Keen on the Yukon

 Myself and two friends, Ryan @ryanmichaelrichardson and Hailey @haileyplayfair , whom are based out on Ontario currently, started discussing earlier this year, a potential trip we could all do together. Well after a short amount of brainstorming we ended up deciding on the YUKON, and making a two week road trip out of it. All three of us had never been so it was an exciting opportunity and planning process. During it we would have the opportunity to experience Northern BC, and small portions of Alaska as well. We all are big on traveling and love to adventure, though it’s funny cause we have found our selves more so always planning those trips to outside countries, as do many Canadians… when planning a trip or vacation. Why is that we asked ourselves? When there are SO many places to see right in our own ‘backyard’. So what’s stopping you?


The start of the trip – Banff, AB

We came up with a catchy hashtag #wedidityukontoo , which we think summarizes this thought. Many people think oh it’s too far, it’s too cold up there, it’s too expensive, it’s too ‘wild’, there are so many more beautiful places to go, hotter, more commercialized etc. but for me the ‘wildness’ is that really drew me in. It’s a place not many people get up too, cause it is further, more remote and less commercialized. The grizzly to human population in itself is 4:1, that there goes to show how wild it can get and how sparsely populated Northern Canada is. During our trip we actually ended up seeing over 40 bears! Which was unbelievable.

I personally have been to many of Canada’s provinces, aside from PEI, New Brunswick, and NFL, and had never been to any of the territories (still hoping to get to NWT and Nunavut soon!) Though can admit that most of those were quick trips and I didn’t ‘explore’ and adventure as much in each as I would have liked too. This Yukon trip was going to be a true adventure! I am going to be taking you through an itinerary of our trip, which will hopefully make it easier when planning your very own trip up North.


Nares Mountain – Carcross, Yukon

We were super fortunate to have some support on this trip, from @keencanada specifically. I took three pairs with me, my Terradora Waterproof HikerTerradora Ethos and my Pyrenese Hiking Boot. All three were perfect for all the different activities we got up to during the trip.

We took my vehicle, a Nissan Xterra, and put on just over 6,000kms during our trip. I would say the trip was worth every single km! I am very happy we chose to drive the entire way, road tripping from Calgary, instead of flying into Whitehorse and renting a vehicle. Because we got to see everything along the way (Northern BC), and Timber was able to come!


Bear Glacier

Day 1 – June 6th – Canmore/Banff/Jasper/Prince George/Smithers, BC

Starting in Calgary we drove West through to Canmore/Banff, up the Icefields Parkway and took a break in Jasper. From there we continued to Smithers BC, where we camped for the night. We camped at the Riverside Municipal Campground. We wanted the first day to be a long driving day, in order to cover as much ground as possible.

Day 2 – June 7th – Stewart BC/Hyder Alaska

We woke up and headed on towards Stewart BC, and into Hyder Alaska. On our way there we stopped at Bear Glacier (pictured below). There really is no way I could put into words the beauty that Bear Glacier holds, you have to visit for yourselves!

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Hyder lies on the eastern fringe of Misty Fiords National Monument, at the head of Portland Canal. It may be in Alaska but identifies more closely with its Canadian neighbours in Stewart, British Columbia. There are only 72 residents in Hyder, and they rely very heavily on the town of Stewart, with a population of 700 residents. Hyder residents also use Canadian money, and as we got to talking to someone at a local shop, we became aware there is no real law enforcement there. When their is DIAR need for help, the Canadian Mounties step in. If you ever find yourselves in Stewart, or near by I highly recommend popping over to Hyder.


Alaska/BC border


@keencanada – Women’s Pyrenese Hiking Boot & the Mens Durand Waterproof Boot

We passed through Hyder and made our way up too Salmon glacier (pictured below).

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We  then spent the night in Stewart, at Bear River RV Park. Though before that we took in the sunset at a nearby park in Stewart (pictured below).


Stewart, BC

Day 3 – June 9thth – To the Yukon we Go! Whitehorse

We woke up early and hit the road, with Whitehorse as our target destination for the day. 1, 043kms / 12 hours later we made it. Only stopping to take a photo with the ‘Welcome to Yukon sign’, and coffee and food breaks of course.


Yukon/BC border

We checked into Muktuk Adventures, a Bed and Breakfast just a few minutes outside of Whitehorse. They also offer camping and cabin bookings. We were greeted by the sounds of 130 huskies, howling as we drove in. We spent two nights here, lets just say… Timber was a TAD bit intimidated, but he did well and warmed up to the dogs. The people working at Muktuk were so welcoming and helpful. I would highly recommend staying here!

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Day 4 – June 10th – Whitehorse

We woke up, had breakfast and then headed to Grey Mountain for a trail run. It was a moody/rainy morning but we didn’t let that stop us. From there we simply explored Whitehorse, got coffee and walked around town/planned the next couple days. We also dropped in at the Takhini hotsprings after, then Miles Canyon in the evening for a little stroll (unbelievably blue water).

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Miles Canyon, Whitehorse

Day 5 – June 11th – Carcross/Whitehorse

We woke up and headed towards Carcross, which is about one hour from Whitehorse, for a day hike. We headed up Nares Mountain, which is climbable almost year round. There were 360 views, which included Montana and Caribou mountains, and Tagish, Bennett and Nares lakes. The summit is about 1000m in an elevation gain, and 5kms one way, it took us a total of 5 hours, as we spent some time at the summit, and took our time snapping pictures along the way (photos below). We had a beautiful view of Carcross down below the entire time.

We spent the night in Whitehorse at the Hi Country RV Campground.

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Day 6 – June 12th – Whitehorse

Canoeing Day! We also had the privilege of working a bit with @travelyukon while we were there, who sponsored our canoe trip, along with a float plane up to Mount Logan. Our canoe trip was with ‘Up North Adventures’ , along the Yukon River.

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We spent a second night at Hi Country RV Campground just outside Whitehorse.


Hi Country RV Campground

Day 7 – June 13th – Off too Kluane National Park!

We hit the road early in the morning and headed towards Haines Junction in Kluane National Park. It was a very rainy day, gloomy and low clouds so our hopes of summiting a mountain that day were a tad crushed… but we had the opportunity of exploring lower down at Kathleen Lake. We parked at the lake, where the trail head for ‘Kings throne’ also starts, which is a popular hike in the area (one that we now must return to do).

We had a guide, Brent (The Cabins Eco Tours) a local who has been living in the area for many years. We hiked around Kathleen lake for close to 4 hours, as he told us all about the trees, the land, flowers/plants, wildlife and so much more. It’s crazy what you don’t slow down to think about or question, when your goal is to ‘summit that mountain’ or just to put on the kms hiking, walking or getting your exercise. I don’t often have a guide with me while out hiking, so this was a treat!

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We then spent the night at Dalton Trail Lodge, near by (pictured below).

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Day 8 – June 14th – Kluane National Park – Mount Logan

We headed for Kluane Lake, where we hung out until our next activity, stopping at a couple picturesque spots before.

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Quill Creek – Just down the road from Dalton Trail  Lodge.


The only grizzly we saw on our trip – the rest were ALL black bears!

Kluane Lake pictured below, where we had lunch.

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And now the moment we had been waiting for… exploring from land, to water and now into the air with Icefield Discovery Tours. We were so excited for the opportunity to see Mount Logan from a float plane, and also getting the chance to land right at the base camp. Something I recommend to every single person passing through this area (if you can handle a bit of motion sickness). I get very motion sick on boats, in the back seat of vehicles etc. I managed to stay quite well during the flight, until about the last 30 minutes of the flight home. We were in the air for approximately 45 minutes to base camp, half hour at camp, and then 45 minutes back. So allow for about 2 hours. You can also book shorter flights and tours that don’t touch down at base camp. Truly a dream come true!

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From there we headed to our campsite – Cottonwood Campground, which is situated on Kluane Lake. only 10 minutes drive from Icefield Discovery Tours, where our flight took off from. HIGHLY recommend staying here if you are in the area. Going to bed and waking up to the views of Kluane Lake was breathtaking.

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Day 9 – June 15th – Kluane  National Park – Sheep Mountain Hike –> Haines Alaska

We woke up, packed up and headed to a hike first thing in the morning. Sheep mountain which was only a few minutes drive from Cottonwood Campground. It was about 5 hours round trip, 1,100m elevation gain and 10km round trip.

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After our hike we headed straight for Haines Alaska! The drive was INCREDIBLE, too incredible to even photograph. Sadly I did not take any photos from Haines Junction to Haines Alaska, though I have a lot of memories. You know its really eye catching and jaw dropping when you forget to even pick up your camera. The drive was approximately 3 hours and 238kms. There is a bike relay that runs from Haines to Haines once a year, which was on while we were there. Thinking next time I will have to join in!

When we arrived in Haines Alaska, we found a place to camp right near the ocean, at Oceanside RV Park. It was rainy and a bit windy, so we didn’t get out to explore much that evening, though did so in the morning.

Day 10 – June 16th – Haines Alaska —> Skagway Alaska

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We woke early and walked around Haines. Tourist shops, coffee and took in the scenery. We were hoping the weather was going to clear so we could get above, and hike up to a view point, though the rain and cloud persisted, so we caught a 2pm ferry over to Skagway, which in itself was a great experience. The 45-minute ferry ride passes through the Lynn Canal, near Haines and through the Taiya Inlet, a steep-walled rocky fjord just outside of Skagway. From the glaciers, to the waterfalls, granite cliffs and jagged peaks that surround you, its North America’s longest and deepest fjord.

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We had lunch and walked around Skagway for a couple hours then continued our drive back towards Whitehorse.

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During the drive from Skagway to Whitehorse, we made a pitstop at the Carcross Desert, which is just 642 acres (260 hectares), and has been recognized by Guinness as ‘The World’s Smallest Desert’. We stopped to watch dirtbikers cruise around, and admired how neat this little piece of heaven truly was. Who would’ve thought. A desert in the Yukon?


We then camped near Whitehorse, at the Caribou RV Park.

Day 11 – June 17th – Whitehorse —> Mount White Hiking

We got up early and headed to our next hike! Mount White offers a beautiful view of the Atlin Lakes. The white limestone of this mountain is not what actually gives it its name, which most people assume, it is named after Thomas White, Minister of the Interior from 1887-1888. It is asked that you refrain from hiking this trail from May 15 – June 15 because the goats are breeding. We were lucky and were there just two days after, but did not see any sheep!

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From there we started to make our trek back into BC, camping at a little campground in the middle of no where (truly). We would go 100’s of kms between towns and gas stations in Northern BC. and the Yukon. Road trip tip – ALWAYS carry an extra jerry can full of fuel. We luckily did not have to use it but it’s always a good back up to have.  Gas at this ‘middle of no where place’ ended up costing us 1.86 cents a Litre… which was 40 more cents then we were paying at most places during our trip.

Day 12 – June 18th – Middle of nowhere campground in the Yukon —-> Grand Prairie, AB

Driving day! We got up and buckled down driving, putting in about 14 hours of driving before calling it. We did stop at the Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake, Yukon.

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We ended up camping  just outside Grand Prairie at a municipal campground.

Day 13 – June 19th  —-> HOME – Red Deer, AB

After 13 long days, kms and kms hiked, 41 bears spotted, and over 6,000kms logged by car, and almost that many coffees drank, more photos then I could count taken, we were home. Northern BC, the Yukon, and Alaska area all places you truly need to see to experience. Yes it may be more difficult to get to, more remote, and more expensive (depending on what you do). It is worth every km and every penny. The conversations we had with locals and people who have traveled to these places, and the stories they had about how they ended up there (mostly traveled there not thinking they’d love it so much and ended up coming back to live), were all so great. I already can not wait to start planning my next trip back, though next time I will be spending most of it hiking in the back country!

If anyone has any questions regards our itinerary, the hikes we did, sites we saw, places we stopped, or questions about food etc. or traveling tips PLEASE feel free to reach out and ask! Thanks for reading 😀

Also another huge thanks to @keencanada for the support on this trip, along with @travelyukon , all for making this possible!




State of Great

A couple months ago I received an email from South Dakota Tourism ( @southdakota ), with the opportunity to come and explore the state. I without hesitation accepted! I had never been to South Dakota before, and I truly did not know a whole lot about it. When I started to look more into it, it was clear that my few days spent there were going to be a true adventure. South Dakota is known as the “State of Great”, and I soon realized why. It does have great sites, great hiking, camping, history, kayaking and more.


Badlands National Park

I was fortunate to bring a plus one on the trip with me. My good friend Jessie aka @jadubya and her fur baby @boone_tails joined me. I decided to leave my pup  (@timber_tails) with a sister back in my home town. Jessie was not only a great adventure partner but also helped me capture some of the amazing images I will be sharing with you! Before arriving in South Dakota on Friday June 1, I spent three days in Denver, CO, where Jesse is from, trail running and sight-seeing, before making the six hour drive up to SD.

The focus of our trip was around ‘State of Great Camping’, and exploring and hiking around the southwest area of the state. Throughout the blog I will take you through a little itinerary of our 4 days and 3 nights spent in the area.

Day 1 – Friday June 1

We arrived in South Dakota on the morning of Friday, June 1. We took a drive through Wind Cave National Park – before heading to Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The beauty had already surpassed our expectations within the first hour of being in the state. There were bison everywhere. The greenery and landscape were breath taking. The orange depicted in one of the photos below is due to the pine beetle, which has swept through different areas of the national park.

Since I was young, I had always heard of Mount Rushmore – and seen photos of it. Being able to experience it first hand was wonderful – Boone and Jessie both agree! South Dakota is not only known as the “State of Great” but also the state of “Great Faces, Great Places”.

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From there we headed to Rapid City for some food, then off on a little hike close by in the Black Hills, called ‘Spring Creek Loop Trail’. This trail was only 3miles long and a perfect way to spend the afternoon, stretching out our legs. The trail followed along Spring Creek and up onto a ridge coming back.



From the hike we headed to the Badlands! We could’ve easily spent a week in itself exploring around the Badlands, though we did our best to explore with the time given. We found a great spot where we hung out for a couple hours (pictured below), before heading back down the road to our campsite for the evening.


Photo by @jadubya – Badlands National Park

The road out of the Badlands to our campsite provided great opportunity for photos. Theres a quote that says “Forever a girl that gets excited when the sky turns pretty colours”… that is me to a ‘T’! The photos say it all.




After the evening sunset adventure we headed to our campsite to bunker down for the day. We stayed overnight at Sage Creek Campground. Access is located off the Sage Creek Rim Road, an unpaved road. Camping is free of charge, and potable water is available!

Day 2

We woke early to enjoy the sunrise in Badlands National Park. We didn’t have to go far from our campsite to enjoy anything thats for sure. To start off, we woke up and opened our tent doors to bison hanging out in the campground. What a unique experience. Then we headed down the road a bit and were greeted with some morning traffic (bison)… traffic I don’t really mind!

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We then headed back to our campsite for some much needed coffee and breakfast! One great thing about traveling with Jessie is that she appreciates that coffee multiple times a day, is extremely necessary!

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From there we headed for another little drive through the Badlands before we went over to Cluster State Park, making a quick pit stop at the places below.

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Custer was about an hours drive from Sage Creek Campground. We spent the morning hiking Little Devils Tower (pictured below), which was only 4 miles round trip.

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From there we then drove through the ‘Wildlife Loop’ (which takes approximately an hour). The Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park is a beautiful drive, where you can spot a number of bison, donkeys, deer, foxes and more. From there we took a drive along Needles Highway, a scenic 14-mile drive through pine and spruce forests, ending up at Sylvan Lake. Everything is very close by and easy to do within a day.

We ended the day with another hike on ‘Sunday Gulch Trail’. The trail head began at Sylvan Lake.  What a unique hike! We didn’t really know what we were getting ourselves into, we were just happy we chose to wear our @keencanada Ethos/Newport water shoes. Sunday Gulch is a 4 mile loop, which starts out as a very rocky downward hike. The park service has provided handrails as you would likely struggle to climb down without them as you cross a stream a number of times. Once you reach the bottom of this hike you are treated to a stroll along a creek with views of the various rock formations.

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The loop leads you right back to Sylvan Lake, where we enjoyed the sunset, before heading to our campsite for the night. Sylvan Lake is known as the crown jewel of Custer State Park. I would have to agree. It’s a place where visitors enjoy hiking, swimming, boating and fishing. It is surrounded by impressive rounded rock formations and ponderosa pine trees.

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We spent the night at ‘Grace Coolidge Campground’ a half hour drive from Sylvan Lake.

Day 3

We woke early yet again, to take full advantage of the day. We headed straight to Pactola Lake in the morning, for a kayaking adventure with Carrie from Black Hills Adventure Tours @blackhillsadventuretours . We spent close to three hours exploring Jenny Gulch, a beautiful lake that feeds from Pactola Lake. The lake is also popular for cliff jumping, boaters, swimming and fishing. Keep an eye out for turtles along the shore!

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From there we headed to Spearfish Canyon, to check out a couple small hikes and waterfalls in the area. Below are three of the pit stops we made. Starting with Spearfish Falls, a quick mile round trip to get to the base of the falls, the walk begins with the beautiful Botanical Gardens of Spearfish Canyon. Roughlock (pictured after) is just across the street from Spearfish Falls. We had the pleasure of meeting up with Jesse (@jessebrownnelson) who toured us around these stops, and then took us for an evening hike.


Spearfish Falls


Roughlock Falls

From Roughlock Falls we headed to Community Caves (pictured below), (photos by @jadubya) which is a quick 30 minute hike up a steep canyon. The caves are only a few miles into the canyon if you are traveling from Spearfish, the trailhead is at mile marker 13. You can park in the pullout on the right side of the road.

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From there we headed for a quick bite, and checked into our cabin at the @spearfishsdkoa Spearfish KOA campground ( @kampgroundsofamerica ). After a couple nights in a tent it was nice to cozy up in a cabin.

We headed for a sunset hike in Spearfish Canyon (pictured below), with @jessebrownnelson, and his pup Marley, which was worth every single step!

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Day 4

We again woke up early to take full advantage of our last day in South Dakota. We headed out for a trail run on ‘Iron Creek Trail’ in Spearfish Canyon, bright and early. Iron Creek was approximately 6 miles out and back, shaded by the canyon and trees. We then headed back to the KOA for coffee and breakfast (pancakes for the win!), along with cooling  down in the pool, and getting showered up before making our trek back home.

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South Dakota is a place you truly have to experience for yourself to understand. Like I said at the beginning of the blog, SD was not first on my list, when the opportunity to come explore it, thanks to @southdakota I grabbed ahold. From Mount Rushmore, to Custer State Park, the Badlands, the wildlife, Spearfish Canyon, the waterfalls, endless hiking, lakes, kayaking and more, South Dakota surely has endless adventure opportunities awaiting. No wonder they are known as the “State of Great”.

For any of you interested in hearing more about my South Dakota trip, whether it’s with regards to our itinerary, hikes we did, sights, campgrounds etc. feel free to email me! Always happy to answer any questions you may have.

Thanks for reading! Also again a huge thanks to the tourism board of @southdakota, @jadubya and @jessebrownnelson for all their help in making this trip possible. Also @boone_tails for being the best adventure pup around. Next time I am in South Dakota I will be sure to bring my pup Timber.

If you are planning or thinking about traveling to South Dakota you can find out more at . For things to do, places to stay, or things to simply know before you go.

Keen on Kauai

Back in February myself and two friends jokingly started to talk about how much fun it would be to go on a trip together, Hawaii specifically. That ‘joke’ ended up turning into reality when we decided to book plane tickets to Kauai, for May! I have personally been to Hawaii 4 times prior, twice to Maui, and once to both the big island and Oahu. Jessie (@jadubya) had been to Hawaii a few times prior as well, and for Vanessa (@vanessafraser) this would be her first time.

All three of us LOVE the outdoors, love adventure and love hiking and Hawaii, Kauai specifically is the perfect place for that. Since we knew there were going to be some very wet, unpredictable conditions with rain we were sure to pack a variety of shoes. We were lucky enough to partner with @keencanada for this trip who graciously provided us with the footwear we would need. For the muddier, wetter days the three of us had our Terradora Ethos and for the rest/more rugged dry trails Vanessa and Jessie had the Targhee III’s (mid and lower) and I had my Terradora Waterproof Mid boot.


Terradora Ethos


Targhee III’s and Terradora Boot

Pre-trip – May 2nd/3rd

We booked the trip starting May 2nd, Vanessa and I flew down to Denver to snag Jessie then us three flew over to Seattle for a 18 hour layover. Flying into Seattle late the 2nd night, we found a hotel close to the airport, crashed, woke up at 7am and headed right downtown to explore Seattle before our plane was scheduled to take off that night. The hotel held our bags while we adventured around for 7 hours (If you ever find yourself on a long layover in Seattle it’s so easy to take the train downtown, you can hop on right outside the airport. It’s worth it!

(I also brought along a pair of casual shoes: The Women’s Elsa Sneaker (pictured above. )

Day 1 – Seattle/Kapaa – Kauai Beach Hostel

We arrived in Lihue, Kauai late on the 3rd night, picked up our rental vehicle (a 4 door jeep) and headed straight for our hostel, in Kapaa. We decided to go with a four door Jeep, which was spacious for three of us, all our gear and could handle the backroads, and beach driving, as we were planning to do some beach camping. We stayed three nights at the ‘Kauai Beach Hostel‘ before transitioning to camping. The Kauai Beach Hostel is located right downtown Kapaa, with shops all around, restaurants, cafes, and ocean view/beach access right behind. Our balcony looked right out onto the water, which was a beautiful view in the morning, as we arrived in the dark the first night.

Recommended coffee shop in Kapaa, which also has great breakfast and lunch options! —> Java Kai

Day 2 – Kapaa – Kauai Beach Hostel

Our first full day in Kauai. Waking early to take full advantage. Headed to a little coffee bus right across the street from our hostel, before discovering Java Kai, which were both equally delicious. For any of you who are huge coffee fans, it is important to know the closest coffee shop! From there we headed to the beach and enjoyed conversation with some locals, getting details/suggestions on hikes and things to do.


Sunrise beach views from outside our hostel

Once all three of us got our ‘butts’ in a line we headed to Wailua Falls (pictured below). This is a very popular spot, where many people stop at the lookout to take in the beautiful view, where we hiked down below to see the waterfall from a different perspective (pictured below). When it’s rainy it’s extremely slippery, so be prepared!

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Next up we headed for ‘Sleeping Giant’ a little bit of a longer hike that we thought would be great to shake off our jet leg, airplane legs. It is only 2 miles each way, and many of the locals use it more as a quick ‘workout hike’. There are two routes up, both East and West, the East side you have more of an ocean view the entire time and more luck it it’s rainy and wet, whereas the West side (the side we took up) is more forested, ‘rooty’ and challenging in the mud… but who doesn’t like a good challenge? Was worth every step.

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Day 3 – Kapaa – Kauaii Beach Hostel

Unfortunately about a month we were set to leave for our trip, Kauai took on huge damage, due to rain fall and flood damage. The flooding ended up closing down the North shore of the island, where the Kalalau Trail is located, a world renowned hiking trail. It’s also known as the Napali Coast Trail, first off we weren’t ‘on top’ of things enough to have obtained permits, as they were sold out until September, and without permits you can only hike the first 2 miles (of the 11mile one way trail), 22 miles out and back. We were hoping to at least hike the first bit, though weren’t able to do that at all, due to road closure, which all gives us a great reason to come back one day when the trail is back, open and safe.

Instead of hiking it we had the privilege of seeing it from the ocean thanks to @napaliodyssey. We went on a 5 hour boat tour, which I highly recommend doing! We got to see numerous dolphins, were able to boat right into a number of caves on the shore, waterfalls, ridge lines, beaches and just all around beautiful views. It was a great experience to have had while on Kauai, as the North shores landscape is incomparable to anything else on the island.

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Day 4 –  Camping – Koke’e Campground – Koke’e State Park

This was a BIG hiking day! We headed to the West side, into Koke’e State Park, a park that is FULL of amazing views, hikes, camping and more. We headed for Awa’awapuhi bright and early, for a 830 am start on the trail, which winds through a highland forest with occasional ridge top views. It’s all downhill (which means all uphill on the way back – which many hikes are in the area, ‘upside down hikes’) to the grassy point that overlooks the sheer cliffs of Awa`awapuhi and Nualolo valleys resting 2,000 feet below. The option to connect to the Nualolo trail should be taken only by those prepared for a hike over 9 miles long (one-way), which we added on, as we were prepared with enough food and water and were aware of the difficulty.


Targhee III – Low Waterproof Boot

When we arrived at the Awa’awapuhi lookout the views were socked in by clouds, but we waited 15 minutes and were gifted with an amazing view. This was another common occurence during our time in Hawaii, and on hikes, where views would come and go, one get be lucky or unlucky depending on when you went. The weather/cloud coverage can be unpredictable, though they often say to wait it out, as things can change quick! Luckily it did for us.

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From the Awa’awapuhi lookout (pictured above) majority of people head right back up, though we went on to hike the Nualolo Trail from here (photos below), which like stated above is an extra 9 miles added on. It is a beautiful hike, through the woods, rewarding views, and greenery/wild flowers. The terrain/length can be quite challenging depending on conditions, especially if its wet, so its important to take that into consideration.


Targhee III’s

From Awa’awapuhi you have to hike the Nualolo Cliff Trail first (2.1miles), which then connects to the Nualolo Trail (3.8 miles), at this junction you have the option to hike an additional 1/2 mile round trip to the Lolo Vista Lookout. It is known to be super windy on this point (which it was) though beautiful views if its clear.

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Coming back on the Nualolo trail, you don’t finish at your car, where instead you come out at the Koke’e Campground, 1.5 miles down the road from the Awa’awapuhi Trail head. You can either hike the road back, or you can hitch hike back up as the road is pretty well traveled with vehicles.

We then headed into town (Kekaha) to grab food, eat and watch sunset at the beach, before heading back into Koke’e to set up camp for the evening. The road takes about 1/2 hour to drive down and it’s VERY windy so if you get car sick, I advise not driving it numerous times a day, and making sure you get food in Kekaha before heading into the park. Vanessa and I were feeling it for sure. There also is so cellphone reception so be sure to notify someone your plans and/or just be prepared to have no connection.

Day 5 – Camping – Kekaha Beach

After packing up camp in the morning we headed to Kumuwela lookout just down the road a couple miles, to watch sunrise, make coffee and have some breakfast. The views were incredible and it was a great way to start the morning.

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From there we headed back North on the road for another hike. Starting at the Kalalau lookout, our plan was to hike the Alakai Swamp Trail (7 miles round trip), which offers glimpses of native plants and bird watching as it passes through rain forest and bogs on its way to Kilohana. When the weather is ‘good’, the views from this vantage overlooking the Wainiha Pali are amazing, though we were unfortunately faced with rain and fog/socked in conditions 80% of the hike. We would get glimpses here and there of views and could only image what it would’ve been like had the sky’s been clear.


Terradora Ethos

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On our way back fortunately enough 1km from the trail head the sky decided to clear and we had UNBELIEVABLE views of the valley below from Kalalau Lookout (pictured below).

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After our hike we headed back to town, to eat and then find a place to set up camp. We stayed at Kekaha beach. We fell asleep to the sound of the wind and water, and were able to leave our tent tarp off as the night was free of rain. The stars were UNREAL (as photographed by Jessie below).


Photo by @jadubya


Day 6 – Camping – Kekaha Beach

This is the day we took over the @keencanada account, leading everyone on an adventure through Waimea Canyon finishing with a sunset hike out on Kalepa Ridge.

Waimea Canyon is known as ‘The Grand Canyon of the Pacific’, stretching 14 miles long, 1 mile wide and up to 3,600 feet deep. We could’ve easily explored here for days. We started our hike at the Kumuwela lookout, where we watched sunrise from the day before. There is a clear sign right by the parking lot marked ‘Canyon Trail – 1.8 miles each way’. It is also a backwards mountain hike… going down into the canyon the whole day and then you have to come back up. You hike through a forested area for a while, before being welcomed with amazing views of the canyon. From the viewpoint you can hike down another 0.2 miles to a ‘fork’ in the trail where to the left takes you to a smaller waterfall, and right will lead you to the top of Waipoo Falls.

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Once we got to the waterfall, many people don’t realize you can cross the creek and continue on further. We hiked for another mile past this point and were welcomed with even further views of the canyon (pictured below).

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Once we got back to our car from Waimea Canyon Trail, we headed for the Kalalau Lookout parking lot, where we began the Kalepa Ridge Trail for sunset hike. The trail is an  unofficial trail that leads downhill from Kalalau Lookout in Koke’e State Park, along the ridge line between Kalalau Valley and Honopu.  It’s unmarked and not officially maintained, also one that should be hiked with caution if one is afraid of heights or steep cliffs! Since it’s an unofficial trail there is also no official length, but took us about an hour. Many people hike down a little more than a mile down the trial to see the incredible, panoramic views of the Na Pali Coast and Kalalau Valley.

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Kalepa Ridge Trail (pictured above) was by far my favourite trail of the trip (if I had to choose), the views were unbelievable and the weather/sunset we had could not have been more perfect. I highly suggest giving this one a shot. Many people chose to camp out on the ridge as well, though it does get quite cold at night so be prepared!


Terradora Mid Boot

Day 7 – Camping – Ahini Beach

We started our day a little slower, after a couple good long hiking days. Glass sand beach and a shorter waterfall hike were the plans for the day!

First we headed to the ‘Glass beach‘, not far from our camp spot at Kekaha on the West side, that we packed up from that morning. Glass Beach isn’t mentioned in most guidebooks, and there are no signs directing drivers to it, but it is really unique and great for those who enjoy collecting sea glass. The shoreline is covered with TONS of brown, aqua, clear and blue sea glass pebbles.



Highly recommend a jeep if traveling to Hawaii, and planning to hit some back roads/beach driving.




Glass Beach – West Side of Kauai

After the beach we headed to Ho’opi’i Falls – which is indeed on private property, though well traveled. It is a 2 mile out and back trail located near Kapaa, which ends at a beautiful waterfall and is good for all skill levels. Half way in there is a great little cliff/swimming hole you can enjoy (pictured below), before continuing onto the larger waterfall at the end.


Ho’opi’i Falls Trail

The whole trail is beautiful, it follows the a small river/creek bed the entire way. Through lush forested area, and greenery. The trees are also super fun to climb. Be sure to pack bug spray! Vanessa would be the first one to tell you to do so, the mosquitos were WILD!

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The end destination is the perfect hang out spot, you can wade in the water, play in the waterfall, or go off the rope swing!


Ho’opi’i Falls

We ended the day way up on the North shore, up in Princeville at Queens Bath (Click more info) for sunset. Before making the little trek down to it we were sure to stop in Princeville to grab some shaved ice (which I highly recommend doing). Queens Bath is a quick ten minute hike from the parking lot. Although the scenery and bath are beautiful and pleasant, like many ocean attractions in general the area should be approached with caution and can be dangerous if you don’t pay attention. They say ‘It’s important to check the surf report before you visit the ocean on Kauai so that you know what’s possible. Simply watching the sea for 20 minutes before you approach is not good enough. The biggest waves of the day, as predicted by the surf report, could arrive at any time without warning’.


After sunset we headed to Ahini Beach (on the North Shore), where we set up camp for the night, it was VERY busy and tons of mosquitos. You do need a camping permit to camp here. It was a quick stay as we were up in the morning at 530am. to head on another fun adventure!!

Day 8 – Resort Day – Grand Hyatt Resort and Spa

First up, ZIPLINING! What a fun way to spend the morning. I would highly recommend checking out @kauai_backcountry_adventures if you are wanting to zipline or experience a tube ride down beautiful rivers in Kauai (we didn’t get to tube but perhaps next time)!


Kauai Backcountry Adventures


After ziplining we headed to the Grand Hyatt Resort and Spa, where we spent our next two days. We thought we would end the trip with a little more relaxation, as we were go, go, go for a week straight before, and ‘roughing it’ camping. I would highly recommend looking into staying here even if it is for a couple nights during your time on Kauai. @grandhyattkauai. The staff, food, drinks and everything in the resort was perfect. GREAT way to wrap up the trip.


The ocean view from our room was also incredible. We spent the rest of the day relaxing at the pool/in our room before calling it a night.

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 Day 9 – Resort – Grand Hyatt Resort and Spa

We woke up early to take FULL advantage of the day. Sitting/relaxing by the pool all morning, then decided to walk down the beach to some cliffs we saw people jumping off down the way. None of us girls jumped but if you ain’t afraid of heights, and are a great swimmer by all means go for it!


Grand Hyatt Beach – Photo @jadubya – Edit @brookewillson

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In the afternoon we headed to the @kauaihumanesociety to volunteer and spend some time with the dogs. Jessie and I left our pups behind so it was nice to spend sometime with local ones, to fill that little void. You can take the dogs for hikes if you want too. You can pick them up between 11-2! There have been a number of people from around the world who have adopted dogs from the Kauai Humane Society. You can check out/find more info in the link!

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Above photos by @jadubya.

We enjoyed our final evening/watched sunset at the resort before heading into town for dinner reservations we had made at ‘Dukes’ which I highly recommend doing. Unreal food and great service. Located in Princeville.

Day 10 – Flight over to Oahu!

From here Vanessa and I woke up at the crack of dawn to catch our flight over to Oahu for three more days of hiking and adventures, and Jessie flew back home to Denver.

I am going to do up a whole separate blog post for Oahu, so stay tuned! For now I hope you enjoyed reading up on what we did while on Kauai, and feel free to message me ANY questions at all about where to hike, where to stay, places to eat, etc.

Huge thanks to @keencanada and the @grandhyattkauai for the support during our trip, we appreciate it more then you know. We already can’t wait to come back to Kauai!




Lincoln Family Day

Over ‘Reading Week’, a break in the middle of my University Winter term, I was given the opportunity to work with @lincolnca on a project for #lincolnfamilyday getaway to the mountains for a week. I was fortunate enough to test out their 2018 Lincoln Navigator, which had plenty of space for all of us, with the second and third row seating, though we kept the third row down for the dogs and all of our gear. Let’s just say having to return it after 7 days on the road was a little difficult. There’s nothing quite like having great space and comfort while driving, after being outside adventuring all day, or if having a far distance to commute, which we surely put on the kms throughout the days.


Two Jack Lake – Photo @jadubya

Family is a word that may have a different definition attached to it depending on who you were to ask. I have my immediate family, mother, father, three sisters, all who live in Red Deer, along with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. Though I also have ‘family’ members outside of that immediate circle. My pup Timber (@timber_tails – who is now one year old as of February 6th), has been one of the best things that has ever came into my life. He is the beginning of my very own little ‘family’. We must never forget the four legged family members! I have friends in different provinces, states and countries for that matter, who I consider family: soul sisters, ‘brothers from different mothers’, and others who I have just immediately clicked with and feel as though you have known forever, who truly care.

When I was approached with this opportunity I immediately knew what I wanted to do with the seven days I was going to have. My friend Jessie (@jadubya), who lives down in Denver, Colorado with her pup Boone (@boone_tails) and myself have been trying to meet up for another road trip for some time now. We started following each other on Instagram about 3 years ago now, and immediately connected, chatting back and forth we just understood one another and became a support for each other, even though we are 1,900kms apart. We began planning our first trip together, and she drove up to Alberta in November of 2016, and I spent 4 days touring her and her pup around, as she had never even been to Canada before. Since that trip we had met up only once a couple months later (where she met Timber at 6 weeks old), so after almost a year it was time to start planning another adventure, and this time with both our pups!!


@jadubya @brookewillson November 2016 – Bow Lake, Icefields Parkway

Like I had mentioned, family is a word thats defined differently by every person you ask. Jessie and I can both say we have that ‘soul-sister’ relationship that is very rare to come by, and well Boone and Timber are simply ‘brothers from different mothers’, and come with us everywhere we go. Boone has been with Jessie for five years now and they have created a bond that I was envious of and had always wanted for myself, though due to travel, working, being in school and always busy I was never able to get my own dog. It wasn’t up until a year and a half ago where I really started to settle back in my home town, with plans to go back to University. This meant I would finally be settled enough to get my own pup, so I went ahead and made the choice to, and it was the best thing I could have done for myself.

Timber has been on adventures with me since he was 9 weeks old, starting off in my backpack, and only hiking/walking for little bits at a time, and now at 1 year old he joins me on longer hikes, trail runs, camping trips, in my kayak and paddle board. He comes with me to do errands, whether its out for a ten minute car ride, or hours upon hours, road tripping somewhere. Being a ‘fur mom’ was a bit scary at first, thinking I would really have to alter my adventures, considering whether or not Timber could come, what the weather was going to be like, if he could handle it, and if not who was going to be able to watch him while I went away, though instead I have found him only enhancing my adventures. I rarely plan trips that he can’t come along on, and this summer coming up gets me that much more excited. So many fun things to come!


Wasootch Ridge – Timbers first hike – Photo by @matt.snell

My family may be small but he sure takes up the biggest part of my heart!

Jessie would say the same about her and Boone, and almost anyone with four legged companions. Before Jessie arrived

Day one – I spent the first day with two other girlfriends, Leah (@leahtylerszcuki) and Vanessa (@vanessafraser) who I am very inspired by. Not only are they adventurous, strong women, they also have the hugest hearts and passions for life. Two ladies who I also felt immediate connections with. Both sharing that large passion for the outdoors, adventure and creative sense, attempting to capture moments along the way, with a desire to inspire others to live an adventurous, active lifestyle.  We drove out into Kananaskis to go snowshoeing, the temperatures were cold and the sky was grey and snow was in the forecast but it didn’t stop us from getting out. We snowshoed Elkwood Pass, a trail none of us had done before, just off of Lower Kananaskis Lakes. After four hours of touring around we headed back into Canmore to get settled at our hotel, then headed for a later dinner, where Jessie met us. 1,900kms later she had made it!


Leah @leahtylerszucki (left) Vanessa @vanessafraser (right)



Day two – We headed to @sunshinevillage for a ski day. When we woke up in the morning the forecast read -27 and -35 with windchill. Good thing we packed lots of good layers, were prepared for many coffee breaks in between runs, and went into the day with good spirits, laughing through the cold. Our fingers and noses may have been chilly but our hearts were sure full!

Boone and Timber stayed with one of my friends @matt.snell a friend in Banff (a local photographer) and enjoyed the day with him, while we all went to the ski hill.


Left to Right – Leah @leahtylerszucki , Jessie @jadubya, Vanessa @vanessafraser and myself @brookewillson

Day three – On Monday Jessie, Vanessa, myself and my friend Matt Snell headed to the Icefield Parkway, listed as one of Canada’s most scenic drives. Matt and I have been on a number of adventures together since meeting almost a year ago. Photography, hiking, camping and outdoor adventure in general is something Matt is very passionate about as well, so we have connected on those levels. He has inspired me to take more photos, as his portfolio and ability to capture certain moments is quite impressive.

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Photo by @matt.snell

The weather and road conditions varied during the week we were out, though the features offered with the Navigator had me feeling relaxed and confident while driving. I felt in control, simply by twisting a dial . ‘From 4×4, to Slippery, deep conditions, Excite, etc. the Navigator offers six distinct selectable drive modes for confidence, exhilaration and control in a wide variety of driving conditions’.

The panoramic vista-sun roof also provided greater views and a more spacious feel. Both front and second row passengers have their own control of the retractable sun roof, making it an even more inviting ride, brightening up the cabin. Would love to travel in the Navigator in the summer months, feeling the fresh air from above us.


Myself and  @timber_tails – Photo by @matt.snell

We stopped along the way to take some photos, before arriving at the trail head for Panther Falls, a quick 2km hike round trip. There is a parking lot 9km before the Jasper/Banff park boundary, there is a pull out on the east side of the highway, at the Bridal Veil Falls viewpoint.


Panther Falls – Photo of me by @matt.snell


From there we headed for Abraham Lake in search of ‘bubbles’, and we found them! Myself, Vanesssa and Jessie had never seen them before, though Matt had been 3 times prior and couldn’t resist going to explore the lake again. He showed us exactly where to find them. Even though it was cold yet again we spent some time walking around the lake and admiring the beauty, jumping and joking around in order to stay warm!


Model @vanessafraser – Photo  @brookewillson

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Photo by @matt.snell

While driving the Navigator I could not get over how smooth of a ride it was, the girls also kept commenting on the comfort and ease of ride. When traveling far distances, especially in the mountains, on back roads etc. road conditions vary and for smooth and confident driving, Lincoln believes your suspension should too. The adaptive suspension on the Navigator controls the up and down movement of the wheels when driving on uneven surfaces and over potholes. ‘This system, controlled by the six-selectable drive modes (which I commented on earlier), helps decrease the stress of harsh driving situations of the outside world without compromising the comfort within.’

Photo by @matt.snell

From there we headed back along the parkway as the sun set, and slowly made our way back to our cabin (pictured below), which we had rented for two nights in Harvie Heights, a hamlet between Canmore and Banff. I have been staying at these cabins for almost ten years now, and even though they are simple, small and rustic they sure are perfect, holding so many amazing memories, AND they are pet friendly!!!!


Rundle Ridge Chalets – Harvie Heights. Photo @jadubya

Day four – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday it was just myself, Jessie, Boone and Timber. We got up Tuesday, packed up the car and headed into Spray Lakes area for some site seeing and a quick pit stop for tea at Mount Engadine Lodge.


Spray Lakes – Photo @jadubya

There were so many features of the Lincoln Navigator that I loved, which made it easier for traveling with a number of people and for the dogs and all our gear. The drop down step provides an easier step when getting in and out of the vehicle, and it retracts up when you get in, giving the vehicle more clearance when commuting.


Spray Lakes – Photo @jadubya

From there we headed to Johnston Canyon, a very popular trail just outside Banff. along the Bow Valley Parkway. The trail to Upper Falls, is about 5.2kms round trip (2.6kms one way and only 120m elevation gain) making it very popular for anybody visiting the area, as it is very doable for all levels of hikers.

Day five- We visited three different locations. Starting off in Kootenay Lake Provincial Park, we drove an hour and 15 minutes to Marble Canyon, a quick 2km hike, before heading to Haffner Creek, a trailhead just a minute down the road.


Marble Canyon – Model @jadubya Photo by  @brookewillson


Haffner Creek Trail – Model @jadubya Photo by @brookewillson

From there we headed to Yoho National Park, to hike to Wapta Falls. Usually it is only a 4.8km hike round trip in the summer months, but in the winter the road to the trailhead is closed, so you have to hike the road which is only 2.1km. The hike totals 9km round trip in the winter, though still very doable for all levels of hikers, seeing as the elevation gain is only 150m and the snow often quite packed down (being a very popular hike).


Wapta Falls – Model @jadubya Photo @brookewillson

Day six – We spent our last day being tourists driving to various lakes and viewpoints in and around the town of Banff. Starting off with sunrise at Vermillion Lakes, then we headed to Two Jack Lake and Lake Minnewanka, all three within a few kms of town. After we headed up Tunnel Mountain (you can drive to a view point), towards Tunnel Mountain Campground to a viewpoint that overlooked Mount Rundle, an iconic mountain in the area.


Two Jack Lake – Photo @jadubya


@timber_tails and @boone_tails taking in the views of Mount Rundle


Spending an entire week with close friends and our fur legged little ones, who have turned into my ‘mountain family’ was a blessing. Huge thanks again to @lincolnca for the #lincolnfamilyday opportunity, for providing us with an unbelievably comfortable, and reliable vehicle, to enjoy our week.  Already looking forward to the next adventure!

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Lake Minnewanka


West Coast Trail

Hiking The West Coast Trail


 5 days, 4 nights and 77kms of difficult terrain… through the trees, dodging roots, slugging through the mud, up and down ladders, across cable cars, through the difficult sand and over the rocks… the West Coast Trail certainly challenged me. I may have underestimated it a bit, as you are not climbing tons and tons of elevation like I am use to in the mountains, though its a different type of challenge. The difficulty of the trail, variety of terrain, the views, the campsites and the people I went with, and met along the way made the whole thing worth it.

I had ALWAYS wanted to do the West Coast Trail (WCT) ever since I heard of it years and years ago and it had always been on the bucket-list… sitting there staring at me. Back in February one of my girlfriends texted me and simply said ‘Soooo WCT, want to do it with me this summer!?’  I jumped on the opportunity ‘Well of course!’. Another one of Melissa’s friends (Also Melissa – go figure, so we had two Melissa’s on the trip) joined as well. After we booked it all of us were looking forward to the week trip for months, and planned for it to be a great way to kick off summer 2017. Girls trip!


(My aunt who dropped us off at the start)

We left Calgary on Friday, June 9th and headed for the island (we could have flown but we all love a good little road trip – and plus it was cheaper). We stayed in Nanaimo before departing Sunday for the 5 day trek. There are a few different ways you can arrange to hike the trail. A couple questions most people have when planning the trip is:

Which end is better to start on, the North or the South? In the end it doesn’t REALLY matter… we started from the North (Pachena Bay) and went South (Gordon River/Port Renfrew), though some say starting in the South is better cause you get the more difficult terrain over with first. Which can also be a drawback because your packs are heaviest at the start. Either way you are making a fine choice.

Starting in the middle is also an option if you are not wanting to hike the entire 77kms of the trail.

How do I get my car when I finish the trail? There are a couple answers to this question. If hiking with more than one person and you have two vehicles you can park one at either end of the trail, or if its just one vehicle there are shuttle services provided to and from the North and the South to shuttle you back to your vehicle. You can chose to park your vehicle and start hiking, and then shuttle back after, or park your vehicle at the end you plan to finish on, then shuttle to the start, so you will have your vehicle waiting for you when you finish (which is nice – as the shuttle ride can be quite long after a 5-8 day hike). Or you can do what we did and have someone drop you off at the start and have them pick you up and bring you back to your vehicle (which we left in Nanaimo). There are also shuttle services provided to and from various towns (for a dollar amount) on the island if you want to be picked up, though you would have to check online to see which towns do shuttles.

Can I start the trail at anytime? You have to book in advance (reservations fill up quickly) though there are a certain number of walk-ons allowed per day, so if you are not on a big timeline and aren’t planning on hiking with a LARGE group of people this could be an option as well. There are also orientation times at 10am and 2pm everyday. You must go through an orientation before starting the trail. You can also do the orientation at 2pm the day before, and start bright and early the next day if you wish! There are campgrounds you can stay at (for a price) at either end of the trail also if you chose to camp out before you start hiking.

Packing List


Camping/cooking gear:

A good pack that fits you well. The fit of your hiking pack could make or break your trip – make sure its sized to fit you and that you practice wearing it around with the weight in it to get a feel for it (if you haven’t done much back country camping before or long trips with a pack on) as it could really effect your shoulders and hips. I brought a 55+10L pack with me and it was perfect. My pack weighed 48lbs which is way over what they recommend for my weight (they recommend 32lbs) but I had all my camera gear with me and I packed independent from the other girls, as they shared cooking and camping gear).

More gear: Light weight tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tent footprint, tarp, rope (to hang your clothes or in case of other emergencies), stove, fuel (make sure to bring enough), pot, matches/lighter, head-lamp or flashlight,  utensils (I just brought a spork)

Clothing: I definetely brought to much clothing but I also did not want to be sleeping or hiking the next day in wet clothes!

Water proof jacket/poncho, rain proof pants, mid-layer (fleece or small down jacket), 2 long sleeves (one for sleeping, one for the day), two tank tops, you can also bring a t-shirt to sleep in if you would like, 2 pairs of tights (one long and one capri), 2 pairs of shorts, 3 pairs of good wool socks, a pair of gloves (for the cable cars and ladders) or if it’s a bit chillier at night time. Don’t forget a new pair of underwear for each day!

Other: First aid kit, quick dry towel, face wipes, hand sanitizer, toiletries: toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, toiler paper, a multi-tool (knife, scissors, etc.), bear spray, POLES – these were a huge life saver – to take a bit of weight off your knees and back when hiking for many kms a day. Also GAITERS – I would say are a must have – when trudging through the mud.

Food: I packed just the right amount of food (planned each day out in advance) to refrainer from carrying to much weight.


Breakfasts: Oatmeal, Starbucks VIA instant coffee, brown sugar

Lunches: Tuna and crackers (which you can buy pre-packaged) and pita bread

Snacks: Peanut butter, beef jerky, clif bars, chocolate bars, dried mangos, a big(ish) bag of trail mix, starburst. I am very happy I brought some treats with me!

Dinner: Dehydrated meals – I had one for each night.

There are also two restaurants along the way you can stop and eat at, so be sure to bring cash. Each of us brought $100 cash to be safe. The first place is ‘The Crab Shack’ which we hit on our second day (38kms in) and the second ‘Chez Moniques’ which we went to after we left Carmanah creek – so approximatly at the 48km mark, which served delicious burgers! Beer, coolers, wine, apples, treats and more were also available for purchase!

Make sure that whatever you pack in you pack out! There are no trash cans at the campsites or along the way so all garbage comes out with you.

There are also BEAR BINS at each campground – so before you go to bed you must make sure to store your food there. Or if you are going around exploring once you set up camp be sure to store your food and do not leave it in or around your tent. 

WATER – there are a few ways you can do this. For the most part the water on the trail is pretty clean, and lots of rivers and creeks to get water from. I brought with me my Lifestraw waterbottle which was easy as I just filled up the bottle, stuck the straw in (which is attached to the lid) and drank right from it. The girls brought water tabs with them, you can also get a gravity bag, and can fill up water at your campsite at night, or when you stop from lunch, which filters your water, or if you have any other water filtration device! It’s important you drink lots along the way, as you are putting in many kms. I can admit to not drinking enough and by the end I could feel the dehydration (headaches etc.)

There are OUTHOUSES at every campground as well, so be sure to use them if you are close enough to them. If you are out on the trail and have to go to the bathroom, just be sure to go well into the woods, dig a good sized hole and cover it back it back up when your done, to be respectful to everyone else using the trail.

Our Itinerary

We chose to do the hike in 5 days and 4 nights, which is a lot faster then most chose to do it in, I would recommend 5 nights minimum and up to 7/8 if you have the time (to really be able to take it all in). We did the 10am orientation at Pachena Bay, and then started hiking at 11. Two kms into the hike to can say bye bye to cell reception for the entire week! It was so nice being disconnected for an entire 5 days, you really could focus on the trail, one another and just being present. I think this was one of my favorite parts of the trip :p

Day 1: Pachena Bay –> Darling River – km 14


The first day was pretty easy going (starting from the North) its not very technical (a couple initial ladders), you don’t gain or lose much elevation. Its BEAUTIFUL leaving Pachena bay and hiking along the beach, before having to scoot into the woods. The West Coast is just soooo luscious, green and fresh. We took our time hiking, knowing we had so much time to make it to our first camp site, and enjoyed the views along the way.



It was so nice falling asleep to the sound of the waterfall near our campsite that evening, and waking up to ocean views! It’s also very easy to make a campfire every night as there is drift wood that washes up at every campsite. Also its easy to join in on other peoples fires as well, as we found everyone was super friendly and wanting to visit 🙂




Day 2: Darling River –> Carmanah Creek – km 46

This was a LONG day. Originally I planned for the second day to be a lot shorter, though when we got to orientation the lady told us the last few kms of the South end are VERY slow going and difficult – so we tried to allocate more time for that and to get some of the North end kms out of the way (which are easier and flatter).



This was a long day – but beautiful and worth it, as we walked along the coast line, looking down off of the ocean side cliffs. We spent a good chunk of time at Tsusiat Falls (pictured below) where you can swim and bath if you’d like. You can also camp here (which was our original plan) but that changed when we found out the South end was harder.





(One of 5 cable cars along the trail)

Carmanah Creek was a pretty busy campsite, but for a good reason – it was a GREAT place to set up camp for the night.  One of my favorite parts of the day was being able to sit around a fire at the end of the night and chat with all the other people out hiking the WCT. Without cell reception everyone is forced to actually talk to one another (crazy right) haha. But on a serious note, it was so amazing getting to know the reasons behind why people chose to hike the trail, where everyone is coming from, their stories etc.




Day 3: Carmanah Creek –> Cullite Cove – km 58

This was a perfect hiking day. Only having to hike 12kms we were also able to take our time and enjoy the trail. To get down into Cullite Cove we had to descend a TON of ladders, and then back out and up the other side the next morning, but up the same amount of ladders. Was quite the way to wake up in the am!





(Chez Moniques – Pictured Above)





Day 4: Cullite Cove –> Thrasher Cove – km 70


We had to take the inland trail the entire 12 kms to Thrashers cove and missed the caves and boulders, which are suppose to be amazing out on the beach – but we didn’t end up timing the tide times right. Due to taking the inland trail we put on an extra 2kms (as Thrashers cove campsite is 1kms off the trail down onto the beach, and having to hike back out the same way the next morning to get back onto the trail)




Day 5: Cullite Cove –> Gordon River – km 75

They say the last 5-6kms of the trail to allocate 1km per hour. We managed to get in 2kms per hour but were hustling! It was POURING rain the last day so we just wanted to get up and out. We were very lucky the first 4 days to have zero rain. Another reason we decided to get in more kms the first couple days – as to not have to spend 5 nights on the trail and get stuck in another day of rain at the end (which was forecasted).

We were so happy to see the end of the trail. After 77kms of hiking with a huge pack, full of mud, with no shower, we were ready to clean up and get a good hot meal in us. We headed right for Port Renfrew – where we celebrated by having Baileys and coffee, along with a great tasting burger and fresh greens.

If you have any questions about the trail, whether it be planning, packing or question about the trail/stops along the way feel free to send me a message and I would LOVE to chat with ya!

Happy Trails!

BBJ Rocky Mountain Road Trippin’

         BBJ Rocky Mountain Road Trippin’

(Aka Brooke, Boone, Jessie – Clever I know)

         This past weekend I spent 4 days adventuring around, starting in YYC (Calgary) and then out West in the mountains with a friend, Jessie Williams (aka @jadubya ). She is currently living in Denver, Colorado but originally from Dallas, Texas. She had never been to Canada before so when she confirmed that she was coming North for a few days to visit me and adventure around, I knew I had to make the best of the 4 days she would be here for! Soooo…. hence the many miles, sites and things we did in such a short period of time. We traveled through 4 national parks, Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, Yoho National Park and Kootney.


Oh and we cant forget about her pup Boone (aka @boone_tails ) that she brought along for the ride! I can not wait till I have my own adventure pup companion. It was so great having them two to explore with and be around, Jessies energy and passion for life and adventure is very contagious! I know in the ‘old n’days’ our parents use to tell us never to talk to or meet up with strangers though Instagram has kind of been a game changer in that… I can admit to having talked to and met up with a number of ‘strangers’ through the app. Though it has provided me with many amazing experiences, connections and opportunity to learn and grow and be around like minded people. You just have to be smart about it 🙂

Jessie and I started following each other almost two years ago, and started chatting back and forth a few months after that, then eventually began planning a time to meet up. We can relate to SOOOO many of the same things, whether it be our careers (both working in the school district with kids, our relationships, love for adventure, the outdoors, dogs, people and so many other things.

Being a teacher down in Colorado, Jessie drove up at the start of her during her week off for Thanksgiving, and I managed to get a couple days off work to show her around! From Denver up to Calgary its about 16 hours in the car… but that didn’t seem to phase her.

We started the trip out with a day in Calgary (YYC) we went for brunch, walked around downtown, along the Bow River, then headed to the Florida Georgia Line Concert!! Which would be my favorite ‘country’ band, and luckily she loves them too… After a few drinks and singing to every song we headed to sleep and tried to get a few hours in before we started our mountains adventure!



We woke up bright and early, loaded the car up and headed straight for Tim Hortons (her first true Canadian experience). Then headed through Banff National Park towards Lake Louise – via the Bow Valley Parkway just off of the main highway, the weather was a bit foggy and gloomy but hey, what can ya do! Boone was definetely the centre of attention with all the tourists at the lake!


(Lake Louise – 57 Kms from Banff – 183km from Calgary)

From there we headed for the Icefields Parkway (One of Alberta’s most scenic drives), making a pitstop at Bow Lake (pictured below).


(Bow Lake – 39kms from Lake Louise)

From there we continued to Athabasca Glacier, where it was VERY windy and chilly so we piled on the layers and then headed for the icecaves – which is about a 20 minute walk up and down some rocks, we took a few wrong turns trying to get to the caves, due to the blowing wind and it having covered up other footprints and the trails but we managed to get there! I had been two years prior and WOW have the caves changed but they were still beautiful. Jessie had never seen ice caves before either so I thought it would be neat to check out.



(Athabasca Glacier – 106kms from Jasper)

We then continued our drive down the Parkway entering into Jasper National Park, and made a pit stop at a beautiful river sight just off the highway (Pictured below – We both were amazed by the intense aqua blue coloured water!)



From there we continued to Athabasca Falls, though it was getting a bit dark out so the colour of the water was not AS vibrant as I had seen before and was hopping to see again this time but it was still amazing non the less! It is a very accessible place to stop if you are ever in Jasper and area.




(Athabasca Falls – Jasper National Park – 32kms from Jasper)

We spent the night at Best Western in the town of Jasper – which accommodates dogs and is very reasonably priced! We went out to Famoso for soup and salad (which I highly recommend – even though we probably should have got their famous pizza) to warm up and then walked around the town in the evening checking out shops, before turning in for the night.

We then woke up bright and early and got on the road for 7 am, first with another stop at TIMMIES, for coffee and bagels!!! On our way out of town Jessie spotted a HUGE wolf on the side of the highway, its eyes were dark to miss. We turned around in hopes of going back to see it and we did, but there wasn’t only one but TWO of them! We both had never seen wolves out in the wild before so it was VERY neat to see. We followed them for a few minutes trotting along side the highway before they scurried off  back into the woods. I wish I would have gotten a great photo of them, but with it being dark and me just wanting to admire them I failed to do so. But here are some photos of the drive 😀




We then stopped at Peyto Lake, which is also along the Icefields Parkway just a few kms from Bow Lake where we stopped the day before, when we stopped Sunday it was PACKED due to people there for avalanche awareness – field work, so we said we would come back the next day and it was DEAD. We were the only vehicle there so was nice to have the whole place to ourselves. The water colour of Peyto (Pronounced Pee – toe, which I just found out this trip as it was written on a information sign) blows my mind every single time I visit it. I mean look at it! How could it not 😮



(Peyto Lake – 42 kms North of Lake Louise)

We Left Peyto and headed for Yoho National Park, entering into British Columbia, stopping at Emerald Lake Lodge and the Natural Bridge which are just a couple kms away from each other, off the highway outside of Field, BC. They can both get very crowded during peak times and with tourists but we managed to get to experience them with no one really around!


(Natural Bridge – Yoho National Park – 32km from Lake Louise)


(Emerald lake – Yoho National Park – 37km from Lake Louise)

It was a quick stop in Yoho, as we left quickly and headed back East before turning South into Kootney National Park! We were headed for the Lussier HOTSPRINGS, a place I have been DYING to go to. I have seen photos and heard stories of these natural hot springs, though never had the opportunity to go for myself and check them out… I thought this trip would be a perfect chance to finally check that off my bucket list. It certainly wasn’t a CLOSE drive but it was well worth it. The hot springs are located just out side of Invermere off the highway down a forest road about 18km. They get VERY busy also during the weekends and evenings during the week as people start to hear about them more and more, but again we managed to find a time to go when it was quiet, before a few people joined us.


There are different temperature pools, pictured above I am sitting in the ‘cooler’ pool down below and pictures below we are in the hotter pool. We had to get out every once and awhile to sit on the rocks to cool down cause they are THAT hot! We also brought along popcorn to enjoy :p Which isn’t pictured. Was the perfect way to end a long two days thus far of adventuring and driving.


(Lussier hot springs – 214km from Lake Louise)

They were soooo worth every km we drove. I would go back again and again. We relaxed there for a couple hours before making the trek back towards Banff National Park where we stayed again at Best Western because we knew they allowed dogs! (@boone_tails)  We walked quickly to grab a bite to eat and then went straight to bed, as the drive back pooped us out and we wanted to get up early to take advantage of Jessies last day in Canada!!!

We got up, went for a quick breakfast and then headed for a walk around town. I LOVE Banff and could spend days and days there just wandering. There are a number of trails along the river and through the forested areas. We wandered the river and shopped around a bit downtown Banff before heading to a few lakes near by.


(Banff – Banff National Park – With Mount Cascade in the background)

After touring the town we headed to Vermillion Lakes – which is just outside of Banff. It is a great place to watch the sunrise! But we may have missed that… In the winter you can ice skate there as well! We watched the skaters for a bit wishing we had brought ours!


We then headed for Two Jack Lake – 13kms from Vermillion, which is another unbelievable spot for sunrise and sunset! We walked around the lake for a bit and took some photos for @REI #optoutside campaign, which encourages people to get outside on Black Friday instead of hitting up the malls allllll dayyyy, and spending the day indoors.



(Two Jack Lake – Banff National Park – 13 km from Banff)

From there we headed two kms down the road to Lake Minnewanka! We went for a little hike along the lake to a bridge that continues along to Aylmer pass/Lookout – though we did not have time to do the whole hike which is 12.6 ONE WAY. Lake Minnewanka is a great place to kayak or hike in the summer months, you can also book boat tours or rent your own little boat to tour the lake in!


I wanted to write this blog to give people a little idea of things you could get up to / a little itinerary (Or big depending how you look at it) if you have a few days in the area and want to see a bunch of cool things quickly! ‘A taste of the Canadian Rockies’ – The neat thing about traveling through these areas is there are SOOOO many places to stop along the way, whether it be lakes, tourist attractions, mountain views, pull offs, mini hikes (or big hikes), wild life spottings, waterfalls and more depending on what you are looking for. If you have ANY questions at all about our trip, or just want some advice on some of the stops/locations feel free to send me an email or drop a comment! Always happy to help 🙂

Thanks for reading!!!

‘That One Photo’

I know its been a while since I last updated my website or wrote a blog but I felt the need to this morning as I woke up to a eye opening email that stated:

Hi Brooke,

One question: “If all your travel photos were to be deleted but one, which one would you keep and why?”

We believe that by sharing the story behind that very special photo we can connect more people on a basic human level.

We would love to feature you. So if you want to join, please email/dm us your photo, a small caption answering the question and the location. We look forward to reading your story.

Much happiness,

Hansel (

          A lot has changed it my life in the last year, last month and last week even more so and it truly has opened my eyes to a TON. As most of you know I am a Social Worker, though have been working in my local school district for 8 years now as either a practicum student, Educational Assistant or Youth Worker… and I am going back to school next year for my teaching degree. I like to think that even if I can’t always teach the standard curriculum very well I sure as HELL will be able to teach some valid life lessons, give advice and tell some life changing stories that I hope will influence and empower my kids in the classroom.

           At first I thought wow this is an intensive email that will take a lot of thought and time to write and AHHH I don’t even know what photo I would keep if I was asked to delete all of my travel photos except for one… but not even 10 seconds later it struck me and the photo came to mind and the words just began to flow…


‘Do NOT seek to have events happen as you want them to, but instead want them to happen as they do happen, and your life will go well.’

            ‘The photo I would keep (pictured above) – is one taken during my first solo trip I ever did – I saved up for months and months in order to make enough to afford such a trip. I was working FT at an elementary school during the day as an EA and then working PT at a restaurant as a waitress in the evenings just to save up money. Every tip I made I remember when into a glass mason jar on my shelf and then I used that money to buy my round trip ticket to Thailand. I appreciated absolutely every single second of that 4 month trip which took me to 5 countries in South East Asia cause I Worked extremely hard for it and paid for it with my own money. No one was ‘payingggg’ me to be there or paying for it. There was no ‘work’ involved. Like most of my trips had been now over the past year and a bit due to my growing Instagram account, following and engagement…. I was present every SINGLE second of those 120 days in SE Asia – with every person I met and every place I visited.


           I also kept a journal – one I wrote it every single day on that trip. I would say is my most cherished possession I have in my home. I kept every single plane, boat, or entry ticket, little pieces of paper from here and there, I wrote poetry, drew photos, wrote notes, jotted down my feelings day to day, and where I was, places I stayed at. Just EVERYTHING. That was how I reflected on my travels and daily experiences.


          The photo I chose speaks ‘peace’… I was at peace with myself and at peace with the the world around me. I was 100% OK with just living day by day. The photo was taken in Cambodia at Angkor Wat, one of the 7 Wonders of the World. It was a 4 month solo trip through Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos and Cambodia about 6 years ago when I was 19. My first ever ‘real’ BIG trip. I did NOT take a cell phone with me. I had a small little point and shoot camera and valued every single photo I took. And were they by any means ‘perfect’ photos? NOPE, they sure as HELL were not…. which most people seek out now. Spending hours and planning trips around capturing that ‘perfect’ photo, something I am guilty of having done as well… but reality is life sure AIN’T perfect, and I certainly am NOT perfect. I have flaws. I have sad days. I get down. I get self-conscious. I get anxiety when things don’t go as planned or I don’t live up to expectations that I have set for myself. I am only HUMAN, just like everyone else… and that’s also what makes it fun and interesting.




        All of these photos I am including in this blog are raw, cultural, true photos from my SE Asia trip and when I look at them I see a present, content, very happy girl who’s longing for adventure, experience and grateful for every moment of it. When I do look at my photos from the past year of trips I see a lot of anxiety, frustration and you know even unhappiness… as happy as I thought I was at the time. In the end things don’t matter, people and relationships do and the true connections we make along the way.




          One month into this trip my camera got wet when I was in Laos floating down the Luang Probang river and I lost the entire memory card and about 1000 photos due to water damage and I didn’t even care …. and well if that happened now while I was gone on one of my ‘working’ trips I would probably would have had a big anxiety attack cause I’d be letting people down and wouldn’t be able to fulfill that contract or make that post… or whatever it may be. Being so focused on taking photos while traveling truly does take away and not allow us to be fully present and enjoy every single moment like we should… cause hey tomorrow is NOT promised and I would be quite upset leaving on the note that I did not live every day to the very best I could.


The locals would all laugh at me and my blonde crazy hair, they would want photos with me and would often pet my arms… don’t think they are so use to blonde hair? Got to love the locals! I think if I had traveled with friends or for work I would not have spent as much time interacting with the local people.



I made a ton of amazing friend ships along the way… You guys know who you are :p


           Also because I didn’t have a cellphone with me for 4 months I had to spend time seeking out internet locations every few days to update my parents and get in touch with friends back home and let them know I was safe, alive and fill them in on some of my experiences. I had to feed money into the slot to be able to communicate. So I did also value every minute of time I had to Skype with them… it wasn’t a constant conversation I was having back home with friends / family or whatever. Another reason that I was left to feel present in the moment while traveling that long. We MUST be present or we risk missing out on some important experiences, ones we may never get back.’

‘There is never anything but the present and if one can not live there, one can not live anywhere’ – Alan Watts

travel-monkey    diving

This trip was one for many ‘first’… from scuba diving to bungee jumping… Those memories are near and dear to my heart (even if both scared the CRAP out of me).


        I could say SO much about this topic… During this SE Asia trip I didn’t feel the need to let people know where I was or what exactly I was doing…. a feeling I and many other people seem to get these days with social media being so avid in our lives… whether it be through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat…  I ask myself why do I need that gratification? Why can’t I just 100% be okay experiencing it on my own, without peoples approval or likes and what not? This is something I have spent a lot of time reflecting on in the last while and I believe a topic that many people would go back and forth about. It could turn into quite the sensitive topic for many but hey maybe those buttons need to be pushed and get people thinking about.



It was often just me… my scooter and a map… I didn’t have google maps and I got everywhere just fine! :p


I would often wander, get lost and stumble upon beautiful waterfalls and cute kids 😛

        I have been on a few ‘work’ trips in the last year and I can truly say I didn’t deep down TRULY enjoy them as much as those trips that I put every dollar of my own into and lived present in… We do lose out on the purpose… also when we are traveling to places that may or may not have been the first on our list of places we really wanted to go to experience. I am NOT saying I don’t appreciate every single opportunity I was given, all the gear I have been sent and contracts I have made and relationships I have created all over the world. I realize just how blessed I have been to have had the opportunities I did and look… now I have so much experience and have learned so much about myself and what it does mean to be truly happy. Am I still learning? YEP… and will I continue to learn? YEP… But I am so grateful for every single thing I have been through cause it has brought me to where I am now and I would like to think I am a pretty decent person. One with STRONG values, a rewarding job empowering kids, an amazing supportive family and friend group, a healthy body and a passport full of stamps and an endless list of life lessons and advice.


Photo by: @lauren_parks_


        Like I said I am SO far from perfect…. and I do have my bad days just like everyone else even though based off my Instagram it may look like I am ALWAYS happy… which also made it hard when I was traveling and working. I always did have to put on that happy face and well ya sometimes it was fake. Though as of today I and am going to make a very conscious decision to live every day to the very best and be present at work with my kids and people who cross my path on a day to day basis. Because they are the ones that deserve my utmost attention and words. I am guilty of having missed out on a lot in the last while cause well…. my head just GOESSSS and GOESSS and I start thinking down the line, worrying about things and getting ahead of myself, whereas if I just lived for today those issues would come and sort themselves out when they were suppose to. A lot of my worries stems from living up to expectations I have set out for myself… and well truth is those aren’t realistic. I’m me…. perfectly imperfect.

‘Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.’ – Coco Chanel


My sisters ❤


My whole fam ❤


          When I got the email this morning I found it to be extremely weird timing and am happy this man sent it, whoever he may be. It has been a HUGE eye opener for many reasons and it’s something I had been thinking bout for a while now. I do hope that whoever reads this will take it all to heart…. and hey if you really do agree with it and think its an important issue DO share it and spread the word. Our future generation will thank us and we need to start thinking about that. Social Media can be very beneficial if used in the right way, though the way I see our youth using it often is scary and they need to know the pros and cons to it and when to leave the phones behind!


        I am not saying at all that those who live for photography are doing it all wrong. I highly respect those people who have turned their passions into their career and live for travel and photography. Just as long as we are conscious of how we are living and experiencing it while we are doing it…. I admire those people who can tell stories through  photos and show so much emotion. It’s a gift many people do have and I do respect it. I am simply saying some of us are perhaps missing out on the reason why we travel and why we are doing what we are doing and it’s just something we have to think about… Cause hey I also do like looking at some of those ‘picture perfect’ photos too… I think their kinda neat? :p Every single adventure and photo played a role in my learning journey and so for that I will cherish each and every one no matter the circumstance 🙂 Here are just a few of the thousands of photos…




Photos by: @kalenemsley



Photos by: @andyaustinphoto



Photos by: @findmeoutside


Photo by: @erin.noelle1


Spain, Italy and France this past June with @harmonyoftheseas




Photos by: @chaseteron in Iceland

       I just want to thank you all for reading this and hope I did make an impact and got those little hamster wheels turning upstairs. Just a little food for thought going into this weekend!

‘Ask yourself if what you are doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.’

xoxo Brooke


Whistler Blackcomb

I had been to Whistler twice previously, both last year. Once in February where I hosted an instameet with @theexpeditioners where we had a number of people come out and join us, for some hiking, winter camping and more fun! I was invited out again in May to host a meet up with @gowhistler with a number of other influencers during May long weekend. We hiked and explored some different lakes in the area, took the gondola up with @whistlerblackcomb and enjoyed the Gofest. Oh and can’t forget about the delicious food we indulged in, in the village!

I was so happy to be back this year, but this time with my boyfriend @mitchirvine13 . We ended our two week road trip with four day/three nights in the area: mountain biking, hiking, eating :p and sightseeing in the area! We spent our first night camping at Cal Cheak campground just a few minutes out of town and then our last two with @summitlodge right downtown in the village.


Our first night at Cal Cheak was awesome, we sat around the fire and bbqd! Chatted about how stoked we were to get out on the hill with @whistlerblackcomb for some mountain biking, in their world renowned bike park. My boyfriend @mitchirvine13 had been talking about this bike parks for MONTHS leading up to our time there and me being a newbie to the sport went along with it. I am a roadbiker/runner and thought to myself, ‘How hard can it really be?’ Welllll I can tell you its definitely different then road biking! But nothing like a good challenge, right?!

I may have been outnumbered in the park 1:20, female to male ratio but hey that’s okay! There are so many different runs, from green, to blue, black to double black… Trails for all levels of riders and I felt very comfortable on the hill. May have took one bad tumble but that’s all part of the sport.  My boyfriend Mitchell was super patient with me and supportive the whole time… Like I am with him when were are hiking :p haha (Which is def more my ‘thing’). As time goes on I will surely become more confident on a bike and perhaps a little more fearless.


The bike park was open 10am-8pm, we got suited up in all our protective gear and got our bike rentals from the shop early in the morning. Full helmet, shin guards, elbow pads, gloves and all! I felt ready to go! Being a Sunday, it was very busy but the lines were quite long but it gave be time to break and hydrate myself after every run. We broke for lunch at 2 at a restaurant patio right before the hill and were able to have a drink and eat some grub as we watched the other riders come down. Not a bad place to be!


We didn’t end up making it right till 8… We were off the hill at like 6 as my hands were cramping, back and rear end after many hours out riding. But soo fun!! Slow and steadily I will get better, I just need to get out more. My boyfriend couldn’t stop talking about how much fun it was. He could sit and watch those riders for hours, or could be out there everyday all day and NEVER get tired of it, then again he grew up riding dirtbikes/mountain bikes!

The next day we woke up and the sky’s were grey and forecast in the alpine was rain and cloud… but we stuck to our itinerary and hit the peak-to-peak gondolas for a day of adventure up in the mountains. We were praying for things to clear up, as we looked up and saw the peaks covered in cloud.  We both had never been on the peak-to-peak 360 gondola before… which ended up being SUPER awesome, even with the crazy weather.



It was also ‘eerie’ as you can see from the photos. We surely made the best of it. We got off at the Rendezvous restaurant, and scouted out some trails. There are over 50km of hiking/running trails available to anyone up there!



We got our rain gear on and headed out on the ‘Alpine Walk‘ trail, which connected to the overload trail, then onto the lakeside loop, where we made our way to Blackcomb Lake! We took photos along the way, made a couple pit stops to just enjoy, and then stopped at the lake for a while!



Despite the rain and conditions we ran into a surprisingly high number of people on the trail! It was great to see so many people getting out and enjoying the trails. We retraced our way back and had lunch at The Rendezvous restaurant, YUM!


We then headed back down and enjoyed the rest of the day in the village. We checked out some shops and explores some of the local paved trails, along the creek and then headed to Brandywine falls! I had been a couple times but Mitchell had yet to see the falls.


After two long days of biking, hiking and sightseeing it was always so nice to come back to a hot shower and comfortable beds at @summitlodge! They provided such great hospitality during our two nights stay and I already can’t wait to be back. Oh and their bath robes – sooooo cozy. We sat out on the deck both nights in them and just enjoyed the view and each others company, chatting about what we had done those days!

I hope its not over a year again until we return to Whistler!


Finding My ‘Beach’ In The Mountains

Finding My ‘Beach’ In the Mountains

With Corona Canada

            Just a few weeks ago @Corona Canada had reached out to me asking if I would be down to work with them on one of their newest campaigns… Re: ‘Your Perfect Canadian Mountain Moment – Opportunity’. I can surely say the whole experience ended up being just that. Where I had the opportunity to spend a day with three close girlfriends on the ski slopes before wrapping up the day with an amazing apres experience around a fire!


‘Closer to the sun’ is a hash-tag/slogan Corona uses to promote their brand, as their intention is to radiate sunshine in the world. How they do this is by encouraging others to ‘Find their Beach’ – A place they can go to escape the ‘hustle and bustle’ of the world to reconnect with what matters most (and no I don’t just mean connecting with a good cold Corona). But to just lay back, unwind and enjoy the moment. I am sure all of you initially connect Corona with summer, hot weather, the ocean or a sandy beach. This year Corona has decided to take on a whole new outlook, bringing the brand to the snowy, wintery mountains… way above sea level!


As different as the beach and the mountains are… they both represent the same things in a way. They offer feelings of freedom, vastness, opportunity and have a way of bringing people back from that ‘hustle and bustle’ I was speaking of earlier, where responsibilities and worries can be put aside for the time being. After a long day on the ski slopes, out in the backcountry snowshoeing/skiing, or whatever activity you may be participating in all day in the snow… there’s nothing quite like unwinding while watching the sunset, in a hot tub, around a fire etc. reminiscing about the day. ‘When the lifts close, horizons open’ is a way Corona likes to describe it. It’s all about those apres-moments.


Three girlfriends and myself had the opportunity to hit the slopes at Nakiska Ski Resort in Kananaskis for a full day of skiing/boarding. The sun was shining, snow was great, the hills were quiet (given it was mid week) and laughs were frequent. Nothing like some quality girl time in the snow!


Once the hills closed we headed for Fortress Mountain, where we gathered for an ‘après-ski’ experience, around a fire, completely encircled by mountain peaks. With smores and Coronas in hand, music, good company, mountain views, the sunset… We were able to unwind and take in the day. What more can a few girls ask for? It was an experience that will not be forgotten.


We encourage all of you to find your own ‘beach’ in the mountains after a long day outside in the snow! Whether its with one friends or a huge group, there’s nothing quite like that quality time spent with amazing people in such an amazing place, providing us with those feelings of freedom and relaxation. A cold Corona tastes just as good during moments like these.




Disconnect to Reconnect

Disconnect to Reconnect

‘There is Often no Wifi out in Mother Nature, but Trust me… You’ll Find a Better Connection’

Burstall Pass

The title somewhat speaks for itself… I am sure you have read numerous blogs on the ‘connection’ we may have to our phones, computers, social media and technology in general. How dependent we all have become and how many of our lives are revolving around it. I can’t deny that dependency and am guilty of carrying my phone everywhere I go, freaking out if I cant find it, often checking it every few minutes to see what the latest updates are: whether it is on Facebook, Instagram, emails or text messages. What sweet photos have been posted? Where are people at these days? Who has been more recently engaged (Since I could probably count at least 30 people within the last couple months on my own Facebook Homepage). Checking to see how my latest Instagram post is doing and replying to all the comments… It is NEVER ending!

Social media can be a very good thing if used in balance, and for the right reasons… But what are the right reasons? And who has the power to define that balance? What’s too much? Could some people use more social media in their lives? I think its all personal and relative, and depends on one another personalities, jobs and abilities to draw the line between ‘too much’ and ‘too little’. Is there even such thing as too little, or would that maybe be best? Back at the end of June I decided to leave my stable 8-4, Monday – Friday job to take on all this ‘Social Media Marketing’ full time, just to see what could come from it. As if I wasn’t already on my phone enough BEFORE taking this all on…

Without Social Media I can say I wouldn’t have many of the same friends I do now, which I have met through instameets, company partnerships, and simply chatting through the app. Having found one another through similar interests, photos, features etc. These people are some of the most AMAZING individuals I have ever met, some of which will certainly be life long friends. I met one gal a couple months ago and she ended up traveling to Peru with me shortly after, and now I am her roommate here in Canmore (aka @miniuii– Marie-Eve). I would name all the rest, but you know who you are 😛 I also would NOT have had many of the same opportunities I have had and am EXTREMELY grateful for everything I have been able to do over the year, thanks to connections and networking through social media.

Iceland Friends-92

Iceland 2015

Instagram is a place where ‘creatives’, ‘outdoor-enthusiasts’, ‘adventurers’, ‘ photographers’, ‘athletes’ and more can all come, post, interact and express themselves in ways that they may not be able to in person. It’s immediate and makes networking, and advertising even, a heck of a lot easier these days. I see it as an outlet. It is a way for me to share my own experiences with others. To inspire and showcase my own adventures in hopes of encouraging others to GET OUT THERE and simply embrace all that Mother Nature has to offer! Mother Nature is the BEST teacher one could ever have, and ‘eco-therapy’ is the best form of therapy (Well I believe it is). I wrote a blog post for @tentree which explains exactly that:

 Sure I encourage one another to get connected through Instagram, especially if you don’t have many friends around you, or others you know who may be interested in getting outside with you, whether it be hiking, biking, kayaking, running, camping, climbing, taking photos, etc. Online is a GREAT place to find people to get outdoors with and who will inspire you to keep on truckin’! Or maybe you are a newbie to the outdoors and are seeking others to help ya get out!


My motto: ‘Get Inspired. Get Connected. Get outside.’ Speaks to that. Yah its great to be inspired by all those fancy outdoor photos, insanely epic camping spots, bird eye views from helicopters, sick starry night shots, gorgeous colored lakes and epic travel locations around the world… But those photos don’t do us any justice if we just continue to scroll up and down and DREAM about one day experiencing those things for ourselves … It almost is worse, because we begin to potentially ‘hate’ our own lives, or realize how ‘boring’ we are compared to others. We may become envious or jealous or people who are able to drop everything and just go, who can take off traveling whenever they want, with minimal responsibilities or commitments back home. We can become more or less upset or depressed by scrolling through social media if we don’t know how to process or separate it.

‘Never Get So Busy Living, That You Forget To Make A Life’

I mean some of us obviously have more time then others to get outside and travel, where as many people I come across on Instagram have found a way to combined their passions, including myself (Whether it be photography, inspiration, geology, journalism, blogging, biology, art and illustration, community networking and more) with work to enable us to be able to travel more. Some people call us lucky, or fortunate to be able to, and how they ‘wish’ they could do the same etc. But heyyyyyy we MADE those decisions for ourselves, we took chances and followed our hearts. I also had a 8-4 job for years and was in school for many of those, on top of working and that didn’t stop me from getting outside, planning trips whether it be to the mountains or internationally! I just made it work. I traveled when I could and took advantage of Mother Nature in every way I knew how. I prioritized. To me there ain’t to many excuses for those working 8-4, Monday – Friday jobs who say they are limited to being able to get outside, to travel or even to ‘exercise’.


Photo By: @kalenemsley

‘All Our Dreams Can Come True if We Have The Power To Pursue Them’ – Walt Disney

I can say though… that since leaving my desk job, working for myself and having turned travel, outdoors, and social media into a ‘career’ for now, I have found it even more difficult to disconnect. Being on my phone, checking emails, being on my computer and writing IS MY JOB. Adventuring has become more or less work as well. Am I climbing that mountain, heading out camping, traveling to get those shots, or am I doing it because I truly LOVE it and want to do it every single time? I have recently begun asking myself that… and when do I turn work off? There are ALWAYS opportunities for blogging, photos and creating content for ‘work’ and it’s hard sometimes to just say ‘NOPE, this trip/experience is JUST for me and not for my followers or anyone else’. I also recently moved to the mountains… whereas it use to be a place I could ‘escape’ too and now I ask myself, where can I ‘escape’ too when things get crazy?

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‘You Can’t Do a Good Job, If Your Job Is All You Do’ – Artifact Uprising 

This is where I have come to the realization I need to disconnect to reconnect every once and a while. YES I do love the outdoors and adventuring, taking photos along the way no matter if its going to be posted online or if that photo will just be put into a folder or deleted in the future… but its necessary that I, along with others take those steps back and do things just for fun. Forgetting the camera and cellphone at home, or turning it off when we don’t NEED it is important. Also not always documenting/writing our adventures and just simply ‘BEING’ in the moment. Disconnecting from the online world, from that ‘hecticness’ back home, that anxiety that’s been building up, those difficult relationships, ‘work life’ and more. Reconnecting with not only our own selves but with nature as well. Remembering WHY exactly it is we get outside in the first place… Is it so we can obtain that perfect photo for our IG feeds, or because we LOVE it and WANT to be there?


I recently traveled to Cabo, Mexico for a much-needed 20 day ‘holiday’ with my family. I didn’t ‘adventure’ as much as I thought I would. I didn’t take as many photos as I thought I would. I didn’t work on my website as I had planned too. I didn’t read any books like I thought I would. I didn’t blog as much as I wanted too. Though, I did drink a lot of margaritas. I spent hours laying poolside and on the beach. I ate a ton of guacamole, salsa and chips. I spent a ton of time visiting with my family. Got in a total of over 300kms of running over the span of my time here… And I am 100% okay with all of that.


Photo by: @picobac aka @hike365

When I got back I headed straight for the backcountry with @highlinemag. A group of 15 creatives: Photographers, Journalists, Marketing/Advertisement ‘pros’, illustrators/artists, and more were hosted by Sundance Lodge and Highline Magazine for a weekend of fun, reflection, networking and talking about this coming year and goals for Highline! Nothing like being around an amazing, inspiring group of fun, passionate energetic folks for three days of skiing, chit chatting, wine drinking and food eating at a beautiful lodge, with NO wifi. Between both Cabo and the backcountry retreat I took time to really disconnect, reflect and journal. So many things have became clear over the last few weeks and I realize I need to make a lot more time for exactly that this coming year.


I saw this quote: ‘The Best Moments Of My Life Don’t Make it To Social Media’ Which really spoke to me, cause its true (Which is a whole other topic on its own – which I will get around to writing about) … Though I then also thought to myself ‘The Worst Moments Of My Life Don’t Make It To Social Media’. It’s important we take time to soak in our own experiences without having to showcase them to the world, in order to gain reassurance and satisfaction in likes, or numbers/comments. Having experiences that are ONLY ours. My life is NOT all rainbows and butterflies and when I scroll through my own Instagram it often looks like it is. I am human just like anyone else… I have my down days, my anxiety gets me here and there, I have arguments, I cry, I get frustrated, my adventures don’t always go as planned.. though my photos don’t often showcase all of that. Social Media can turn into the ‘highlights’ of peoples lives, or what we ‘wish’ our lives were like all the time. I want to try and include more heartfelt posts, captions, blogs on not only the UP’S but also the DOWNS of my own life, and how I manage to keep on keepin’ on 🙂

‘There is no strength without challenge, adversity, resistance and often pain. Strength comes from our ability to stand up, face resistance and walk through it’. – Unknown

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Photo By: @chaseteron

I know this is a HEAVY topic.. Speaking about social media (Instagram in particular) one that I could write about for pages upon pages, along with my own experience and opinion but I will leave it at that for yal to soak up. If you have any questions or comments about the blog PLEASE feel free to leave a message and I will be sure to answer back!

 My friend Holly @missholldoll wrote a blog ‘For The Love, Or For The Gram?’ that I just LOVED and also speaks to this topic… Check it out if you have time: