Left to right: Lisa, Eric, Shane, Joel, Louise (Grandma) & Brad (Grandpa) dipping our tires in the Atlantic Ocean.
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Lisa, Shane, Eric and Joel Worman are a local family who are keen to share their passion for creating memorable family adventures.
March 6, 2012
Today, we are starting our biking in St. Augustine, Florida. We rode to the open ocean to dip our tires in the Atlantic. It was really fun.
It was a short day (75km) compared to what is to come. The riding today was very windy. When it was at our back, we could go 30km/hour. When riding into the wind, it was hard to go 16km/hour.
We made it to Palatka, Florida. I was going to go for a swim at the hotel, but it was very cold. We walked to the grocery store and picked up food for tomorrow’s lunch. After we were done buying groceries, we continued on our way to eat dinner. We couldn’t decide between several restaurants, but in the end we chose one with a chocolate fountain. It turned out it was Grandpa’s favourite, an all you can eat buffet!
Palm trees, hanging Spanish moss, friendly people, lots of “y’all”, fields of potatoes, our first taste of grits, bright blooming azaleas, beautiful Old St. Augustine - a great start to our trip. Even after only one day on the bike, we remember what an incredible way it is to travel. I’m also reminded of my sore rear and tired legs! We’ll take it one day at a time, one state at a time. Now we’re off to get some rest for tomorrow’s adventure.
The above blog post was written by our son Eric, then age 11, with additional comments by me.
It was Day 1 of a family bicycling trip where the goal was to pedal 4900km from St. Augustine, Florida to San Diego, California via The Southern Tier Route. This was Day 1 of a two month journey! My husband, Shane, was riding a tandem with our youngest son, Joel, who was then 8 years old. Our oldest son, Eric, then age 11, was the stoker on my tandem. My parents, Louise and Brad, aka Grandma & Grandpa, were each riding their own bikes. With three generations on fully-loaded bikes, we were a sight to see! It is so much fun to look back to the beginning of a journey; so much build-up, preparation and then excitement of finally hitting the road!
This was not the first time we had chosen a family adventure as our vacation. Before we had kids, we went on active trips with all four of our parents: hiking the West Coast and Chilcoot Trails, and paddling Murtle Lake. After some time at home learning how to be parents, in 2005, when our boys were 2 and 4, we decided it was time to start exploring actively again. We had fun on another canoe trip at Murtle Lake, but this time with just the four of us. Eric and Joel loved playing with toy cars while sitting on the gear in the canoe and just being outside.
We then switched to travelling by bicycle and have never looked back. In 2008, our first bike trip took our three generation group along the Kettle Valley Railway from Brooksmere to Summerland, BC. The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, from Banff to the U.S. Border took us seven days to ride in the summer of 2009. For both of these trips, our boys helped propel us by pedalling on their tag-alongs which were attached to our bikes. The following summer, our boys, then ages 7 and 9, pedalled their own bikes as we rode 200km from Kelowna to Midway along the KVR. We felt ready for a bigger challenge so all four grandparents joined our family of four for a 34 day, 1600km bicycle tour of Germany, France and Switzerland. Our ages ranged from 7 to 71.
Over the years, we have learned that these trips guarantee a lot of together time. It surprises and horrifies many people that we like to spend so much time together, but we've found there's nothing that brings family closer than a shared experience! Our adventures have a defined start, a shared goal and an ending. We struggle together, have fun together, and eat tons of ice cream together. We are hoping that the bond we have created as a family will hold as our boys grow as teenagers.
The reality is that bicycle travel is simply an amazing way to see the world. Smells are more fragrant (good and bad), scenery more beautiful, weather more palpable, people more friendly, food more tasty and emotions more real. So, in a world dominated by reality TV and simulated experiences, our goal is to have a good, old-fashioned, real life, family adventure.
Photo: Carol J. Jackson
My friend's cabin
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My trip to the Caribou
By Carol J. Jackson
My biannual trip to the Cariboo is always highly anticipated.
The best route to travel there, if you are traveling from the mainland, is via the spectacularly beautiful Fraser Canyon, on Hwy 1.
The trip is five hours from home with a quick stop at Skihist Provincial Park to have lunch and give the dogs a short walk.
The best times of the year are in spring when the kids are in school, so traffic is light and, of course, again in the fall, when school is back in session.
About 30 minutes drive in from the 70 Mile Store, past the Green Lake turn off, is Pressy lake and beyond that, Little Pressy Lake.
If the cattle are not all over the road, I can make pretty good time on the logging road to the cabin.
Most of my time is R&R at my friend's cabin, which is very close to Little Pressy lake.
I love spending time out and about with my camera, while my friend spins wool at the local Spinning Guild ‘spin-ins’. There are plenty of other fun activities around the area.
There is no shortage of gorgeous views and drop dead landscapes.
On our way up the short cut to 100 Mile House, we have seen moose, foxes, a lone wolf and, of course, oodles of white tail deer. None have been caught on camera, as one can never be fast enough for that.
In spring, 100 Mile House has their Farmers Market, which is full of local vegetables, honey and other produce, as well as many Artisans selling their artwork.
My trip is never complete without one or two visits to the outdoor fridge at the Canyon Ranch. It is constantly full of fresh eggs, jams and banana breads to purchase.
I have been traveling to the Cariboo for the past 10 years. Although it is a five hour drive, it is delightful compared to multi lane freeway driving in the south. When you arrive for the first time, make a point of smelling the clean fresh air. It is as noticeable as the warmth and friendliness of the people.
Photo: Carol J. Jackson
Photo: Donna Kelsch
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Our traveling photographer this week is Donna Kelsch, who has named her Mediterranean travel photos "A Cat's Life in Ruins".
A cat's life in ruins
By Donna Kelsch
Last October I followed the historical footsteps of the Apostle Paul to several areas of the Mediterranean. I have a love of cats, and thought it would be cool to could capture pictures of the local felines while visiting the ruins.
Expecting to spend hours searching for cats, I was delighted by the numbers of very cool, very interesting cats who seemed to seek us out instead.
In Ephesus, Turkey, the cats are truly part of the landscape, numbering well over a hundred. These feline ambassadors greet everyone with tails held proudly high in a show of friendliness.
At the ruins, cats were basking in the sun on ancient blocks, nimbly jumping from one column to the next and calmly strolling through the Library of Celsus, always happy to pose, as cats do.
For some visitors they were invisible, but for me and quite a few others, the cats added unexpected joy to the trip. Perhaps, like myself, they had a cat like our Nicki, back home.
NOTE: Apparently the staff at the Ephesian ruins also love cats, for they take care of keeping them fed and healthy.