It’s 7 am on a chilly February morning. Huddled up to our phone outside a quaint little cabin in the Adirondacks of New York state (while on a ski trip) we are desperately trying to maintain reception while we talk with the parks office in Killarney Provincial Park. We’re attempting to book our first trip there, a canoe circuit, in this historical Ontario park 8 hours drive away. Our first selected route is unavailable-the lakes are booked solid. Unbelievable. It’s not even possible to book earlier than 5 months before the trip date. Exactly 5 months before our planned start date, at 7:02, and our route choices were already unavailable! We glanced at the map, made some adjustments to our route and tried again. This time the parks officer confirmed our dates, we were in. But what we were in for? We stood in the snow, where the thought of summer and days paddling seemed so far away. Thinking of a foreign park so many miles north and wondered: how busy would this place be? would we be paddling alongside dozens of canoes everyday while we wished for solitude? would we be racing our fellow paddlers for campsites, fighting over prime spots? would all this planning so many months in advance be worth it?
Click here to read Paddling the Shield
We fell in love with the wildness and beauty immediately on our first trip to La Verendrye. You can read about that trip here: La Verendrye Trip #1. Three weeks later we went back and were again spoiled by the pristine water, private waterfront camping and solitude!
La Verendrye Trip #2
Three hours north of Ottawa, a midst the untamed forests of Quebec, lies a wilderness of dozens (maybe hundreds?) of interconnecting lakes and rivers, surrounded by rocky shores of Canadian shield and dense bush and tall trees. This is La Verendrye and we feel so lucky to have found this beautiful spot so soon after making the move to Ontario.
A cyclist’s dream, the state of Oregon exudes bike friendliness. Portland, it’s most populous city, is a multitude of bike pathways and bike lanes and rates consistently in the top 5 cities in the country for most bikeable city; there are numerous websites promoting bicycle advocacy in Oregon (thepathlesspedaled, rideoregonride, traveloregon, cyclingsojourner) and there are 12 designated Scenic Bikeways dotted throughout the state. One sunny weekend this past June we did one of them: Sisters to Smith Rock.
Read more about Sisters to Smith Rock Scenic Bikeway
Yes, a little Springer Spaniel has been added to the adventure. We picked up Bodhi at 8 weeks old and have been gearing him up for a life of bikes, trails and the great outdoors ever since.
At 10 weeks old in the Doggyride
We purchased a Doggyride bike trailer weeks before we even brought Bodhi home, crossing our fingers that the little guy would love bike touring as much as us! We were encouraged by blogs such as cyclinggypsies, ofpeadalsandpaws and worldsbetweenlines; these people have cycled hundreds, even thousands of kilometres with their four legged pals (so we knew we weren’t crazy!).
Day tripping-Wallace, Idaho
And now 5 months old, tipping the scales at 30lbs, Bodhi has done day long rides in Idaho, an overnighter in Oregon and spends an hour travelling in his trailer almost everyday. In the coming months we’ll post about the triumphs and challenges of touring with a dog, as well as a review of the Doggyride, as we prep for a full week long cycle tour with our Bodhi on the Olympic Peninsula.
Three planes, two buses, a shuttle and many kilometres on our feet we found ourselves in the deep Patagonia of Argentina and Chile. The vast area is renowned for it’s mountain towers, rolling pampas, layers of glaciers and wind!. We spent 3 1/2 weeks trekking and navigating (not always successfully!) our way around Parque Nacional Los Glaciers and Torres del Paine Park, as well as a few days on either side in the metropolis of Buenos Aires. Over the next couple of posts we’ll share pictures and stories of our favourite highlights, struggles!, and logistics of this magical place.
“We rarely hear the inward music, but we are all dancing to it nevertheless” (Rumi)
A weekend of meditation, mindfulness and looking inward. Two days hosted by very dear friends, this was something very new to me but an area that had intrigued me for quite some time. Read more about the Meditation weekend
By mid February, where we come from, the winter can seem endless. The days are a mix of grey skies and falling snow or sunny and cloudless with chilly winds and melting ice creating foot swallowing puddles along city sidewalks. The mounds of snow that have lined the streets for months have lost their sparkle and shine and are now mottled gray and black, riddled with dirt and stones. The warmth of summer still seems months away as we continue to pull on toques and mitts each morning and weekends are spent waxing up the skis (again!) for the local trails.
Around this time many friends and family jump on planes heading to far off beach resorts and exotic locales. We prefer somewhere a little quieter, a little closer, a place to recharge our souls and give our bikes a little exercise; Southwest Utah, USA. Read more of SW Utah
And finally! the final instalment of our wonderful travels in Portugal. After three weeks of pedaling through the Portuguese countryside we arrived at the northwestern coast; beyond, as far as the eye could see, only blue ocean. It seemed fitting to end our travels here, we could literally not cycle any further west. You can find previous posts of our travels in Portugal here: Post 1: Lisbon, Post 2: The Beiras, Post 3: The Douro, Post 4: Tras-Os-Montes & Geres.
To Read more on The Coast click here