Photos taken during our hiking trip to Cirque Lake.
Distance: 13 km
Elevation Gain: 1,045 m
Highest Point: 1,686 m
Photos taken during our hiking trip to Cirque Lake.
Distance: 13 km
Elevation Gain: 1,045 m
Highest Point: 1,686 m
“There is no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.”
Some people tend to find inconvenience under atmospheric precipitation. They fear to get wet, to get cold, to soak their hair, to ruin their makeup, to get lost in the fog, or to be drown in sadness. Of course I am not talking about getting outdoors during a severe natural disaster. I’m insinuating getting outside and benefitting from the fresh air while the sky is grey, the temperature is chill and raindrops fall from the clouds. We don’t need to be kids to fill in warm clothes, a waterproof jacket and rubber boots. Adults can also find amusement in jumping in puddles and mud under a drizzle or a heavy downpour. At least, I do. I enjoy those simple pleasures and as childish as it sounds, it makes me happy: It makes me present in the moment.
February has been a rather rainy month in the Sea-to-Sky Corridor with chill winter air sweeping through the valley. Warmer days are in the forecast, and since spring is around the corner, with unpredictable weather, it’s important to remember that it is not a rainy winter day that should cancel our outdoor adventures. I made a list of 5 free winter outdoor activities you can do in the Sea-to-Sky Corridor on a rainy day :
The Sea-to-Sky Country offers 5 stunning waterfalls: Shannon Falls, Brandywine Falls, Alexander Falls, Rainbow Falls, and Nairn Falls. Most of them are just a short hike from the parking lots, allowing you to wind through magical and impressive rainforests before accessing impressive rushing and crashing cascades. There is nothing I like more than walking through a forest under the rain. There is something so soothing about the sound of the rain falling through the tall trees, the freshness of the air and the scent of the earth soaking every drop. There is something so relaxing and purifying about standing at the bottom of a waterfall, breathing the pure air, and feeling the mist of the water pouring vigorously in front of us.
To know more about the waterfalls, visit: http://www.whistlerhiatus.com
Go eagle watching
Squamish welcomes a significant number of wintering bald eagles from all over the Pacific Northwest each year. They congregate along the Squamish and Cheakamus Rivers to feed on salmon carcasses. It is a great spectacle to observe them perched in the trees, or flying gracefully above the water. The large gathering of eagles is prominent from December to March.
To know more about eagle watching in Squamish, visit: http://www.exploresquamish.com
Soak in the hot springs
We are spoiled with two incredible, natural and road-accessible hot springs. Key Hole Hot Springs are found 100 km from Whistler, down Pemberton Meadows and up the Upper Lillooet Service Road. Sloquet Hot Springs are located about 142km from Whistler, and most of the drive is on the In-Shuck-Ch Forest Service Road, a gravel road along Lillooet Lake (be aware that snow might cover the road up to Sloquet. Watch the road conditions before you head up). What’s better than to soak in the warmth of mineral-rich pools, tucked into the wilderness, while the rain falls over your head.
To know more about the hot springs, visit: http://www.whistlerhiatus.com
Bike the trails
If you have a cross-country bike, you are up for a treat. The Sea-to-Sky Corridor has an extensive trail network to explore, rain or shine. Squamish has the best spots to bike in the winter, due to its lack of snow at lower elevation. While mostly sheltered by the thick trees, you can find challenge in pedaling up and down muddy and wet surfaces. There is something cleansing about biking under the rain through the rainforest. A sense of pure joy and freedom.
To know more about the Squamish off-road trails, visit: http://mountainbikingbc.ca
Walk a dog
If you can’t find any friends willing to embrace the rain with you, why not drop in at your local shelter and see the possibility to walk a dog? Dogs don’t complain about being wet or cold. They wear the warm fur and will wag their tail at the idea of playing in puddles and mud with you. Not only does it allow you to get outside and get some fresh air, but you are also helping a furry friend to stretch its legs. Dog shelters welcome responsible dog lovers to apply as volunteers and drop in to take a dog for a walk.
So next time you see the rain, dress properly, wear the right attitude, and embrace the weather. Trust me, bad weather often looks worse from a window. So get out there and get wet!
What is it that we really need in life? Shelter, food and water, clothes, love, safety? While those are the biological needs of the human being, the modern world has added a terrifying item to the list: money. In fact, money has created a world of wants over needs, a society of consumerism with a lust for wealth and power. But does money make us rich?
While most will refer to being rich as material wealth and copious amounts in bank accounts, I believe being rich is a quality of life. Being on earth is a gift of incredible wealth and money is only delusional. In fact, money creates unethical and immoral behaviours, and distracts and disconnects us from living a nourished and meaningful life.
Last summer I bought an RV. I was tired of paying steep rent and always being behind with money. Little did I know how much it would change my life. In fact, it made me richer. Here’s how:
I have time to appreciate the little things
When I downsized my life to live in a trailer, I never felt so relieved. I finally got rid of things I didn’t need, and only kept the necessary. Long hot showers, laundry and TV have become luxurious activities. Big dinner parties have turned into outdoor gatherings. A large wardrobe have turned into a small selection of clothing. Owning less makes me appreciate what I have even more. And anything else is luxury. Owning less makes you realize that you are doing just fine with what you have. It makes you appreciate the little details that life brings. It makes you slow down, take the time to smell the fresh air, and admire what’s around you. It makes you grateful.
I have the ability to live wherever I want
By opting for a life in a trailer, I can go day by day and and am not attached to any mortgage, or lease. I can choose to take on the road to choose a different backyard, or set anchor for a while. Having the freedom to move whenever and wherever I want means that I am not tied anywhere and am free to live the life I want to lead.
I am debt free
Owning less means more money in my pockets. In a few months I managed to pay off a travel debt that followed me for years. I was never able to pay it with my rent being so steep. Living in a trailer means that my bills are much lower. I also drive a used car that I purchased cash, as well as my trailer. Living with the minimum means that I have fewer bills (campground fees, cellular, and car insurance). Now I spend less than what I earn, and manage to have some savings that allow me to get closer to my dreams. Being debt free and financially stable is a pure freedom.
I choose experiences over possessions
I have less goods to take care of and don’t need a stressful high-paying job that I don’t like just to pay the bills. That way I have more free time being with the people I love, bonding with my dogs, spending time outdoors, getting creative, and pursuing my passions. With more money in my pockets and more free time, I get to travel more, adventure often and experience life at its fullest.
I own less, but I gain more
By owning less, I have the opportunity to live more. Living off grid gives me the opportunity to get closer to nature. Not only does living in nature is known to lower stress and increase happiness and physical health, but it also offers me a unique and incredible backyard overlooking the range of the Coast Mountains. I might live in a small trailer, but my backyard is immensely peaceful, inspiring and grand.
Wealth is subjective. But I sincerely believe that money doesn’t make us rich. We have to think beyond money to define success. In fact, happiness is the key to success. When you start appreciating the little things in life, take time for yourself, cherish love, kindness, gratitude and compassion, nurture social connections and family ties, spend less than what you earn, own less to live more, I think you find the true essence of being. Once you understand that wanting is a desire and not a necessity, you start living authentically. And being content and happy with what you have, I think that’s the richest a man can be.
Right here, tucked into wilderness, and inside my RV, I got everything I need. This lifestyle allows me to get closer to nature and to people, spend more time doing things I am passionate about, focus on dreams and goals, and connect with my one-self. And for me, that is true wealth.
I usually plan a road trip getaway for my birthday, discovering a new place with new faces. Although I am not the type of girl that craves attention on this occasion, but I do believe it is important to highlight the moment. For me, a simple adventure somewhere in nature with people I love is really all I need.
My day of birth is a special one in my life. Not because it is a time to celebrate, but it is to commemorate the day where I came out of my mother’s belly and breathed air for the first time. Life will always be the most special gift I could ever receive. To be thankful for such an event, I think it is necessary to take a moment to appreciate it.
Since my birthday falls right after the busy holiday season, it isn’t always easy to organize a trip away with friends. So this year, I decided to stay home, and instead embrace what is around me.
The morning of my birthday, we headed to the backcountry. The trailer park where I reside has a private access to the beautiful backcountry of Brandywine. So after breakfast, we strapped our boards on the snowmobile and sledded to the incredible Chocolate Bowl.
It was a blue bird day, no wind, and the weather was warm as the spring. Sledding in Whistler backcountry is always a treat. The terrain is so immense and pristine, so untrammeled and untouched.
I got dropped off at the highest peaks and, my board then strapped to my feet, I chose my lines, descending and sliding, surfing and carving on fresh champagne powder.
I looked up the sky. A bird flew from above, and disappeared in the infinite distance.
I was alone in the winterness, immersing into a quintessential wilderness.
I felt alive. I felt free.
When we returned, I prepared a Cesear bar in the snow at the trailer park. I had friends coming over when the sun went down, and we gathered around the bonfire, warming up on a cold winter night of January.
I never ask for presents on any occasions. Yet, I received many bottles of bubbles, cheeses, pepperonis, books, and loafs of homemade cheese bread. My friend even made an ice cream cake, knowing my dislikeness for regular spongy cake. To see all my favourite people around me, spoiling me with thoughtful gestures and gifts, I couldn’t be more happy.
After eating ice cream cake we packed the sleds once more and headed to a cabin in the backcountry for the night. Nestled in the middle of the wilderness, we popped all the bottles of champagne and celebrated the night away in a winter wonderland.
I could have not asked for a better celebration of life. Thanks to my dear friends, the wilderness and our endless craving for adventure.
Cheers to life!
In 2015, I chose not to travel overseas in order to save money and focus on other projects. It was a tough decision, since I have been travelling around the globe annually for the past 14 years. It was something I had to do, in order to financially get back on track and work on my future. But not travelling doesn’t mean not exploring. I am fortunate to live in an area that offers such an incredible playground. So at the beginning of the year, I challenged myself in doing at least 20 adventures around the beautiful Pacific North West.
#1. Snowboard trip to Red Mountain, Rossland.
#2. Winter canoeing on Green Lake.
#3. Nordic skiing nights at Callaghan Country.
#4. Fly over the Pemberton Icefield to the Meager Creek hotsprings aboard a helicopter.
#5. Hike the Sea-to-Sky trail from Whistler to Brandywine.
#6. Camping-canoe trip to Marble Canyon.
#7. Hike to Stawamus Chief to catch the last rays of sunset.
#8. Take a floatplane to Vancouver from Whistler.
#9. Play tourists and bicycle Vancouver’s famous seawall, and through Stanley Park.
#10. Surf trip to Tofino.
#11. Hike Joffre Lakes.
#12. Weekend escapes to Anderson Lake.
#13. Ocean camping in the Gulf Islands.
#14. Family trip to Hornby Island.
#15. Pig roasting at a beach in the middle of a mountain to celebrate the end of the summer.
#16. Night canoeing under a full moon at Callaghan Lake.
#17. Hike the Skywalk trail up to Iceberg Lake.
#18. Spend a night at a cabin in the backcountry.
#19. Night iceskating under the full moon at Joffre Lakes.
But the most amazing adventure of the year:
#20. I bought my first home (on wheels)! I am now living off the grid, a lifestyle I’ve always dreamt about.
It is important to pause once in a while and look what’s around us. We don’t always have to travel across the globe to explore new paths and be treated with incredible views. Beauties are within reach and waiting to be discovered. And sometimes, it is the people who tag along, our home buddies, furry friends or family that make the journey worth of all beauties.
I am excited for 2016. I am well-rested, projects in hand and ready to move mountains! I wish you all a safe journey to the new year, filled with new beginnings, new dreams and new adventures!
Winter solstice is still a couple of weeks away, but the days are already colder and snow covers the grounds here in the mountains of Whistler. It was such a nice day today, and such an enjoyable morning walk with the pups. I love how I can just open the door of my trailer and walk the trails through the forest. And the views are simply stunning.
We are pretty excited about our new purchase: a home on wheels.
An old gondola for storage space.
Cracking the first of many bottle of sparkling.
Cheering to my new setting.
Loving my new backyard.
And the views are to die for.
Much better than TV.
Friendly neighbourhood. And again, can’t beat the view.
The sun painted the mountains of a stunning alpenglow.
And left the sky with a blood moon.
Not bad for a first day at our new home.
Owning a RV is in all a project and adventure. As newbies of the RV culture, there is so much to learn, especially with winter around the corner. Depending on how El Nino will affect our region this season, it is prudent to expect lots of heavy snowfall. Plus, we are sitting on an edge, offering pristine views of the mountains, but also exposed to cold wind swirls. To have our RV ready for winter, there are a few things we need to do.
Building a skirt to the bottom of the RV will break the wind from cooling the underside of the trailer and can help to keep the rig warm. You can purchase a skirt if your trailer didn’t come with one, or you can build one. We wrapped the bottom of the trailer with foam boards to create an insulation. Then we secured them with plywood. We heard that keeping a space heater works wonderfully as well, to keep the bottom of the trailer warm as well as to prevent the tanks, pipes and hoses to freeze. When snow comes, we will tuck the skirt bottom with snow to give it an igloo effect. Now we just have to watch for rodents!
We haven’t quite decided what we will do with the roof. As we aren’t staying at one place permanently, we can’t built a shelter on top of our flat roof to allow the snow to slide off. We also heard that tarps are a no-no. However, we will make sure that we keep shoveling the snow carefully and hope for the best!
Water Hose and Sewer Pipes
We wrapped the water hose and pipes with thick blankets. We heard that heating pads and 40-watt bulbs work well. We will also put an electric heater under the trailer to create heat flow and protect tanks and pipes from freezing.
We placed shrink film on the insides of the windows to help eliminate cold drafts and reduce condensation.
Cooking, washing, showering or even just breathing create condensation. We haven’t had any issue with it yet, but it is something to be aware of, especially living with 2 adults and 2 dogs. When cooking, we always use the stove fan and open up the roof vent. It would be the same thing for showering however, we chose to shower at the campground facilities instead (their showers are amazing!). We might get a dehumidifier for the winter, depending on the level of condensation.
We chose to use electric heaters to keep the place warm. Electric heaters don’t create moisture and warm up the place pretty quick. We have an electric fireplace that we use when we are here, and at night and during the day we leave an electric oil heater on. Depending how cold it gets this winter, we will try not to use the propane furnace too much as it will get expensive and is bad for moisture. Be sure to read and follow all your heaters warnings and rules. Also get a carbon monoxide detector. Stay warm but mostly be safe!
We are excited to spend a winter in our new home on wheels. Even though it is quite some preparation to get ready for the cold months and still lots to learn, we cannot wait to wake up to nature, wearing its white and sparkly robe, and go for hikes, snowshoe, nordic ski and sled right off our door steps!
Photos taken during our hiking trip to Iceberg Lake.
Distance: 15 km
Elevation Gain: 870 m
Highest Point: 1,635 m