A November getaway with three lovelies from the island - Mary, Katie and Breanna. It was mostly dark inside the cabin, which created the perfect opportunity to showcase the photos in black and white.
In light of Canada 150 and #the100dayproject, I created a project for Aaron and myself. We want to spend 100 days exploring Canada starting March 19th, 2017 and commit to it with December 31, 2017 as a deadline. I think this is the perfect opportunity for us to continue exploring BC, and maybe even make it up to the Northwest Territories for the Dawson City Music Festival. With my full time work and part time school schedule, this is going to be quite the challenge, but we have 286 days left. This means on average 2.5 days outside for at least 2 hours of hiking/exploring municipal, provincial and national parks per week. The type of activity doesn't matter, as long as we spend time outdoors.
This blog post will be continuously updated to include new locations and photographs. You can also see updates on my instagram (@teagalle). We hope that by committing to a challenge like this, we will push ourselves to take advantage of the many natural features Canada has to offer and also inspire our friends and family to spend more time outdoors.
Day 1// March 19, 2017// Golden Ears Provincial Park: Lower falls trail// + Aaron and Greg
HIGHLIGHT(S): The clouds clearing up at the end of the hike to reveal a rainbow.
Day 2 // March 25, 2017// Crescent beach, Surrey// + Aaron
HIGHLIGHT(S): Lots of herring eggs had washed up on the beach which was unusual since the herring had previously spawned further away from shore. This meant increased presence of bald eagles, sea gulls and sea lions. We saw at least 30 sea lions peaking their heads up above the water.
Day 3// March 26, 2017// Sasamat Lake, Port Moody// + Aaron
HIGHLIGHT(S): This trail was super easy, which meant I could stop often to checkout all the cool fungi and lichen. These photos are from an iPhone + lens attachments.
Day 4// April 1, 2017// Crescent beach, Surrey// + Aaron
HIGHLIGHT(S): The weather was so nice, we had to go again. This time the tide was out and we saw a dead starry flounder camouflaged in the sand.
Day 5// April 2, 2017// Munro Lake, Burke Mountain, Port Coquitlam// 10:30am -2:30pm, 4 hours//+ Aaron, Zbynek, Hannah
HIGHLIGHT(S): 4 hour hike where we experienced all four seasons.
Day 6// April 7, 2017// Queen Elizabeth Park//+ Mackenzie
HIGHLIGHT(S): Cherry blossom picnic and watercolour
Day 7// April 9, 2017// Chadsey Lake, Sumas Mountain// 10km hike, 5 hours, 11:30am-3:30pm//+ Aaron
HIGHLIGHT(S): Relatively easy hike, though it did get steep at certain parts. The lake was still frozen when we got there, but there were some beautiful views along the way.
Day 8// April 15, 2017// Crescent beach//+ Aaron
HIGHLIGHT(S): The sunset
Day 9 // April 16, 2017// Mt. Thom, and Teapot Hill Tail, Cultus Lake//+ Aaron
HIGHLIGHT(S): Our first campsite of the season was at Cultus Lake this year. Even though we set up our tent, we fell asleep in our hammock. Teapot hill trail at Cultus lake was a special hike because there was a tradition of leaving tea pots on the hill. Aaron and I counted about 30+ teapots and cups along the hike.
Day 10// April 15, 2017// Lindeman Lake//+ Aaron
HIGHLIGHT(S): Relatively easy hike (45-60mins) with beautiful views of teal water and mountains.
Day 11// April 15, 2017// Earth Day Event at Mahon Park
Day 12// April 28, 2017// White Rock//+ Aaron, Thisuri, Tim
HIGHLIGHT(S): Walking the pier and along the shoreline
Day 13// April 30, 2017// Stave Lake//+ Aaron
HIGHLIGHT(S): Recording videos of little critters along the hike.
Day 14// May 1, 2017// Tulip Festival, Abbotsford & Blodel Conservatory//+ Thisuri, Tim
HIGHLIGHT(S): All the colours! Conditions were pretty muddy though. Blodel Conservatory was also way better than I expected.
Day 15// May 6, 2017// Van Dusen Botanical Gardens & Chilliwack Lake Rd camping//+ Aaron, Thisuri, Tim, Dan
HIGHLIGHT(S): Finding a sweet spot to set up our hammock camping spot. Our campsite was right next to the road.
Day 16// May 7, 2017// Lindemand Lake, Greendrop Lake//+ Aaron, Thisuri, Tim, Dan
HIGHLIGHT(S): A really fun hike. It was pretty hilarious when Dan fell into the water when we were having lunch at Greendrop lake.
Day 17-20// May 19-22, 2017// Sunshine Coast//+ Aaron, Mike, Breanna, Kendall, Jess and Dave
HIGHLIGHT(S): The entire weekend. Nothing but perfection. Link to blog post - http://thanushieagalle.com/blog/2017/5/24/sunshine-coast
Day 21-22// May 27-28, 2017// Squamish//+ Aaron
HIGHLIGHT(S): The weekend was dedicated to completing the Tourism Challenge. The hammock site we chose for Saturday night has so far been the worst spot, but on Sunday we were able to relax in a beautiful spot.
Day 24// June 9, 2017// Crescent Beach//+ Aaron
Day 23// June 5, 2017// Crescent Beach//+ Aaron
Day 25// June 11, 2017// Ambleside Farmer's market, Ambleside Beach, Whytecliff Park//+ Jasmine, Milo
HIGHLIGHT(S): Getting sugar cookies and mini doughnuts from the farmer's market and then enjoying it at the beach.
Day 26// June 17, 2017// Beekeeping Field Day in Surrey, Serpentine Wildlife Refuge//+ Aaron
HIGHLIGHT(S): Enjoying the company of fellow beekeepers during the day and learning about different research that's happening in the honeybee world.
Day 27// July 3, 2017// Mount Seymour//+ Aaron
HIGHLIGHT(S): The top of the mountain was still covered in snow, so we decided to do a trail a bit further down. One of my favourite moments was coming across a small waterfall.
Day 28// July 8, 2017// Cat Lake Camping//+ Aaron
HIGHLIGHT(S): Cat Lake campground was full, but as we were walking around in search of a camp spot, a fellow named Jesse and his 3 year old son Porter offered us space at their campsite. The campsite itself was busy, but it was so nice to see/experience strangers being kind to one another.
Day 29// June 9, 2017// Joffre Lakes//+ Aaron
HIGHLIGHT(S): The views! Very crowded, but the views were still amazing.
What started off as a spontaneous phone call resulted in one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever experienced in Canada. This 22km trek from January 4-5, 2017 would at times push me to the limit when snowshoeing uphill, because I had never snowshoed before, haven’t hiked for an extensive amount of time with a large 65L backpack (most of my field work only required small packs) and haven’t exercised too much after all the holiday feasts (so much chocolate haha). Regardless, it was doable and I appreciated the gentle nudges to keep up with Taylor and Andy. We made it to the Elfin Lakes shelter just before it got dark, and along the way, we experienced beautiful pink and orange hues in a 360 degree mountain peak panorama – there are no words to describe the amount of grounding I felt at that moment.
TRAIL INFO: 22km (11km from trailhead to the Elfin Lakes cabin), 2 days (4-5 hours both ways, depending on how fast you hike/rest). Usually 30-40 mins for lunch break.
- Be aware that if you don't have chains for your snow tires, then you will have to park 2km below the trailhead. That's an extra 4km that you will have to hike in addition to the 22km.
- Try snowshoeing on a small trail to get used to how it feels with your snowshoes. I had a little trouble with my rental snowshoes being too big.
- Pack your backpack wisely, so most things are concentrated in the middle. My pack had a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, water bottle, head lamp, 2 sets of warm clothing, rain pants, small first aid items, food (sandwiches, chocolate, oatmeal) and camera equipment. If I had to do it again, I would bring some hand warmers to toss into my sleeping bag before going to bed. I could also do this with a hot water bottle.
- Bring lots of snacks and eat them. For some reason, I wasn’t overly hungry on my way up, so I didn’t eat too much, but this negatively affected my energy levels. I think if I forced myself to eat something, I would have had a lot more energy for the uphill portion.
- I wore: merino wool base layers, ski socks, waterproof hiking pants, warm sweater, small puffy jacket, waterproof shell, a tuque, a buff and sunglasses.
Nothing went as planned, but we made the most of it - and it was grrreat!
Taylor and I decided to go to Vancouver island for the weekend to be there for a public release of specimens at the Ucluelet aquarium. The ferry ride was memorable, with a pod of dolphins swimming nearby, and we were soon joined by Mary in her CRV after landing. However, as nature would have it, Highway 4 got washed out (the only road to Ucluelet) and we spent the night in Port Alberni. After a night out at the Arlington Hotel bar, where Taylor soon became best friends with a retired fire sergeant, who also happened to be Santa in their annual X-mas boat parade, we settled in at the HoJo (Howard Johnson Hotel). With some eggs benny and good coffee to start off the morning, we headed to Victoria in hopes of getting some good hikes in on the Sunday.
The plan was to check out a small tea cabin on the Kludahk trail, but as the winding roads became icier, we had to reroute again. This time Taylor and I wanted to hike to Mystic Beach, while Mary caught some waves. Luckily, it worked out. Mystic beach was true to its name and was quite the magical location. Pictures from our adventures are found below.
At the age of 25, I was experiencing what most people in their 20s were experiencing - a quarter life crisis. These feeling could be described as, "WTF, even with a MSc I can't get a job over 50K," "Why does no one see that I can handle so much more responsibility than I am given," and "How can I possibly live a debt free life?!". As silly and self righteous as these thoughts may sound written down, the struggle is real. I had balanced a full time job, part time job, volunteering, family and friends and the countless hobbies that I pursue successfully for the last 2 years, yet I was feeling lost in my career.
After realizing that I had become too comfortable to the point that it had stalled my adult learning, I decided that it was time to make some changes. And these changes were big. I knew that I was no longer happy in science research (or at least what I was doing) and wanted to orient my career path more towards science education. After feeling a pull towards the west coast, I enrolled in a Master of Museum Education program at UBC to learn more about teaching in informal settings. With stomach churning anxiety and over the top excitement, I packed up my Guelph life into a Pontiac G6 and drove out west with Aaron by my side. He did most of the driving...
And here I am. I turned 26 in brand new province that is now my home and celebrated it with people that make me happy. Of course I miss the loving community I had in Ontario, but I am so so so excited for all the new experiences BC will bring. Below are some recent faves from BC adventures.