The Storm

The Storm

Like many university students finishing school, the excitement of graduating was matched only by the freedom that came with it. I had always told myself that I would take time to travel after I finished school. So as soon as my exams were done, I booked myself a one-way ticket to Shanghai. There was no real plan, other than I had to get to Nepal and see the Himalayas at some point.

After a few months of bumming around South East Asia, I finally made my way to Nepal in January of 2012. Despite arriving in the country alone, I was determined that I was going to walk the complete Annapurna Circuit...

Forest Under the Stars

Forest Under the Stars

It had taken months of studying dark sky maps, searching for trails, and following weather conditions. All in the hopes of finally breaking free of the urban light pollution and seeing the dark night sky by nothing but the light of billions of stars. Many previous plans and attempts had been trumped by overcast skies. However, on this night, the conditions lined up in my favour.

It was a Friday afternoon when my friend and fellow adventurer Justin and I made the decision to take advantage of the night...

Finding Myself Again

Finding Myself Again

My bike wasn't too happy when I took it out for the first time this year. It had lots of kinks to work out after an idle winter. My pack wasn't too happy either, as I splattered mud on just about every inch of everything. My body can't be left off this list. My shoulders felt the weight of my body leaning against the handle bars. My lungs felt the burn of cold spring air.  My legs were screaming bloody murder and my creaky hips knew that they were moving...

Getting up

Getting up

I am far from an adrenalin junky. Yet diving a 15 square metre kite into the power zone of the wind and being lifted like a leaf is a rush I can't resist. I’d tried kiteboarding before on a previous vacation but never managed to get up on the board. I felt that I had to get up on the board this trip or I would have to abandon this dream...

In Over My Head

In Over My Head

Have you ever found yourself excited for an upcoming trip and at the same time completely ignorant of what you would actually be facing?  This is the situation I found myself in when I signed up for a trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in 2013. 

In 2012, a group of friends had placed their names in the lottery for a permit to raft through Grand Canyon National Park...

Diving in Belize

Diving in Belize

My ears had never heard such a wonderful sound.

I had just plunged into the warm tropical waters off the coast of Belize and I could hear it, the clicks and whistles of a pod of dolphins.

The dive boat had stopped for lunch after a morning of scuba diving and everyone was taking a minute to rest and recuperate. On the other hand, I was eager to get back into the water and ate as quickly as I could. I knew that there was snorkeling in the shallows where the boat was anchored and couldn't risk ...
 

A Peterborough Birder in Panama

A Peterborough Birder in Panama

We heard the quetzals before we saw them. Their resonant, yelping call notes emanated from high in the ancient trees bordering the trail. At first, I only got frustrating glimpses of the birds' iridescent green back and throat as the small flock fed on wild avocados in the thick foliage. My guide, Jason Lara, then drew my attention to a male that had hopped up onto a branch in full view. I could barely contain my excitement. The helmet-like crest, bright red belly and ridiculously long upper tail coverts sparkled in the dappled light. Seconds later, when the quetzal flew off, the coverts trailed behind the bird like the train of a wedding dress. I immediately understood why this species rates among the most beautiful in the world.  

Passing on my passion

Passing on my passion

My legs were locking up and I was beginning to regret the extra food and drink that I had packed prior to leaving Edmonton. My daughter, nearly one-year-old, sat clinging to her pack, her head drooping with fatigue. The three hours in the pack were starting to wear on her senses and the energetic noises and movements that filled the first couple hours were starting to wane.  My wife was keeping a positive outlook and provided the motivation I needed to push every step forward. My brother and sister-in-law were not far behind and had jumped onto my hair-brained idea to head into the mountains without much hesitation. Most people thought we were crazy for booking an alpine cabin for a vacation with our toddler. But her name is Sierra - to me, nothing felt more right.