Where In The World?

A Weekend Escape to Wine Country

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As a child the Okanagan seemed as if it was a world away. Over mountains, across streams and in a foreign world lies the mysterious Okanagan. Or, in a more mature point of view it is about a 4 hour drive. As a quick escape the towns of Oliver, Pentiction, Osoyoos and others make a great weekend getaway where you can enjoy lakes, sunny skies and of course delicious BC wine. That was just the plan a few weeks back and here are a few photos from that endeavor.

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Montreal and Quebec City – Sans Bike

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On my recent trip to support the Quebec edition of the Ride To Conquer Cancer there was a small bit of time aside from the event. Flying into Montreal then following the event as it made its way to Quebec City I found myself in both areas with enough time to snap a few pictures and see a small selection of the tourist sights. Only a taste of Canada’s oldest cities but enough to know that at some point I will need to touch up on my french and make way back for a longer visit.

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Escape to Portlandia

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Hiking Angel's RestSpring is here and instead of exploring the local hills and valleys we made like hops and head down to Portland Oregon to see the sights. Spending four nights in the beer, food and culture focused city we were able to hike, bike and of course drink some beer.

Making this trip never seems to get old. A quick 6 hour drive and you are suddenly in a totally new city that is not totally unlike Vancouver. Great people, great food, great beer and a whole lot of fun. If you are thinking about where to go for your next vacation check out Portland, you will not be disappointed. I will be brief in the write up and let some photos tell the story. Alternatively there is another article from this trip on beermebc.com.
 

Cheers!

 
The Portland prefered mode of transport
This doo takes some time
Spring Flowers #2
Rocking the slope
Springtime Cherry Blossoms
Got your goat
Are you food?
Common Brewery

Why are you still inside? It is time to snowshoe!

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As the mountain biking trails are starting to wind down my mind must think differently. It is time shift the mindset to skiing, boarding, snowshoeing and other snow-bound activities. One easy, local and free activity is snowshoeing up Mt Hollyburn where the effort is rewarded with a magnificent view of Vancouver. If you are thinking where the heck is Hollyburn? It is the nordic area of Cypress Mountain. The hike takes about 2hrs return but is actually outside the cypress boundaries so a park pass is not required. It gets cold at the top so bring an extra layer for the peak! If you want the nitty-gritty details you can see a map and elevation profile through this Strava recording

 

Here are some photos from the hike. The day was gorgeous with clouds hovering over the mountains but clearing over the city. The afternoon light was magnificent!

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A Destination Sensation – Mexican Wedding Style

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My sister is now married… kind of a weird thing to say but the inevitable truth and I can honestly say that she made a great choice.

On that topic, the latest endeavor was in the Mexican Mayan Riviera for the Mexican destination wedding Taking place at the Gran Bahai Principe Riviera Maya Resort the event brought family and friends together for an amazing week in the tropical sun. While this is merely a taste of the photos taken it will have to do for now.

 

for more photos check out the flickr set.

 

 

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The Resort basking in the moonlight

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Wedding Preparations

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A father’s proud moment walking his daughter down the aisle beach

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Waiting patiently drink in hand

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A moment of bliss

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Congratulations on a beautiful wedding

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Jumping for joy!

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There was a little bit of a dance storm to follow the ceremony

A Costa Rican Road Trip

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With the busyness of summer and fall passing a week away from the usual in somewhere hot and tropical was long overdue. Kelly and I took the trip down to Costa Rica and rented a vehicle out of Liberia. From here we spent 7 days exploring the Nicoya Peninsula in the Northwest corner of this amazing country.

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As could be expected, a good portion of the trip was spent in the ocean and on the beach drinking beer. Not the worst way to relax in a Central American country.

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The highlight beach-front location for the trip was Samara Beach. Here we pulled up and booked two nights in the Samara Tree House Inn. This is definetly worth the money. Small, quiet and classy these elevated, beach front apartments offer luxurious accommodations with the intimacy lacking in a larger facility. 2012_11_CostaRica-477

Being that we were on the West Coast of Costa Rica, the evening light was always amazing offering sunsets and beautiful views as the glow settles beneath the horizon.

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Once the sun sets though, that is not the end of it. The Samara accommodations were just as magnificent in the dark as they were in the tropical sun.

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One unexpected happening of chance put us in the area during a full moon when the phosphorescence given off by plankton was at its height. The glow coming in off the crashing waves was out of this world.

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The night sky was simply spectacular while the full moon gave the foreground a magnificent glow.

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No vacation is complete without some quality micro-brewery action right, well part of our trip we made a point of stopping at the Volcano Brewing Company. This is the only micro-brewery in Costa Rica and is situated in Arenal at the base of the Arenal Volcano. Here they serve four different beers brewed on site giving some diversity from the otherwise ‘beach pilsner’ style of beer.

 

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The whole trip was not on the beach. In fact our time was split approximately 50/50 between the beach and the mountainous interior. It was inland where the nature fix took place and we were able to get some hikes under our belts.

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This is a bridge crossing a valley in the Monteverde Cloud Forest.

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The view below the bridge was a spectacular aerial view of the valley floor.

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Next to the Cloud Forest is a hummingbird observatory where feeders are set up to attract the many species in the area.

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The Coatimundi is a Marsupial that we found in plenty at the Arenal Volcano. As neat as it was to see this raccoon like creature, it was even more interesting to see the territorial battle happen on the forest floor.

2012_11_CostaRica-356Not all the wildlife was in the forest though, Iguanas were a beautiful site chilling on the beach and in the trees.

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Watching the Pelicans hunt is another spectacular show while relaxing on the beach.

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Okay, I won’t lie though. It did rain a bit.

 

If you are curious about the trip or want to know more about where we went here is a map of the road trip. If you take on a trip like this, do not use google maps as a reference for time. The times and distances are very unreliable in the presence of many gravel roads and marginal driving conditions. If you have additional questions feel free to leave your comments below.


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Day 5 in Moab, The Whole Enchilada.

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Probably the most epic ride you can do in Utah is the Whole Enchilada. This ride climbs over Burrow Pass at a whopping 11,500ft and descends to a basin of 4000ft. Huge decent, some ass-kicking climbs and a ton of fun. The best part of the ride though is the diversity of terrain on the way down. Starting off in the alpine riding into an fall-coloured Aspen forest then into the Moab desert. The ride is simply amazing!

Moab Day Four in Pictures – Mag 7 and Gemini Bridges

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Another day in the fabulous terrain of Moab Utah. The Mag, or Magnificent 7 trail system is relatively new but links into Gemini Bridges to give a great mountain bike ride with a taste of Utah arch flavour. Another great day to be mountain biking in Moab.

Day 3 in Pictures – Moab’s Amasa Back

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Day 3 in Moab Utah. This is Amasa Back. As the title says, life is short and photos say more than words so have a quick watch below and see what a great day of mountain biking entails.

Moab Utah, Day 2 Slideshow

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Day 2 of Moab Utah took on the Poison Spider Mesa followed by Long Canyon. A great day of mountain biking and a great day to be outside in the sun. Here is another slide show that runs through a few of the days events.

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