All posts by megan

It’s yurterrific!

Thanks to the excellent Tanya at Canadian Rockies Family Adventures I won a stay in the Mount Engadine yurt! I might have a thing for yurts. I’ve spent more time than strictly necessary browsing yurt websites and looking at photos on pinterest. I’ve only stayed in one once before though, in Bend, Oregon. Winter yurting was a bit of a different experience – this yurt is tucked away 100 metres or so past the rest of the Mount Engadine lodge accommodation. A little packed snowy trail winds through the trees and deposits you at the little yurt. The outside was … Continue reading It’s yurterrific!

Lake Minnewanka bikepack overnighter

Last October I attended (and presented at) the Canmore Bikepack Summit – which I still need to write about, but that’s another story. But that led to meeting a lot of very awesome folks who were keen to get out bikepacking, and to me volunteering to host a couple of local Bikepack.ca overnighters, throwing the invite open to whoever wanted to come. And that is how I came to be preparing to go bikepacking when there was a snowfall warning, threats of 20cm or more of snow, and a likely overnight temperature in the vicinity of -20oC.  Despite the weather forecast, … Continue reading Lake Minnewanka bikepack overnighter

Elizabeth Parker hut trip (Day 3)

Day Three of the hut trip was mostly about the toboggan run. Ok, some of it was about eating, and there was the small matter of skiing out somehow, but other than that, it was a toboggan run day. Small children – they really do come in handy for hauling even smaller children around. By this stage, the run was well worn in, and so aside from a few small adjustments, it was mostly just about trekking up the hill, and then sliding back down it. And so we slid down… And down… And down… And sometimes the whole family … Continue reading Elizabeth Parker hut trip (Day 3)

Elizabeth Parker hut trip (Day 2)

And so the second day dawned beautifully. After breakfast, and the requisite sitting about, we decided to get out and build the Epic Toboggan Run. (The Moosling thinks everything is epic these days) After a fair bit of digging and compaction, we started sending down some sleds. And then a whale, in a short-lived return of alpine whaling. It turns out whales don’t handle cold temperatures very well, they’re better suited for spring conditions. The toboggan run was a hit otherwise, with constant laps up and down the hill. Back in the hut, it was time for snacks, lunch, and … Continue reading Elizabeth Parker hut trip (Day 2)

Elizabeth Parker hut family trip again! (Day 1)

The family hut trips last winter were so fun, we decided then to book out Elizabeth Parker hut and do it all over again this winter. And my resulting blog posts are apparently so photo-laden that I’m going to split up the trip day by day. Filling up an entire hut with friends is wonderful fun, but definitely a little involved – especially thanks to the National Parks need to buy wilderness passes on top of paying the hut fee… and then depending where you get the wilderness pass, you need to pay an additional booking fee, and argh! But … Continue reading Elizabeth Parker hut family trip again! (Day 1)

S24O

S24O stands for sub 24-hour overnight bike camping trip, for those of you out there who aren’t into all the cool acronyms the kids use these days. After getting the Moosling to bed on Saturday night, I loaded up my bike, and headed out for a solo overnight adventure in the snow – just for fun! Packing took a while – I’d never packed for an overnight snow camping bike trip before, so it took a little organising to get everything onto the bike. It did fairly simplify things to not really need any food or water (I did bring … Continue reading S24O

Festive 500

Riding the Rapha Festive 500 in Canmore seemed like a pretty sketchy idea. To ride your bike 500km outdoors, between Christmas Eve and New Years Eve… well, it can be hard enough when you’ve got a roadbike and no snow. But when you decide to do it on a fatbike, riding on snow, and then add in all the other family obligations, the sub-zero temperatures, the incredibly short daylight hours, and on top of that the high likelihood of snowfall, -30oC days, and illness (because it’s just that time of year). Well, I was kind of dubious about whether the whole … Continue reading Festive 500

Australia Part 4: The farm and the beach

The stay at my parent’s farm was only a few days. But we got the proper Coleambally experience, with a 38oC day. The boy was well impressed with fresh peas. He’d even just eat the entire pod, not bothering to shell them first. Evening walks, when it had cooled down to 30oC, and I could wear the unicorn mask without immediately dying of heatstroke. We even went into town, where I got to meet up with an old school friend, and our kids were introduced to the joy of running through sprinklers on a hot day. On the drive back … Continue reading Australia Part 4: The farm and the beach

Australia Part 3: Arapiles days continued…

Wednesday was a chance to revisit my childhood of stomping about in the Grampians. Well, not exactly all of my childhood, but rather some highly valued and infrequent childhood trips to the Grampians. Trips that instilled a love of rock hopping, scrambling about on rocks, and getting to the top of mountains –  which my parents may have come to regret as I took to rock climbing and then disappeared to live in the Canadian Rockies. We went to hike up the Pinnacle, overlooking Halls Gap – I had distant memories of it being fun, and involving plenty of rock hopping. I was right! It … Continue reading Australia Part 3: Arapiles days continued…

Australia Part 2: Arriving in Arapiles

And so we drove south, driving in the driving rain. The only thing I can remember of the drive was the very excellent painted silos at Brim. Painted by Brisbane artist Guido van Helten, and depicting anonymous farming characters – I’d swear one could be my grandfather. We know a few people living in Natimuk these days; quite sensibly, it’s a lovely place. We lured even more people from further away to come and visit us, Brett and Sair from Melbourne, Al and Lincoln from Canberra, and Brendan and Adele from New Zealand! It could well be that the fact … Continue reading Australia Part 2: Arriving in Arapiles

Australia Part 1: Melbourne to Mildura

And so, after three years, we were finally off to visit Australia again. This time flying via Hong Kong, in an epic series of flights that took us over 34 hours door to door. Still, it could be worse. A billiard table could fall on you. On the way we discovered that there’s nothing quite like an airport full of pokestops and pokemon catching to make a seven hour layover absolutely fly past. Thanks Hong Kong. Also, it’s possible for a six-year old to watch the Lego Movie four times in a row, even when there are other movies and … Continue reading Australia Part 1: Melbourne to Mildura

One last ride for the season!

Bound to leave for a visit to Australia, I wanted to get in one last good ride before we left. Was it Felix who came up with the plan to ride this route? I can’t remember now. But we set off around 8.30 on Sunday morning, up the pass, and towards the High Rockies trail. I’d been dreaming of trying to ride the further south section, beyond Buller. Sadly the recent snowfall gazumped that plan. But we still thought we may as well see how far we could get. Seeing how far we could get seemed to involve quite a … Continue reading One last ride for the season!

When Minnewanka rides get out of hand

The one problem with riding Lake Minnewanka is that it’s an out and back. And it’s a busy and out back, popular with hikers and bikers alike. And so when we rode out, and reached the cabin, I was happy to keep going, and put off the return journey. I’d never ridden past the cabin before (it’s at 15km, and makes for a nice 30km round trip) and Minnewanka was in great late season condition. And so we got up towards the end of the lake. The terrain becomes more technical, and it’s much harder to ride everything. There was almost … Continue reading When Minnewanka rides get out of hand

Packing for bikepacking with kids

Before the Moosling was born, we went on a big bike tour of the more traditional style, with Surly Long Haul Truckers and panniers. But even on that ride we were seeking out gravel roads and connectors as much as we could. Our heart was with the gravel and singletrack, and so our first overnight bike trip with him four years ago turned into the beginning of our love of bikepacking – and the beginning of our trying to acquire better gear for it too. I’ve been thinking about packing lists, and the logistics of travelling with kids recently. Partly … Continue reading Packing for bikepacking with kids

Mount St Piran: Yellow larches and snow

In larch season in the Rockies it’s pretty much obligatory to get out hiking. In general, September is hiking and trail running season. Tanya had invited us out to head out to hike the Devil’s Thumb, but once we all got to the Lake, the decision was made to go and do a proper summit – Mount St Piran it was. It was even in Kane’s Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies book! First up is easy highway-style trails, the only challenge is traffic management as you hike in among so many other people. But after we hiked past Mirror Lake … Continue reading Mount St Piran: Yellow larches and snow

Fall bikepacking to Lake Minnewanka

Getting out on a family bikepacking trip is one of those things that we kept meaning to do, but somehow we had nearly run out of summer weekends and it still hadn’t happened. We’d initially been thinking of riding the Elbow Loop. Or maybe just going out and back on the north-west side. But our attempts to book a campground failed. Curse you, Alberta Parks with your “oh, sure, we have sites available” website, but then when they get back to you 48 hours after you tried to book online it turns out that there are indeed no sites. Contemplating … Continue reading Fall bikepacking to Lake Minnewanka

Canoe camping on Maligne Lake

We paddled a canoe! Me, infamously not a fan of going into water, was convinced to go canoe camping. The boy had never been in a canoe before, and it was the first anniversary of our Canadian citizenship ceremony, so it seemed like a good idea to say yes when we were invited along on the trip. We were invited along by another couple who’d booked out the whole Hidden Cove camping area – which is really just four tent pads on an island that really isn’t that much of an island, but you can technically paddle around it as … Continue reading Canoe camping on Maligne Lake

Hurt’n Albert’n 550

It was 5.40am and only just light when we arrived in the Cross Iron Mills carpark for the start of the inaugural Hurt’n Albert’n. The carpark already had a cluster of riders gathered in it, and I got my bike together with a whole two minutes to spare. Group photos, hugs and goodbyes, then we headed off for a neutral rolling start along the pavement at 6.05am. I was mostly in a sleepy daze at this point. I hadn’t been sleeping well in weeks. There were lots of awesome looking bikepacking folks riding around me. I didn’t know any of … Continue reading Hurt’n Albert’n 550

Stanley Mitchell hut trip

Another weekend, another hut trip – it must be summer in the Canadian Rockies. This time around we were heading out to spend two nights in the Stanley Mitchell hut. In the carpark we decided to hike in via the Iceline – the weather was so nice, and who knows what the next couple of days would bring. Plus there was the added advantage of getting the uphill over and done with first thing. At least that was the theory. We had three small hikers hiking in with us, and a fourth so small that she was carried the whole way in. … Continue reading Stanley Mitchell hut trip

Asulkan hut trip

We were lucky enough to be invited along on another TanyaTrip™, when another family had to pull out. With the entire Asulkan Hut booked out for our group, and us never having spent time in the Rogers Pass area at all in summer, we were very excited to be able to say yes. We’d been a bit distracted in the lead up to the hike, and so when we turned up in the parking lot, we were only kind of organised. I had my rainbow fur gaiters and unicorn head though, so really, what else would we possibly need? We’d … Continue reading Asulkan hut trip