Where the Wild Things are: Rafting Canada’s Tatshenshini and Alsek Rivers

The grizzly bear emerges from the bush on the banks of Melt Creek, its low-slung head swinging side to side as it lumbers toward the swift-moving water. Two cubs follow, as oblivious as their mother to the fact that 15 slightly freaked out river rafters are watching from the opposite shore. Moments earlier Brad, leadContinue reading “Where the Wild Things are: Rafting Canada’s Tatshenshini and Alsek Rivers”

Wintery Wine, Dine and Dash in Kelowna

Tucked between bottles of wine, candles and jelly jars in The View Winery gift shop is a wooden sign that captures the optimism many Kelowna winemakers are embracing this winter: “If you pour it, they will come.” This snowy season over half of Kelowna’s 40-plus wineries are open for wine tasting, offering a more intimate,Continue reading “Wintery Wine, Dine and Dash in Kelowna”

The Bear that Disappears

Of all the very good reasons to take a trip down the Tatshenshini and Alsek rivers, which run from Yukon through British Columbia and Alaska to the Pacific Coast, surely the most compelling is the chance to see one of the rarest animals on Earth. It’s a bear so uncommon, and about which so littleContinue reading “The Bear that Disappears”

Pender Island Surprises

There is a disco on Pender Island. At least I think that’s what islander Curtis Redel just told me. “Heart Trail is a great morning walk,” says Redel when I ask about hiking on the island. “And if you keep following it, you’ll reach the disco.” I imagine flashing lights, disco balls and Donna SummerContinue reading “Pender Island Surprises”

10 Ways Canada’s Yukon Territory is Beyond Your Wildest Dreams

The call of the wild emanates from just about everywhere in Canada’s Yukon Territory. Some locations are expected (evergreen forests, rugged mountain peaks, remote lakes) while others might surprise (a former brothel-now-bar, a wild-west-esque can-can show, a divey saloon). Looming large over this vast frontier north of the 60th parallel and east of Alaska areContinue reading “10 Ways Canada’s Yukon Territory is Beyond Your Wildest Dreams”

Happy in Halifax: That’s an order

Halifax has long known how to have a good time. In 1606, explorer Samuel de Champlain kicked off centuries of Nova Scotia merrymaking when he established L’Ordre de Bon Temps, the Order of the Good Time, to raise the spirits of his men wintering 200 km north of Halifax. The Order is still in existenceContinue reading “Happy in Halifax: That’s an order”

Into the snow in Quebec’s Chic-Chocs

Staring down the powdery, steep slope dotted with snow-laden trees, I am far from lift lines, far from home and far–way far–out of my comfort zone. My ski guide Mia, one of a handful of bilingual staff at the remote Auberge de Montagne des Chic-Chocs on the Gaspe Peninsula in eastern Quebec, gives me anContinue reading “Into the snow in Quebec’s Chic-Chocs”

Welcome to the Rock: Newfoundland

“We didn’t do anything special,” says retired police constable Oswald “Oz” Fudge when describing this community’s efforts to welcome the 38 commercial aircraft carrying nearly 7,000 passengers and crew that were ordered to land in Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Theatregoers seeing “Come From Away,” the hit musical based on thoseContinue reading “Welcome to the Rock: Newfoundland”

Road-Tripping on Vancouver Island

There is air, there is fresh air, and then there’s the brisk, briny, oxygen-thick air that rides in on wild ocean waves. That’s the air you’ll breathe as you explore the Pacific Marine Circle Route on southern Vancouver Island. This 255-kilometre-long drive begins in Victoria, hugs the rugged western coastline to fisher-and hiker-friendly Port Renfrew,Continue reading “Road-Tripping on Vancouver Island”