Above the Rockies

July 29, 2017

A wildfire burns along the side of a mountain. At this point British Columbia has been dealing with the most destructive wildfire season in 60 years. It is still too early to know if 2017 will be the worst year for wildfires on record [link].

Waterton, Alberta

July 24, 2017

We were supposed to go north to Robson, but the forest fires were bad
enough that we would have had to worry about three days of smoke
inhalation, or worse: getting stuck at the top. Instead, we went south.
Wink called them “baby mountains”. We slept beside the berries along the
outer fence of Waterton Provincial Park, and hiked the 17.6 km of Crypt

South of Ucluelet, Vancouver Island

August 1, 2017

I was 15 minutes behind the bears for two weeks.

A mother grizzly and her two cubs had walked through our campsite shortly before we got there. They had slept about 50 yards from our tent, and I definitely walked past them during the night. A black bear had been napping on the beach just as we were getting ready to hike along the trail. I left Alberta feeling a little robbed of a bear encounter.

And then this bold young black bear walked right out of the woods in front of our car.

(Not featured is my sister and I both shouting “It’s a bear! Bear! Issa bear! Oh my god! Oh my god! Bear!”)

Crown Land outside of Kingston

June 10, 2017

We found a sweet little spot just off of an unmarked logging road. I will never be able to tell you exactly where we were. The mosquitos were the worst I’ve ever experienced, but we had settled near a small creek which was a breeding ground for dragonflies. We stood with our feet in the cold water (thankfully, as it was easily 30 degrees and humid as hell) while hundreds of dragonflies flitted around us, occasionally colliding with our legs. The next day we went searching for a new site and inevitably took a few wrong turns and had to backtrack.

After exploring an abandoned ranger camp we went to try and find a secluded lake that is only accessible through a trail that is definitely only meant for ATV’s. The truck got stuck on a rock about a third of the way into our drive, and was in danger of getting stuck again for a couple more kilometres until we pulled off the road. We were deep into the woods and well out of cell phone range. Even if we had been able to call for help, we wouldn’t have been able to accurately describe where we were, since to get here we had just turned onto a trail that seemed to be heading in the general direction of the lake. We walked maybe a kilometre through the mud until, finally, the path opened up to a large rock nestled in the side of a small lake. We swam and stayed on the warm rock for a while, until it was late enough that we knew we wouldn’t get back to the campsite before dark.

The Road to Hana

April 27, 2017

Jarod drove us along the Road to Hana. I sat in
the back of the car listening to a group of young French Canadians girls
laugh at a rude volume for such a small space. On this trip the other
Canadians and I found each other after I said the words “hard no”.


April 25, 2017

I found some other Canadians at the hostel who wanted to go to Haleakala for the sunset. I was so relieved because I wouldn’t have been able to rent a car or afford a tour. Five girls piled into a jeep and made our up up the volcano, navigating endless switchbacks. Eventually we drove through the clouds and reached the summit about an hour before sunset.

Obviously the three Canadians found the coldest place in Maui at 10,023 feet, but it felt so welcome. We spent some time walking around and taking photos before settling on the volcanic rocks to watch the sun set below the clouds. I was obsessed with the observatory that sits adjacent to the viewing area.

We left quickly, trying to get ahead of the asshole(s) who drove up the volcano in a brand new Mustang (which was a good idea since the same person tried to pull out of their parking spot into our car). As we made the slow way down the switchbacks in the dark, Tracy Chapman and the Eagles played on the radio.

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