s recently featured on her blog is Alberta’s only canoe circuit. Last week Sil, Jim, Susan, and I made the drive up to Lakeland Provincial Park to paddle the 38-km route and we couldn’t have been happier with Leigh’s recommendation.

We picked up a canoe from Jamie at Lakeland Expeditions. Jamie was very helpful, meeting us in Lac La Biche the evening before we planned to start paddling with a canoe and all the gear. We spent the night car-camping at Touchwood Lake. It looks like the kind of campground that can get pretty busy at the height of summer but it was peaceful and offered great views on a late-August weekday.

Touchwood Lake
Touchwood Lake – storm clouds and forest fire smoke

The canoe circuit starts with a 3-km portage along a wide and gentle trail to Jackson Lake. Continue reading “Lakeland Canoe Circuit”

Belize Whitewater Jungle

Belize Whitewater Jungle

There’s a cool river wandering through the dense jungles of Belize. It’s call the Moho. And it has a personality disorder. One minute calm and serene, barely moving, the next it suddenly drops over and unseen cliff and erupts into chaotic white water.

Sil and I spent four days canoeing this gem of a river as part of the “Ultimate Adventure” tour with Island Expeditions, definitely the highlight of the trip.
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Bowron Lakes Canoe Circuit

Bowron Lakes Canoe Circuit

The Bowron Lakes Circuit is considered one of the best canoe trips in the world. Located in central BC, the circuit links 16 km of smooth portage trails with over 100 km of stunning lakes and wild rivers. The scenery ranges from calmly gliding through marshes to crossing big mountain-studded lakes to raging whitewater. Four of us, two in a canoe and two in kayaks, enjoyed a week paddling the circuit at the peak of summer and couldn’t have had better luck with beautiful weather and calm water.

Loading up the canoe
Loading up the canoe

We rented a canoe, the Helman Prospector, from Becker’s Lodge. Such a light canoe compared to the rentals we’d had before!
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