Blog Posts

Finally… on route to Vancouver Island

Since 1977 I've planned this move to Vancouver Island.  Back then I had this bad-ass boyfriend that I was getting all too serious about. I decided it was time to pack a backpack and hitchhike west.  I was 17. My Mother bought me a 4 month rail pass at the ...
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The Pink Dolphin

Beneath the river lie mysterious treasures, yet undiscovered. Deep in the murky waters of the Amazon River, feeding on catfish and piranha, live the mysterious pink dolphins. Known as Boto, or Bufeo by the locals, these mammals are the largest and most intelligent dolphins. Locals believe they lure children who ...
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Larry’s Arch – The Keen’s Grant

Larry's Arch is a picturesque 200-metre path along the Pinawa Channel on Pinawa's part of The Great Trail (Trans Canada Trail). It's been named after Pinawa's first trail builder, Larry Gauthier (now retired). Twenty years ago Larry found this pretty spot and thought it would make a nice walk. This ...
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My Tenacious Christmas Tree

I have a small hidden pond in my backyard that attracts all sorts of wonderful things; birds, frogs, snakes, dragonflies... but for the past couple of years it was attracting a gnarly little pine tree (or spruce or fir I've been told). Two springs in a  row I took the ...
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Our Victoria Condo

The woman walking across the street at 7 AM this Sunday morning leaves the sidewalk and walks on the road. I wonder why? I stand up for a closer look. There is a man sitting in front of Ming's Variety Store, brown paper bag in hand, enjoying a smoke. Somehow ...
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Awaken As I Come Home

Shards

The assignment is Ekphrastic Poetry. Ekphrastic poetry describes a work of art in words in a specific way. The poem must have 4 stanzas. The first describes the art objectively, the second subjectively, the third interpretively and the fourth is a turn away from the artwork towards a broader concern ...
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The Retirement

This is my second attempt at fiction. Really,  just fiction, I swear. It’s just economics. Don’t you be judging me. Statistics are clear, most men don’t live past 65 and there are way more widows than widowers out there. Do you think this is a coincidence?  What happens in a ...
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Meet Shannon Dee

As part of my Creative Writing course, I had to interview a Canadian author and update their Wikipedia page. This was an opportunity for a wonderful lunch at Pineridge Hollow with an old friend. If you're looking for some new children's literature for Christmas gifts, her books are great reads, ...
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Van Life

Be careful what you wish for. If you're life seems a little boring and you're yearning for adventure, follow me but be prepared. It's not always fun and games. We were still east of Regina when Westie broke down for the first time. The problem was overheating, but the cause ...
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A dark street in Spain along the Camino

An Unfamiliar Place

An Unfamiliar Place is a story I wrote for a contest several years ago. I am republishing it here for my Creative Writing class and requesting feedback from my Professor. Some of my readers may already have read a version of this story. An Unfamiliar Place Day 23: The guidebook ...
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The truck

The Anniversary

It had been a fun evening until the end. We had over-stayed our welcome and had too much to drink. Awkward good byes were said and we headed out to the dark street. That truck, if only she could talk. We’d bought her from my brother for $150. He’d had ...
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Portraits of the North – Meeting Gerald Kuehl

The portrait of Betsy Anderson that I stared at while waiting for Gerald to take the floor is mesmerizing. Her toothless smile, deeply lined skin and worn kerchief tell a story I know I want to hear, and Gerald Kuehl tells it. Betsy is 101 years old in this photo, ...
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Back to School

Writer’s Block!

Or maybe I should call it pure intimidation. I've started school this week - a creative writing course at the University of Winnipeg. It's a second year English class, and please don't tell my prof but this is my first ever post-secondary English course ever. Hopefully he's too busy to ...
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That’s a wrap – TCT Celebration

Thirteen hikers caught the bus from Pinawa Dam at 7:30 AM for the Pinawa through-hike, heading to our starting point Seven Sisters Falls Hydro Generating Station. Already the volunteers had started arriving. When Rosie pulled in with the school bus, I knew it was all going to go just fine ...
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Details of our TCT Celebration

On August 26th the Pinawa and Lac du Bonnet Trail Organizations will be celebrating the Canada 150 Trans Canada Trail 25th anniversary and connection of the trail by flooding our trails with people all day long. We've worked out the details. All you need to do is decide which event(s) ...
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Celebrations on the Great Trail

The Trans Canada Trail with support from Canadian Heritage has a goal to connect The Great Trail and the country for a grand celebration on August 26, 2017. Communities across Canada will be celebrating the full connection of The Great Trail and Canada’s 150th on the same date. The Pinawa ...
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Pinawa’s Great Trail

Pinawa's section of the Great Trail, formerly known as the Trans Canada Trail, spans 27.5 kilometres, from the Seven Sisters Falls Hydro Dam in the south, to the historic Old Pinawa Dam Heritage Park in the north. The trail travels through boreal forest and over granite outcrops of the Canadian ...
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Canada Day on the Great Trail

What better way to celebrate Canada Day than with a hike on the Trans Canada Trail. Please join me on July 1 as I lead a guided hike along a beautiful stretch of trail in Pinawa, Manitoba. Where: The hike will begin and end at the Pinawa Marina. We will ...
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Cycling Pinawa to Seven Sisters

Approximately 17 kilometres from Pinawa town centre to Seven Sisters town centre. Pinawa's favourite cycling path is back! The Trans Canada Trail between Pinawa and Seven Sisters is open for business again.  This trail has been closed for almost two years - first due to construction at the Pinawa lagoons, ...
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Cape of Good Hope

Cape Town to Cape Town complete. Our 11,400 kilometre African road trip is over, ending fittingly at the Cape of Good Hope, where sailors breathe easier once rounding. We too were a little emotional today. The trip was fraught with things that could go wrong, and none of them did ...
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Stellenbosch

The two wino's have finally made it to the heart of some of the worlds best wineries, Stellenbosch, South Africa. It is a painful reality that Canadians are only allowed to bring back two bottles of wine per person. One of life's regrets. Stellenbosch is a lot like the Okanagan ...
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South Africa – the Garden Route

Last week of travel and it looks like we're going out in style. We've reached the "Garden Route" of South Africa. If Namibia was Africa light, Botswana Africa wild and Mozambique Africa crazy, the Garden Route is Africa civilized (Ray says soft but I disagree). We are skipping from one ...
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South Africa – The Wild Coast

We've been on the road for a long time now and feeling road weary. There are days that all we'd like is a transporter machine to get us home. We've arrived on the eastern shore of South Africa now - to an area inexplicably called The Wild Coast. We were ...
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The Drakensberg Mountains

All those places that were just names on the map are coming alive to me now. Since we're in the neighbourhood, we decided to check out some world heritage site hiking in the Drakensberg Mountains. We got out the maps and asked some advice, and landed ourselves at the Garden ...
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Splashy Fen

Want to know how South Africans celebrate the Easter holiday? Well, at least about 5000 of them go to Splashy Fen, a music festival in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains. It's much like any music fest you might attend in Canada, but with a distinctly crazy South African flair ...
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Swaziland

With relief we crossed the border from Mozambique into the Kingdom of Swaziland, with a friendly border guard and a 50 Rand ($5 CDN) road fee for Britzie. The drive immediately became saner, although everything is a matter of perspective. Looking back now Swaziland was not quite as modern as ...
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Mozambique

I apologize for any spelling, grammar or other errors in this post. I'm trying to upload it at a Wimpy's in some obscure South African town and we have a music fest to try and get to before dark. What the heck is going on in this country? Insanity mixed ...
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Kruger Park

A week in Kruger Park, a week of great campgrounds, amazing wildlife and South African families kicking off their three-week school holiday. Honestly, we've entered a completely different world now in Mozambique and Kruger seems like it was weeks ago. One thing I'll say about Africa, its diverse. Blink and ...
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Botswana

Wild and gracious and, in our case wet Botswana. Our short visit here has left a wonderful impression. Much of where we wanted to go, like the Okavango Delta, is currently flooded and the roads closed so our trip was cut a bit short, but what a trip it was ...
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Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Today we visited Victoria Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world. You cannot come to this part of Africa and not visit the Falls, or so says everyone I know who has been here. I'm not sure everyone is quite aware of the effort and cost one must ...
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The Caprivi Strip

Today we traveled most of the Caprivi Strip, a narrow patch of land that runs about 450 k between Namibia and Botswana. The strip is bordered to the north by Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe and to the south by Namibia and Botswana. This rainy season this is our only access ...
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Etosha Park

Trying to put Etosha Park into words is going to be work. We've just spent three nights here, pressing on now toward Botswana. Etosha is all about the animals, animals without fences. There are fences in Etosha, around the camps and around the odd Picnic spot, but they are for ...
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The Skeleton Coast

March 16, 2017 As I write I am sitting in darkness at a watering hole waiting for sunrise. We are camped all by ourselves on the outskirts of Etosha Park, close but not yet bound by park rules. As drives go, the Skeleton Coast must just blow the rest away ...
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Swankopmund

Five hundred dusty gravel kilometres from Soussevlei lies the unlikely German seaside city of Swankopmund. 50,000 people call this home, and many of them seem to have traveled the world before settling here. The Danish couple that sold us vegetables from their farm had tried to settle in Canada first, ...
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Welcome to Namibia!

March 14, 2017 The alarm on the cell rang at 4:30 AM. By 4:45 the camp had been dismantled and we were lined up at the gate. Last night the park attendant told us it was not possible to see the sunrise from the top of "big daddy", the largest ...
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Cape Town to Namibia

March 7, 2017 Well, we are finally on the road, and not without a few surprises. Our first surprise was that our rental camper was not available on the day they picked us up in Cape Town. It had been in an accident and another one was on route from ...
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Cape Town

None of my research prepared me for the amazing Cape Town, South Africa. This is so far the most beautiful city I have ever visited. The spectacular beaches framed by the ominous mountains, Table Mountain being only one of many, makes for a startling natural beauty. The friendliness of the ...
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Munich stopover

First blog post with my new iPad on the way to Africa. So far the karma is with us. Our trip started with a ride to the airport by a shuttle taxi driver, who just happens to call Cape Town his home. We told him to drive slow and picked ...
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and we’re off

Finally we're off to Africa tomorrow. No doubt about it, this is the most intimidating trip I've planned so far. Ray has decided to google every crime statistic he can find. According to him, and I'm not sure if this is fake news or not, South Africa has the fourth ...
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Winter Hike Pinawa to Seven Sisters

Take your honey to lunch this Valentine's Day - or any day, and enjoy one of the best walks in the area to get there. The temperatures are predicted to soar above zero this week - the perfect time for your first hike of the year to Seven Sisters.  Add ...
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Preparing for Africa

Africa is calling. Almost a year in the planning, we leave finally in just two weeks. I think we're ready! Our trip will begin and end in Cape Town. We have a general itinerary but we're basically just going on an epic road trip. We have hired a caravan - ...
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I’m Back…

Just about one month ago, very early in the morning before my eyes were completely open, I managed to destroy ALL OF THE CONTENT of the Trail lady blog. Almost 10 years of writing was destroyed. I know, I couldn't believe it either so I spent more than a week ...
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