Blog.

Learning to Celebrate.

This week is a throwback all the way to my birthday. Oddly enough, I’m not a fan of birthdays or celebrations in general. Now to justify my obscure feelings when it comes to naturally enjoyed human events, I have to say I’ve just never learned how to properly celebrate. Not only celebrate but feel joy from celebrating something momentous. Occasionally there are moments in life where I feel a child-like joy and then am reminded or someone else has the honour of pointing out how ‘weird’ or ‘odd’ it is to be content and joyful due to said thing. I’ve grown used to this friendly ridicule, although, I think there is still a subconscious insecurity when it comes to expressing joy and happiness around people. As most faults in my personally that I’m aware of, I am working on this and hope to continue growing to the point where I can fully embrace the joy that can be felt from the celebration of good things. Until then I am so thankful to have people in my life like Paul and especially my wonderful wife, Celine, who show me what it looks like to have a good time in life!

I should mention that Paul fell through the ice in the middle of February. This was after an hour drive and probably only being there for 20 minutes. Fortunately he was ok but we had to drive back and crank the heat in the vehicle so his extremities wouldn’t shatter off is frozen body.

Cross-Country Skiing.

These are just a few photos from when I attempted cross country skiing for the first time this winter. Overall it went pretty well. I found it was basically a mix between really fast snowshoeing and chill skiing. It is understandably a great way for people to get to point a to b, however who thought it was a good idea to ski uphill? Just so you know, it’s terribly exhausting.

Anyways, enjoy the photos and I’m kind of in a space right now where I want to redirect and focus all my hobbies and things I enjoy just down to the ones that are most helpful to other people.

Another Adventure Brought To You By Paul.

I'm a pretty strong believer that there should be people in your life who break your comfort zones on a frequent basis. Now the majority of my friends consistently create these scenarios in my life, and I’m not complaining, but Paul tends to do this more than most. The images below are from our 'short 2km hike to a gorgeous hot spring' that we did at the beginning of winter. Now if you’re familiar with any of my other escapades with Paul, you’ll know that his descriptions of difficulty and distance leave much to be desired. Immediately, I should have known to double the distance and maybe even triple it. In addition to the drastically undermined length of this hike, I should have really taken into consideration the difficulty when he was packing long rope and seemingly over preparing for a basic hike. I mean judging by his description of the end goal being a hot spring I just assumed any city girl wanting a new Instagram photo could easily navigate their way to this location. In one way it’s accurate because there is a pretty well-defined trail. It isn't until we reached the saddle between the two mountains where I really started to contemplate the simplicity of Paul’s description.

As we stoically stood, catching our breath, the arduous next few kilometres were right in from of us. Due to the immense amount of wind, the paths from previous people hiking to the hot spring were completely covered. We waited for a few fellow hikers on the trail to pass by so we could proceed along the uncomfortably steep trail that was sheltered from the wind. We wrapped around the corner that you can see Paul and Celine posing on when the wind really decided to escalate my trepidation. The four of us hesitantly made our way along the side of the snow-covered shale and then Sam (Paul's wife) slipped and began sliding down. She managed to dig her feet into the icy snow to slow her decent but we were all stunned. In the exact same spot Celine proceeded to do the exact same thing and then I think Paul might have just done it for fun. Regardless all three of them were not 50 feet further down the mountainside than I was and to their fortune, a little closer to our destination.

After walking a few more kilometres since the saddle, we arrived at the hot spring without any additional company. I didn't get in the water due to some sort of phobia of being wet for non-utilitarian purposes but it was exceptional being able to observe a serene and relatively unknown landscape. After everyone had time to soak in the warm waters and dry off in the relentlessly cold wind, we began hiking back for home.

Just this past long weekend we had the pleasure of hanging out with Paul and Sam again where more adventures occurred. I'll be posting about in the upcoming weeks so thanks again for reading and it would mean a lot if you shared any of my work with someone you think would enjoy joining in the journey.

The Concept of 'Fun.'

What does fun mean to you? Take a minute and think about it, deeper than mere activities.

I’m entirely unaware of what might have just passed through your mind and that idea alone is fun for me to ponder. Somewhat of an odd statement, I know. For some time I’ve been perplexed by the concept of fun. Often mutual confusion occurs when various concepts of fun are exchanged. Currently, I have no desire to experience an adrenaline rush. I’m not sure if many young people are aware but that chemical release occurs in order for us to survive during dangerous situations. I can't help but ask, why would one desire for that mechanism to kick in?Honestly, I don't know and the idea of it is already exhausting me.

The irony of this topic is that the majority of my friends yearn for such a chemical rush to infiltrate their bodies while undergoing dangerous activities. In an attempt to be a good friend I try to engage in some of the activities but I simply become drained during the time of adrenaline endorsed activity. What really excites me is knowing I'm pushing myself outside my comfort zone and learning to adapt to adversity. I'm sure people affirm the same thing while searching for the next adventure, although I think it might be a little different. My primary reason is that it seems as though there are two contrasting sides; the intelectual and physical. You can observe this balance perfectly when watching high-level athletes perform. They are forced to react perfectly on a physical level, as well as, to be mindful of the upcoming play. Personally, the mental part of sports and even video games are what I find exhilarating. Testing the intellect of others and myself in a way that brings about an unexpecting competition is what I can only describe as fun.

I'd love to hear how you perceive the cultural luxury of fun. The photos below are from an extremely windy day of skating in the middle of Two Jack Lake. Enjoy!

Athabasca Falls.

After an arduous day and night at Spirit Island, we decided to get one more view in at Athabasca Falls before heading home. The only problem was that we were back in Jasper around 10am that same morning and didn’t want to photograph the falls without pristine sunset light. At this point we had two options, get a campsite or hotel and try to sleep, or rough it and attempt to once again sleep in the vehicle. The differences from the night before consisted of it being in the middle of the day, 30 degrees Celsius, in the middle of Jasper, and did I mention how hot it was? We checked out a few potential refuges but they were either too expensive or far away to make it worthwhile so we sweatily tried to sleep in the hot box called a vehicle. Needless to say, this was exorbitantly uncomfortable and after maybe the hour of sleep I accomplished there was a serious risk of drowning in the amount of sweat I perspired. Anyways, I woke up to Elliot in an equal amount of discomfort so we decided to walk around for a bit and eat lunch at the Indian restaurant in town.

Somehow we managed to pass the minutes until it was time to head to Athabasca falls. We made some KD in the parking lot and ate a nice, quiet meal on the far side of the parking lot away from the tourists. I had never been there so we meandered along the pathways scouting out where some potential photo spots were. Basically, the best spot for the iconic images is on the bridge. With that being said, the random stone formations are quite mesmerizing and shouldn't be ignored. We set up our tripods, made some images when the light was optimal and then packed up and started the walk back to the vehicle. Just as we approached the vehicle a cougar walked around the back end and locked eyes with us...

Which is exactly what I would say if this was a fictional style blog. Fortunately, there wasn't a cougar or any other dangers waiting for us. We began the long journey home with a stunning orange glow painting the mountainsides. Thank you all for following along with this adventure and looking forward to sharing the next one.