I can’t believe 2014 is almost over. It’s a relief in many ways as it certainly felt like my busiest year ever. As much as I love traveling, it’s incredibly hard to travel, keep a blog going, write a book and try to find a balance with family and friends. I know my family is as happy as I am that my book is finished (and available for sale on my website).
I’m looking forward to 2015. I’ve got enough trips planned to keep my restless soul happy, some work that actually pays and a big garden project to satisfy my creative side.
Here’s a chronological look at HikeBikeTravel’s highlights of 2014 in pictures.
The year started with a short trip to Montreal. I spent most of my time discovering how easy and fun it is to be active outdoors in Montreal even in the depths of winter.
Columbia Valley, British Columbia
The Columbia Valley is only three hours from Calgary yet other than cross-country skiing at Panorama Mountain for a few hours, I’d never explored the place. John and I both loved skiing the Whiteway. Next time, we’ll skate it, as it’s Canada’s longest skating rink with close to 30 kilometres of maintained ice.
I booked a two night stay at Shadow Lake Lodge in Banff National Park, about eight months in advance so I could get a cabin for Family Day weekend. The lodge is only accessible in winter via skis or snowshoes; the area around it is also fantastic for exploring on skis.
Algonquin Park is delight in winter. John and I had one of our best days of cross-country skiing ever.
Superb cross-country skiing, this time at Mont Ste. Anne just outside of Quebec City, was definitely a highlight of the month.
Even though it was a short trip, I managed to spend two days in Dresden after a Social Media Travel Conference in Leipzig, Germany. Loved the city, loved the cycling and would happily go back. Speeding in a Porsche while in Leipzig was also a thrill.
Over the May long weekend, John and I drove to Meadow Lake Provincial Park in central Saskatchewan and hiked several sections of the Boreal Trail over three days. It turned out to be a great time to go as there wasn’t a bug around. The highlight of the trip happened on the drive home. Shortly after leaving the park, an owl flew eye to eye alongside our car for some distance. What an experience and such a thrill!
The latter half of June was spent in Newfoundland. Not only did the weather cooperate, every experience from hiking the East Coast Trail to kayaking with icebergs was first rate. It’s hard to pick a highlight with so many but I’d have to say that seeing icebergs en masse was a buzz and the scenery at the top of the gorge on the Long Range Traverse was breathtaking – quite literally as it took several hours of tough hiking to reach the top.
Two back to back trips in July were incredible. One was a canoeing trip on the Churchill River in Saskatchewan which opened my eyes to the beauty of the province, and the other a superlative week long kayaking trip in Gwaii Haanas National Park Preserve in Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlottes).
August was non-stop traveling as I tried to complete all 100 adventures for my book. Canoeing the Cameron River to Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories turned out to be a far more beautiful than I ever expected, especially in Hidden Lake Territorial Park.
A quick trip to Manitoba opened our eyes to the beauty of the Caddy Lakes.
Our week in the Yukon Territory offered so much world-class scenery, especially in Kluane National Park and the Tombstone Mountain Range. The three day backpacking trip into the Tombstones is definitely one of the top adventures in my book.
The last adventure for the book took us to Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park, home to world-class mountain scenery and extraordinary hiking. Don’t miss it.
The day after I finished all 100 adventures, John tore his retina and couldn’t do much for the better part of two months. Trips to the mountains were out as you can’t travel to altitude and a Thanksgiving trip to Toronto was cancelled as flying was also out of the question. At least his timing was good.
At the end of the month, I helped my mother celebrate her 80th birthday with an afternoon tea at the Butchart Gardens in Victoria.
I didn’t travel anywhere but at least I managed to get out for a couple of good hikes, including one of my faves – Prairie Mountain in Kananaskis Country.
With my book finally out, it’s been a busy month for marketing and sales, not so much for traveling. Thankfully we had a few days in the Lake Louise area just after Christmas to clear our heads and get some exercise.
To start the New Year we have a ski trip planned to Sundance Lodge in Banff National Park. That’s my idea of a great way to start the year!
What was your best adventure in 2014?