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6 more weeks of winter? Tips for surviving Canada’s coldest months.

Well it’s official. Punxsutawney Phil has declared that we’re in for six more weeks of winter. For those of us living up north, that’s a daunting thought indeed.

They don’t call Canada the Great White North for nothing. If you’re new to this part of the world, you’ll soon learn that winter is both a foreboding and an exciting time. Many Canadians dread the bleak deep freeze that blows across most of the country but many others eagerly await those first few flakes that mark the beginning of ski, yurt, ice fishing and winter festival season. So how do you make sure you’re happily in the latter category and not grumpily in the former? By being prepared, of course.

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An introvert’s guide to peak season in the Canadian Rockies

I don’t like crowds. The crush of humanity in the hustle and bustle of a major city or crowded venue may have a certain appeal to some, but there’s a reason that I’m drawn to the vastness of the great outdoors. For that reason, among others, I’m a firm believer in shoulder season travel. My most recent trips to Iceland, Ecuador, Zion and Corsica were all during the relatively quiet months of spring and fall. Continue reading

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4 Things I learned Camping with Brits

I’ve been trying to think about why the loon’s call rings so familiar with me. I grew up on Vancouver Island, where these iconic Canadian birds rarely make an appearance. So why do I know them so well and why do the lake waters of Algonquin Park feel so familiar? Perhaps this haunting call and its ability to evoke an emotional appreciation for the deep Canadian outback has simply permeated the Canadian collective consciousness (probably through those damned 1990s “Heritage Minutes”). Continue reading

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Two Days in Newfoundland

I’ve always said that I was born on the wrong coast. I grew up in Victoria, BC – a beautiful place to be sure, but I was always long for the craggy landscapes, Celtic culture and melodic accents of Atlantic Canada. Well I finally got to let loose my inner Newfoundlander over the Canada Day Long weekend. Armed with two full days, a long list of things to discover, an absurdly expensive rental car, a 90s pop play list and my trusty Fuji; I was an unstoppable travel machine. Continue reading

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The Wave, Part 2 – The Hike

I felt like we spent the night before just waiting to die. We weren’t going to, of course, but our experience at the Bureau of Land Management and our foolish research into the horrific ways that wayward hikers had lost their lives trying to find the Wave made us a little paranoid. There was the woman that died of cardiac arrest while hiking on their 5th wedding anniversary. And who could forget the man that fell into a crevasse after getting lost after sundown.

“I felt like we were waiting to die”

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The Wave, Part 1 – The Lottery

The vast arid lands of Utah and Arizona are home to some for the most beautiful and otherworldly geological formations on the planet. The more famous examples, including Zion National Park or e Grand Canyon, are easily among the most iconic landmarks in North America. Its easy to assume that given the increasingly commercialized nature of these parks, you’d get lost among the throngs of inexperienced tourists and hot dog stands. Continue reading