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Happy Thanksgiving from Mount Seymour, North Vancouver

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A perfect fall hike on Mt. Seymour—C.Helbig

My very first blog post was about being thankful for a great local hike called Mt. Seymour in North Vancouver. I’ve hiked this trail many times since I wrote that post, most recently a couple of days ago with my sister. I never get tired of hiking Mt. Seymour trail with its phenomenal views. On this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend I am again thankful for Mt. Seymour and all the other amazing hikes and parks on Vancouver’s North Shore. Continue reading

Categories: Activities, British Columbia, Canada, Hiking, Places, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 18 Comments

Happy Holidays and Best in the New Year!

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One of my happy places: Cypress Provincial Park, West Vancouver

To my dear readers: I wish you and your families a happy holiday, and joy and peace in the new year.

Writing this blog gives me a tremendous amount of pleasure. It started out as a simple love of travel and writing. It has morphed into a relationship with an extraordinary group of people. Thank you for reading my rambles. I so appreciate your likes and lovely comments. I’ve enjoyed “getting to know” you. Thanks to fellow travel and hiking bloggers who make my list of places to go/mountains to climb longer and longer. Thanks to a diverse group of bloggers who introduce me to recipes, arts, photography, life’s beauty and challenges…Your words and images inspire me.

I am grateful for a wonderful year of travel and outdoor fun with Mike, Alex, and my awesome friends. I’ve put together a collage of some of my 2016 highlights. I look forward to more travel and adventure in the new year—it’s off to Laos and Cambodia in January.

Cheers to you all—Caroline. Continue reading

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 30 Comments

The Many Faces of Sevilla, Spain

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The Alcázar Gardens in Sevilla, Spain—C.Helbig

We’ve had a lot of gloomy weather in beautiful Vancouver and my mind is wandering to sunnier spots. Aaah…Sevilla, Spain, now that makes me feel cheery. Our son Alex spent four months in Sevilla as part of a gap year and we of course took the opportunity to visit him. That was almost a year ago, last November. Sevilla is a stunning city and November in southern Spain is as good as it gets—no crowds and beautiful warm, sunny weather. Mike and I had an awesome time discovering the city and Alex took full advantage of scrumptious tapas meals courtesy of mom and dad. Continue reading

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 26 Comments

Kayaking in British Columbia’s Broughton Archipelago: The Sequel

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Paddling in the Broughton Archipelago—C.Helbig

Some of you may remember a post from a year ago where I raved about a guided sea kayaking expedition in the Johnstone Strait/Broughton Archipelago (near the northern tip of Vancouver Island, British Columbia). Mike wasn’t able to come with me because of an injured shoulder. We decided to book the trip again with our friends Trish and Steve. I was a bit apprehensive. Could this trip possibly be as good as my first experience? It was! Six days of spectacular ocean kayaking and wilderness camping, awesome wildlife encounters, a dream group, and extraordinary guiding provided by Spirit of the West Adventures (SOW).

Continue reading

Categories: Activities, British Columbia, Kayaking, Places, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 17 Comments

Bears, Birds, Berries, and Biking on the PoCo Trail: Port Coquitlam, B.C.

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PoCo Trail along Pitt River—C.Helbig

Today was a great day and once again made me appreciate the treasures that I have close to home. Mike and I recently traded in our clunky old mountain bikes for a pair of sleek hybrids. We’re on a mission to explore Vancouver area bike trails and we discovered a beauty—the Traboulay PoCo Trail in Port Coquitlam. PoCo, for short, is a bustling community surrounded by busy highways and massive bridges. But, you’d never know it biking the 25+ km PoCo loop trail. The gentle, mostly hardpacked gravel trail passes through peaceful farmland, forests, and wetlands. A large portion travels along dykes with beautiful river and mountain views. And, there’s plenty of opportunity for wildlife viewing… Continue reading

Categories: Activities, British Columbia, Canada, Places, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 16 Comments

Water hiking in Mesquite Canyon, Baja California Sur (Loreto)

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Mesquite Canyon, Baja California Sur—C.Helbig

After two weeks of ocean-based activities in Baja California Sur, we opted for a land adventure on our last day. Little did we know that our desert hike in Mesquite (Mezquite) Canyon would leave us completely soaked. The hike, hidden in the Sierra de la Gigante mountain range, near the town of Loreto, is as beautiful as it is fun. The trail meanders through a gorgeous, steep-sided canyon. For most of the hike, we waded through refreshing, clear water. I’d never done a hike like this (I’m mostly deep in the forest) and it brought on a kid-like joy…nothing like getting your shoes and clothes wet and not caring one tiny bit, just living in the moment and having fun. Continue reading

Categories: Activities, Hiking, Mexico, Places, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

Kayaking and Camping Bliss at Isla Espíritu Santo, Baja California Sur, Mexico

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Kayaking at Isla Espíritu Santo in Baja California Sur—C.Helbig

I nose my kayak toward a deserted beach. Well…deserted except for six tents, a tarp, and two of our guides who have been setting up camp while our group paddles through the turquoise water. Rumour has it, we’ll be having ceviche for lunch. Afternoon options will include snorkeling, paddle boarding, hiking, and relaxing on the beach. Appetizers, margaritas, and easy conversation will follow. We’ll  dine on something scrumptious like fish tacos or chicken mole. A full moon will cast an outrageous sheen on the ocean and desert hills. We’ll stumble, happily exhausted, into our tents. Then, we’ll blissfully repeat it all again the next day. But first, there’s café y heuvos. That was the rhythm of our 5-day kayaking excursion to Isla Espíritu Santo with  ROW Sea Kayak Adventures. Continue reading

Categories: Activities, Kayaking, Mexico, Places, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

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