Monday, December 31, 2018
For us, 2019 will be all about getting outdoors and promoting the conservation of birds. How awesome is this as a way to ring in the New Year? Railway City is a microbrewery located in St. Thomas, Ontario, and when you purchase their Ducks Unlimited lager, a portion of the proceeds goes toward conservation programs aimed at helping ducks, wetlands, and other wildlife. So of course we had to get out today and find a pack of these to try - because for a birder (ok a birding geek) what else could be so cool? Here's a toast to bird-friendly purchases, conservation, and a Happy New Year to all!
Sunday, December 30, 2018
If you are looking for a great way to spend New Year's Day, consider taking a hike! This can be a great way to spend some quality time with family, burn off a few of the extra calories from all those holiday parties, or start your 2019 list of bird species. Of course it is always fun to choose your own adventure, whether it's to visit a favourite trail or location, or to explore a new area you've been curious about discovering for a while. Another great option is to check whether any local hiking clubs, provincial parks, conservation areas, or naturalist groups are offering organized group hikes to kick off the New Year. A few great options we've found in Ontario are the Bruce Trail New Year's Day Hike in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area, and a series of naturalist-led hikes in Ontario Parks, including Kakabeka Falls PP, Killarney PP, Lake Superior PP, Sleeping Giant PP, Algonquin PP, Darlington PP, MacGregor Point PP, Rondeau PP, Forks of the Credit PP, and Oxtongue River-Ragged Falls PP. These are just some of the options for anyone who is enthusiastic about kicking off the New Year by getting outside and connecting with nature or doing some bird watching. If anyone has any additional suggestions for outdoor First Day events in their local area we'd love to hear them. We hope to see you on the trails in 2019!
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
A great example of patience and perseverance as well as proof that anyone can change their mind. Last May when I announced to my parents that I was leaving my job, giving up everything I own including my house to walk across the country the message was – to put it mildly – not well received. I mean who leaves their job, their career, and home when things are going great? My mother was so opposed to the concept that I was bluntly told that I was insane, and that to stop me she would go as far as calling my boss or breaking my legs. Eight months and dozens of phone calls later we have found common ground. As a wonderful kindergarten teacher at the Toronto Waldorf School she understands the need to get our nation’s youth back outdoors, get them hiking our trails and keep them interested in nature. She also understands with so much negative news out there that we all have a role to play in creating our own hope and putting positive messages out there! And so for this Christmas her gift (from an intelligent lady who never changes her mind) stunned me.....speechless. So much so, I have to share her Christmas gifts with you.....
Tuesday, December 25, 2018
Saturday, December 15, 2018
As the days, weeks, and months have passed (increasingly quickly it seems) and our research on each section of trail, and on each province has developed, we have come to realize that while the established pathway of the Great Trail will be the primary route we follow, we would like to expand our exploration of the country beyond the trail in some places. At times we may stray from the path to trek through provincial and national parks, visit historical sites and museums, explore important birding areas, spend time with friends, or simply change things up.
From our initial assessment, a number of sites have sparked our interest, and we hope to spend several days in each. These include Terra Nova and Gros Morne National Parks in Newfoundland, Louisbourg Fortress and historical site in Cape Breton, Kouchibouguac National Park in New Brunswick, Churchill and York Factory in northern Manitoba by way of VIA rail train service, Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba, the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta, the Pacific Rim National Park and Tofino beach on Victoria Island in British Columbia, and of course as many of the Important Birding Areas across the country as we can visit!
Some of these side excursions will require us to simply reroute our trek to enjoy a passage through these interesting areas, while others will require that we entirely leave the trail for a couple days. Regardless, we hope to share as many exciting experiences as we can, and we promise to always return to the Great Trail!
If there are exciting and interesting sites near to the Great Trail or an interestng site to go birding in your region, please let us know! We are hoping to explore our country and would love to find out more about it! We live in a large, diverse and great nation and we want to see as much of it with you as possible.
As always, we invite you to Come Walk With Us as we pass through your community, and hope that you have the opportunity to join us online as we travel the nation together.