The Arctic Circle Trail, Greenland: A 12 Day Journey in 10 Photos

Note: In August 2019 we traveled to Greenland and spent almost 2 weeks on the Arctic Circle Trail. Looking back now, almost 2 years later, the world has and continues to experience massive change in many ways. We think of our travels with extra fondness now, remembering what a privilege it is to travel so freely.

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I swung my hiking poles up and down with vigor as I stamped my feet along the trail, trying to get some feeling back in my extremities. Still numb and had been since we had packed up camp 30 minutes earlier. It was Day 5 on the Arctic Circle Trail and every morning had started like this. Exiting the cocoon of our sleeping bags only to pull on almost every piece of clothing we had in the pre dawn light; long johns, hiking pants, wool undershirt, down vest, down jacket, a top sealing layer of full rain gear, winter mitts and a fuzzy toque. It really wasn’t that cold (having grown up in Prairie winters), maybe 5 degrees below 0, but living outside, above the Arctic Circle, with only the thin walls of the tent at night put the chill in our bones. Waddling around in our multiple layers, we’d take down camp and gulp down our warm oats and coffee before they too took on the morning chill. Shouldering our packs and beginning to hike, anticipating that moment when finally we’d feel some warmth back in our bones.

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And here it was again this morning, the sun glinting over the tops of the mountains, its first rays hitting us with just enough heat to unzip the first layer of jackets. And as the sun rose, our bodies warmed increasingly faster; finally dumping our packs, peeling off every layer save for the last and basking in the warmth.

It is these moments that I will remember so fondly from my time in the Arctic-so tangible and so extreme. The warm feeling of the sun’s rays, the wildness and isolated landscape and the quiet; never having experienced such beauty in silence.

We spent 12 days in late summer 2019 hiking the Arctic Circle Trail. Below, our hike in 10 pictures

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Quetico Provincial Park: 9 Days, 13 Lakes, 14 Portages and 1 Chilly Canoe Trip

Quetico: A flat water paddler’s paradise. Over 2000 lakes dotted with some 4500 islands and interconnected by over 500 portages. Spread over almost 5000 square kilometres of mostly Canadian shield granite rock with forests of towering Tamarack, Spruce, Pine and Aspen; rocky outcrops and sandy shores – yes, it’s that good.

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East Coast Trail: Points and Practicalities for a Great Thru Hike

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In September 2018 we hiked and completed the East Coast Trail (ECT). A wonderful hiking trail cutting along the east coast of the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland. In our first post, Hiking the East Coast Trail: Notes From A Thru Hike in Newfoundland, we described the lessons we had learnt from the trail. This second post is a list of logistics, facts and resources that will help you get on the trail and have a terrific hike. Continue Reading

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Hiking The East Coast Trail: Notes From A Thru-Hike In Newfoundland

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The East Coast Trail. Tell people you are about to embark on this hike and you’ll most likely get inquisitive looks. Questions will follow such as: where is that? how long is it? and, is that like the West Coast trail?. Having now completed the trail I can tell you that this 312 km route on the far east side of Newfoundland is nothing short of spectacular. Over 14 days we learnt some valuable lessons for a thru-hike and came away with a huge appreciation for this special trail. Continue reading

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CYCLING THE CABOT TRAIL: 5 Favourites From A Bucket List Cycling Trip

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12 years ago I sat on a beach in a far off foreign land, doodling in a journal and sketching out a life long bucket list of adventures. At the top of that list – cycling the Cabot Trail.  For years I dreamt about this quintessential Canadian cycle trip while steadily diving more into cycle touring and testing out trails and routes throughout North America, Europe and beyond. Who knew it would be over a decade since writing in that journal that I would finally spin my wheels on this amazing route; it was certainly worth the wait. Continue Reading Cycling the Cabot Trail

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Paddling The Shield: Canoe Tripping in Killarney Provincial Park

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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?

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Testing the Waters of La Verendrye, Quebec: Trip #2

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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

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Testing the Waters: Canoe tripping in La Verendrye, Quebec

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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.

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Smith Rock to Sisters, OR: An Overnighter

Riding Oregon

Riding Oregon

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

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2 Bikes, 8 Panniers, a trailer….and a Puppy?

 

Bodhi

Bodhi

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

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

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.

Oregon

Oregon

 

 

 

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