Looking back at a busy year, as I prepare for a rich 2016.
In This Travel Article You Will Discover:
- A Weird Winter
- A Travel Milestone
- 3 Countries
- 12 Memories
Last year was a funny one. And a busy one. In the spring, I joined the team at British Columbia Magazine as a contributing editor (print). My work at explore magazine continued to accelerate. I completed a ton of assignments for Destination Canada. And I was nominated for an Explore Canada Media Award of Excellence.
But I travelled less than I had in either of the previous two years. (I spent more time assigning stories than writing them!) I roamed my home country of Canada—finally getting to New Brunswick and completing my mission to visit every province and territory. I scooted south of the border to the USA a few times; Colorado was a highlight. And I spent a week in Mexico—my sole tropics-trip of 2015.
Surely, I’m not complaining. It was a great year professionally. But it left my wife and I with a hankering for a real trip abroad. Keep posted, we’re Europe-bound shortly. And, yeah, we’ll be headed south soon too.
I have some adventurous domestic plans for 2016 as well—trips to foster magazine feature articles: camping in the Arctic, backpacking the Prairies, skiing Quebec, paddling northern Ontario.
And I’ll be taking off on at least one multi-day solo motorcycle trip. That’s just for me.
With a great year ahead, it’s an ideal time to look back. Here are 12 memorable moments from 12 months of 2015:
“Or, what?” You might ask. “Or I won’t be testing any gear this year.” It actually stands for Outdoor Retailer—the twice-annual trade show of all things outdoors in Salt Lake City. I attend each January to make and maintain connections with PR reps and gear manufacturers. It’s a grind, but it pays off.
I snapped this shot at about 1,000 metres above sea level, in British Columbia, in February. Notice anything missing? I’ll give you a hint: it’s white and fluffy and people slide down it on skis. Yeah, it was a brutal snow-season last year. Thankfully, this year’s ski season is starting off epic.
I purchased a softbox this month, for handling product shots in-house. This was one of my first (that turned out), shot while reviewing a pair of Vasque hikers… which I received after making those OR connections in January.
South of the border, down Mexico way… well, we Canucks must actually travel south of two borders to get down Mexico way. Which I did, in April, for an idyllic wedding; gorgeous weather; tasty tacos; cervezas on ice. It was my second trip to the Mexican Pacific Coast in two years. And to quote Lost‘s Jack Shepherd, “We have to go back!”
Via ferrata is a huge trend in the outdoors right now—basically, it’s mountaineering with training wheels. Though on a 60-metre sheer cliff-face, training wheels are appreciated. I was one of the first people to climb the new setup at the Sea to Sky Gondola, located halfway between Vancouver and Whistler, BC.
I’m no cowboy. But these four sure were. I only stayed at Tarryall River Ranch for a few days during my week in Colorado, but I was immediately more confident in my horsemanship with such talent guiding the way. And they were great dancers too!
We flew to the Prairies for a family get-together—this photo was taken just a short jaunt east of the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border, during San Clara’s Canada Day fireworks celebration. I was impressed with the firepower—the show had a solid 30 minutes of kaboom!
I told you via ferrata was popular! Whistler’s via ferrata was significantly more intense than Squamish’s. We climbed 300 vertical metres; at times, totally exposed and even slightly inverted on a 150-metre cliff-face. Training wheels? I’ll take ’em.
Grand Manan Island was the highlight of my week in New Brunswick. And New Brunswick was and important destination for me—it meant I had officially ticked-off every province and territory in Canada. #travelstats #humblebrag
I love Tofino. And I love surfing. But surfing doesn’t love me back—so in October, I took the time to get a lesson from Alan at Pacific Surf School. He showed me a better way than the ridiculous style I had developed. Someday, I’ll be a surfer…
The sun pushing through a blanket of snowclouds created perfect soft-light for this selfie. It’s impossible to avoid acting like a gawking tourist at Lake Louise, in Banff National Park. It’s so picturesque, it’s a cliche. This day, it was a welcome respite from the madness of the Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival, which we’d been immersed in for a few days previous.
First ski trip of the 2015-2016 season—on the mountain of my youth, Mount Washington (I skied this hill throughout the ’90s). I shot this image on New Year’s Eve, shortly after the lifts had shut down for the night. It was my last photo of the year; a fitting place to end.
As with each previous year, here are my 2015 Travel Stats:
- 1 Continent
- 3 Countries
- 18 Planes