Two years ago I visited this place for the first time. We hiked just shy of 100km over two and a half days almost entirely in the pouring rain. The summit of Mount Robson never revealed its self but for the first time in my life I came face to face with a glacier, I ran my hands along its surface and knew instantly that these beautiful rivers of ice would be one of my greatest loves. When @wilderness_addict approached me a few months ago with an extra spot on her permit to come back I jumped at the opportunity(transferring her the permitting fee before our conversation ended). This time I took things a little slower, we covered the same distance with an extra day and much better weather. The word of the trip was ‘meander’ and that is what we did - we made our way everywhere we needed to be taking every winding detour possible.
congratulations @kyliemarie91 - check your inbox for a message from @patagoniavancouver in the near future
Summertime in the mountains is my favourite thing in the entire universe! And the best part is that I get to ditch my heavy winter layers and make more room in my backpack for snacks! One of my go-to summer pieces is the Patagonia Houdini jacket! So I have teamed up with my good friends at @patagoniavancouver to give you and your bestie EACH one of these bad boys(bad boys or girls or one of each, just to clarify)!
-Follow both @vancouverpatagonia and @vagabondhearts + tag a friend in the caption below and let us know your favourite adventure snack!
I am just about to drop out of service so this contest will close and a winner will be announced when I have service, or on Friday July 13 - whichever comes first! You can enter as many times as you like! ⠀ ⠀
Good luck and go play outside!
I have been having a lot of conversations surrounding this little four letter word as of late. I hadn’t given it much though before I took this change of pace, leaving my corporate job. But I had also never before been asked if I was ‘just’ doing my job. I now find my inbox peppered with messages asking if I am ‘just travelling’ or ‘just a blogger’ as if what I am doing is somehow not enough. A lawyer or a doctor would never be asked if they were ‘just’ practicing law or medicine. And yet, somehow the culture surrounding creatives has not only allowed for these questions to be asked but we perpetuate it, I catch myself saying I am ‘just’ going for a hike/spending my summer in the Rockies/editing away/replying to e-mails/writing… you name it! So, my long winded caption is that I am going to be making an effort to embrace that what I am doing is enough, and it is fulfilling and try my best utilize verbiage that reflects that. The words we choose to tell ourselves and our fellow humans are so powerful.
TLDR: I am not ‘just’ - I am.
Today, like so many days before, I woke up and thought to myself how lucky I am that my grandparents decided, all of those years ago, to pack up their lives and blindly move to Canada. The was no social media to tell them how blue and green and teal and turquoise the lakes are or how insanely fun the mountains are to climb up in the summer and ski down in the winter. No images on billboards dozens of feet tall or on every second page of travel magazines world-wide of this place I am so fortunate to call home. They moved to this country with a crazy dream that I would one day be able to live the life I do… and I am forever grateful to them for that. Happy Canada Day!
⠀ ⠀ #explorecanada#explorealberta#canada#sonyalpha
I’ve spent the past decade or so coming to this place to 'get away’ when life gets a little overwhelming. Anyone who has spent time in the Canadian Rockies knows that although it’s getting busier by the day, there is really nothing comparable to finding a quiet piece of shoreline along an alpine lake or at the summit of a mountain. I am extremely fortunate to be able to call Canada’s oldest National Park my backyard, and to partner with companies like Taste of Nature who agree with this sentiment. For every image shared with the hashtag #findyourtasteofnature from now until August 26, 2018, $1 will be donated to Parks Canada to help protect and preserve the Canadian wilderness.#ad ⠀ ⠀ #realtastesgood@tasteofnature
One of the most beautiful lakes in the world happens to be a two hour drive from my front door (that is if you get there early enough and the road is still open to cars). It’s colour changes from deep sapphire blue to a milky turquoise and nearly every shade of blue-green inbetween throughout the season depending on the concentration and composition of rock flour in the lake. The rock flour (or silt or sediment) is created by glacial movement when the bottom surface of the ice grinds again the rock below leaving microscopic rock particles dispersed throughout the glacier. During the spring and summer melt as the glacier recedes the rock flour melts down into the rivers, depositing into the lake below. As rock flour is very light, it stays suspended in the lake water for extended periods of time. The sunlight that reflects off this sediment is what gives the lakes their spectacular turquoise, blue or green colour.
You can checkout Moraine Lake in all of it’s glory this week, I offer up a dozen different ways to explore this valley. https://www.andreaference.com/blog/morainelake
photo / @clo.photo #explorealberta#explorecanada#morainelake#mountaingirls
A while ago I decided that I wanted to stay home this summer, all of it. And willie-nillie I have been inviting everyone I know to come, visit, let me show them what I love about this place - namely spending time away from the city far into the wilderness. This photo was my first backpacking trip (at home) of 2018 and flipping through my dayplanner I currently have booked 24 of the next 75 nights in the Canadian backcountry. That means that I still have 51 nights that I will be doing my best to avoid my bed. In an unrelated context a good friend of mine reminded me a few months about the power of manifesting the things you want… and mine are definitely more nights spent on the forest floor.
photo / @ryanclennett #explorealberta#explorecanada
dear universe: all that I want this summer are; lakes glacial lakes every single shade of blue and green and turquoise, falling asleep under starlit skies smelling of campfire, standing atop mountains I have dreamt of for years, good friends, better snacks and so many laughs that it turns those snacks into abs. ⠀ ⠀
photo / @ryanclennett
My favourite thing about the long days this time of year is the possibility for post-work adventures. Last week @ryanclennett and I left the city at 5pm and set our sights on a summit… unfortunately we did not take into account that the morning rain in the city would be snow at higher altitude and so our summit was swapped out for snacks overlooking this wolf-shaped lake in the heart of the rockies.
On the blog today is a little step-by-step to taking advantage of these longer days and spending more time outside of the city limits - check it out - https://www.andreaference.com/blog/weekday-warrior
photo / @ryanclennett #explorealberta#icefieldparkway#banff#explorecanada
The crux of this backpacking trip is managing to get yourself a permit. I was fortunate enough to visit this little oasis in the middle of the desert for the past two years. My first trip down to Havasupai we were unable to visit these waterfalls but I was determined to make the additional 6mi roundtrip journey this year with my good friend @ryanclennett. We woke up well before sunrise, brewed a cup of coffee and headed on our way. We got lost and turned around at least once or twice, ended up falling down a red dirt riverbank and belly button deep in river crossings seemingly more often than not. But having hours of time with this waterfall to ourselves was more than worth it. ⠀ ⠀
My blog post is up with all of the ins and outs of this magical place check it out: https://www.andreaference.com/blog/havasupaitwo
It’s been a minute since I have been home. Sure, I have stopped in here and there for a few days or a week… but over the past year I have spent more time away than home. For the first time in a long time I am staying put for a while, it was intentional, I love summertime in the Canadian Rockies. It may actually be the thing I love the most in the world.
I visited this little gem twice in 24h, this was the second time. A rare pocket of time that worked, between my travel schedule, @marisaanderson having a baby in a few days (with a few littles already at home) and Tasha working silly hours in the office we all made time to sit along the shoreline in the intermittent rain and show some gratitude to this place we all choose to call home. Maybe it’s time I do a little bit more of that - instead of looking at the next flight, the next trip, the next day or week or month or year… slowing down and taking more time to appreciate the now.