Category Archives: hiking

Second camping trip of the season

We had another fantastic weekend in Jasper. I got in a memorable bike ride and trail run. More importantly, I had a wonderful weekend hanging out with my husband and pup in a place we all love.

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We got to our campsite on Thursday evening and sat around the fire before calling it a night.

On Friday morning, I hopped on my bike to tackle Maligne Lake Road. (It’s one of my favourite rides along with one we did earlier this year.)

This road is stunning, surrounded by giant mountains and passing by beautiful Medicine Lake. It’s also uphill most of the way to the lake, climbing over 1,000 metres or 3,300 feet! It was a tough ride but the breathtaking beauty cancelled it out.

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Maligne Lake is one of the most popular tourist spots in Jasper, so it’s always fun to stand around and listen to the various accents from international travellers!

Once I made it to the lake, I stopped for a photo and some food before enjoying the descent. I saw a bear on the way down and was brave enough to stop for a minute. I debated pulling out my camera but rethought the idea and got out of there!

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Kelly and Harold hiked near Maligne Lake so they could check on me on the way up. They went on a beautiful hike and saw two moose swimming and playing in the water!

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Once we all got back to camp, we went into Jasper town to go on another hike. We did part of the Saturday Night Lake Loop.

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We walked by two beautiful lakes, through some forest, and were rewarded with views of the valley.

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By this time, my legs were toast and I was soaked in sweat so we went back to camp for supper where we relaxed and read by the fire for the rest of the night.

On Saturday, it was Kelly’s turn for a day of biking so he headed out nice and early on his mountain bike to hit the trails hard with a friend.

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Harold and I enjoyed a relaxing morning reading by the river and hanging out at camp. He was absolutely exhausted after his big day on Friday!

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I even found some time to stretch my tired body in the perfect yoga location of a little clearing surrounded by trees.

Kelly came back and we wanted to hike again, but Harold wouldn’t have it. So instead we walked around Jasper popping into shops.  It was hot, so we ate supper by the river. I was tired and asleep early only to be awoken by the most calming sound of rain. Camping sleeps are always great, but add raindrops falling and they’re even better!

On Sunday morning we planned on going for a family trail run but decided it would be too hard on Harold. So I laced up my sneakers and hit the trails for almost 10 miles of bliss. Most of my run was alongside the river with views of the mountains all around.

On the way back, I saw Kelly and Harold who were out for a little walk. Kelly took some ‘rave run’ photos of me on my favourite trails!

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It was a fantastic way to cap off an amazing weekend of outdoor fun. I can’t wait until we go back!

Where is your favourite hike? What do you like better: road cycling, mountain biking, or trail running?

First camping trip of the season a success!

We snuck out to Jasper National Park this weekend for our first camping trip of the summer. Although it was the beginning of May in the mountains, we couldn’t have asked for better weather!

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We didn’t manage to go skiing there (or anywhere for that matter) this winter, so we were overdue for a visit.

Harold goes seriously snaky when we get to Jasper! He sticks his head out the window or gets as close to the window as he can so he can spot wildlife and smell the mountain air.

We saw tons of wildlife as soon as we entered the park and all weekend long!

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After dinner and a walk, I was exhausted and ready for bed. I think Thursday’s bike and Friday’s work really did me in!

We woke up on Saturday with the plan of combining a trail run and hike. We didn’t know how long Harold would last on the run, so we took along his Croozer.

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We needed wider trails without too many roots and rocks so ran behind the town of Jasper, up to Patricia and Pyramid Lakes on the bike trails.

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I forget how much I adore the trails, and especially running on them. You’re surrounded by nature, the surface is soft, and the run is always a challenge.

We ended up running for just over 10 miles. Harold was a champ and ran for probably nine of the 10! Kelly was also a champ for pushing the Croozer most of the way!

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Harold runs better if he’s chasing me, so this is what we look like…a little crazy but at least we’re out there!

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Some people definitely do a double take when they realize there is no child in the stroller.

We stopped for some snacks at Pyramid Lake, continued on for a little, then turned to make the trek back to town.

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On the way back, I tripped on something and fell. Hard. It involved a somersault/roll, about nine feet from fall to landing, and a prickly bush. Kelly thought I seriously hurt myself, Harold pounced to make sure I was ok, and I laugh/cried about my klutziness.

Thankfully, I was completely ok. (Just a little embarrassed!)

Once we got back to Jasper, we did our typical loop before heading back to camp and roasting veggie dogs over the fire. Ahhh…camp food!

We capped off our ideal day with another little hike to the river.

We call this place Harold Beach since we come almost every time we’re in Jasper. It’s usually pretty secluded, and Harold loves running on the sand and lapping up the river water.

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It was interesting to see how dry the river is since there hasn’t been much spring run-off. In a few weeks/months, this river will be raging!

Do you see our three shadows?

Do you see our three shadows?

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend. Although we didn’t train as much as we should have, it was so good for the soul to get out there!

I can’t wait for more mountain trips this summer.

Do you camp? What’s your favourite campfire food?

China highlights – Hong Kong

We had the pleasure of ending our trip in Hong Kong and stayed there for five days.

It’s a vibrant, bustling city with plenty of activities to keep you busy.

It was our first time there and we adored the city. We stayed on the Kowloon side in the absolutely amazing Intercontinental hotel. Thankfully this hotel also had an awesome gym so we could run on the treadmills and use their strength equipment.

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view from our room during the day

Again, we walked for hours every day and wouldn’t get back to our hotel until well after dark each night.

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view from our room at night

Here are some highlights from our stay in Hong Kong:

Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery

The Tian Tin Buddha on Lantau Island sits over 30 metres high and faces north to look over the people of China.

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We hopped on a glass-bottomed cable car and had incredible views of Hong Kong, the airport, and the lush mountains.

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You can climb nearly 300 steps to get a closer look at Buddha and the sweeping ocean views.

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There is also a monastery with beautiful gardens and vegetarian food.

Hong Kong Disney

We are Disney fans and were really looking forward to escaping the city and acting like little kids.

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It was magical there, just like the other Disney parks. We had a blast on the rides, at some of the shows, seeing the little girls dressed as princesses, and watching the parade and the fireworks.

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Ocean Park Hong Kong

All the locals we talked to encouraged us to hit Ocean Park. I’d describe it as Seaworld with crazy rides and a picturesque location on the cliffs overlooking the ocean.

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We spent a day there, and after a rocky start, loved our time at the park. I’m afraid of heights and this cable car ride nearly did me in! It was beautiful, but I was terrified the entire ride!

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I wasn’t in the mood to scare myself more so opted out of the scary rides Kelly went on.I enjoyed some tame rides and a lot of animal exhibits!

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What I liked best about Ocean Park was their conservation efforts and education. I would highly recommend this park.

Shopping

We had a blast walking through the crowded streets and stopping to shop along the way. They had a couple fun markets: the Ladies’ Market and Temple Street Night Market, which were both great for haggling for good bargains.

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Victoria Harbour

Our hotel was right on Victoria Harbour and we had sweeping views of the skyline and the boats as they passed.

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It was also a skip to the Avenue of Stars and to watch the Symphony of Lights, a nightly laser show.

Hiking

We were awed by the contrast between city and urban and rural. On our way up to Big Buddha, we were surprised to see hikers underneath the cable car. On our last full day in Hong Kong, Kelly and I decided to go back and hike up.

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It was an amazing, challenging hike. It was hot and humid, and the majority of the hike was up steep stairs. I was breathing heavily and mopping sweat off my forehead in no time!

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We didn’t make it to the top, as there was a pack of wild dogs that I refused to pass! We still had an absolutely incredible time in the lush green hills and caught some great views.

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Once of the best parts of Hong Kong was that you could do ‘big city’ attractions, or take a quick train ride and feel like you were out of the city. Their public transportation was very user-friendly and safe.

We had such a great time in Hong Kong and really enjoyed experiencing China with Kelly’s parents.

Our entire 32 days were a whirlwind of incredible sights, fascinating culture, foreign food, and fabulous memories.

(Read the other recaps: Bangkok, Thailand; Pattaya, Thailand; Koh Samui, Thailand; Beijing and Tianjin, China; Xiamen, China.)

Have you ever been to Hong Kong? What’s your favourite Disney park?