Exploring British Columbia’s Salt Spring Island on e-bikes

It was two firsts for us: visiting Salt Spring Island and riding electronic bikes. After 20+ years of living in Vancouver, Mike and I finally made it to Salt Spring Island. We love exploring places via bicycle and have been curious about trying e-bikes. Hilly Salt Spring Island, off the southeast coast of Vancouver Island, is just the place to test them out. Bikes set on turbo boost, we cruised up those nasty hill and discovered Salt Spring Island’s charms, pain-free.

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Categories: Biking, British Columbia | Tags: , , , | 18 Comments

Hut-to-hut hiking in Wells Gray Provincial Park

There’s a real roof over my head, a cushy mattress to sleep on, hearty food, and I carry only a light-weight pack. Our 7-day hut-to-hut hike in British Columbia’s Wells Gray Provincial Park can’t be described as luxurious, but it’s a welcome upgrade from our usual backpacking trips. Under the guidance of Wells Gray Adventures, our group hiked through pristine alpine wilderness shaped by volcanoes and glaciers. At day’s end, we retreated to the rustic comfort of remote mountain huts.

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Categories: British Columbia, Hiking | Tags: , , | 45 Comments

The Rockwall Trail: Kootenay National Park, British Columbia

The Rockwall Trail is one of the premier backpacking trails in the Canadian Rockies. Located in British Columbia’s Kootenay National Park, adjacent to Banff National Park, the trail is named for the sheer limestone wall that is the hiker’s companion along much of the 55 km (34 mi) route. Three mountain passes with an elevation gain of 2600 m (8530 ft) and loss of 2250 m (7382 ft) test cardio and knee joints. But the dramatic scenery and gorgeous wildflowers are totally worth the effort. Our group had an outstanding time on this trail July 20-24.

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Categories: British Columbia, Hiking | Tags: , , , | 57 Comments

Toboggan Falls-Hargreaves Lake loop: Berg Lake day hike

In my previous post, I wrote about our Berg Lake backpacking trip in British Columbia’s Mount Robson Provincial Park. This post features the Toboggan Falls-Hargreaves Lake loop, a day hike from Berg Lake that packs a huge punch over just 6.3 km (4 mi) and a manageable 348 m (1142 ft) elevation gain. From waterfalls that look like enormous waterslides to glacial lakes, lush forest and top-drawer mountain panoramas, this loop has astonishing variety and beauty. It’s hikeable in two hours but we spent over four hours exploring and photo-taking. I had a smile on my face the whole time.

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Categories: British Columbia, Hiking | Tags: , , , | 65 Comments

Berg Lake Trail: Mount Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia

The Berg Lake Trail, in B.C.’s Mount Robson Provincial Park, showcases some of the best scenery in the Canadian Rockies. The 23 km / 14.3 mi backcountry route is a magnificent journey through deep valleys, along raging rivers, and past thundering waterfalls and glacier-studded peaks. Berg Lake, the star attraction, is a turquoise, glacier-fed lake that sits beneath towering Mount Robson. We just returned from our Berg Lake backpacking trip. There’s a lot of hype about this trail, but it exceeded our lofty expectations. What a way to celebrate the re-opening of travel in British Columbia!

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Categories: British Columbia, Hiking | Tags: , , , | 59 Comments

My favourite beaches from around the world

Some of my happiest memories from early childhood is when my parents announced we’d be spending the day at the beach. Mom would prepare thickly buttered salami on rye sandwiches; dad would pack up the Oldsmobile. Off we’d drive to Long Sault, a park along the St. Lawrence River near Cornwall, Ontario. The beach was no great shakes, but at the time I thought it was the best place in the world. While my taste in beaches has changed (some might call me a beach snob), I’m still delighted by a great day at the beach. Here are some of my favourite beaches.

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Categories: France, Indonesia, Maldives, Mexico, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, United States | Tags: , , | 64 Comments

Staying local: Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Park

As British Columbia’s travel restrictions remain in place, I continue to discover or rediscover local treasures. Last week’s excursion took me to Queen Elizabeth Park, a horticultural jewel in the middle of Vancouver. As I gazed over the resplendent spring gardens with views to the city skyline and snow-covered North Shore Mountains, I was shocked that I hadn’t been to Queen Elizabeth Park since we moved to Vancouver over 20 years ago.

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Categories: British Columbia | Tags: , , , | 30 Comments

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