Tuesday, December 22, 2009

No Pain... no gain

I need more hours in my day, more days in my week!

Got my first snowboard in last week, it was awesome. Great snow as usual on sunshine. Going home to Darwin is going to be hard. The day after I had managed to get a free dogsledding journey. It was really cool the dogs were gorgeous, I got to drive my own sled.. well with the help of a guide who was this nice young guy from Northern Ontario. On the way back I relaxed in the sled.

Yesterday I went back to Sunshine. My mate Chad from Ontario was in town (met him in the parking lot after underworld if you forgot) so he came up and another friend from Australia (we met each other on a gaming forum) was in town and he brought a friend of his James who was also from Australia. so everyone congregated at my house for an awesome pancake spread before heading off. Sunshine was great, it was a little white in the morning making it hard to see bumps and I went flying a few times but after beer o'clock we headed up to my favourite run Goats eye. A couple of Rev (vodka and guarana) later we went downhill. We did lose heather at one point but she showed up at around 430pm on the last gondola and we ended up getting home around 5pm. We went to the Keg for dinner, chad had to drive back to high river and i missed saying goodbye to him because I was looking for Heather. Keg was awesome, as usual. After the keg it was to the Paddock for pool and beers where I stayed talking to James till the early hours. I think I finally got to bed by 2am.

Today I woke up sore, bruised, tired but sucked it all up and got my gear together for a full day on lake louise. One of my first lake louise runs was a really vicious blue that was steep and full of moguls - I actually managed to navigate them a little but my overall technique involved sliding on my ass. I would also like to point out I didn't have one beer all day. We went on this green run and everyone pulled over to the trees to get stoned and have snow fights. I was pretty tired so I kind of just chilled, didnt smoke anything. When we got to the bottom I left everyone and headed back to the front of Lake Louise. It was snowing like crazy up top and my face was being battered by it.. I took the easy green route down but got lost because I couldn't see through the snow and ended up on a blue run. It was a nice run with occasional difficulty but I it helps me to do that kind of thing to get better at my boarding.

Right now though, lying in bed relaxing I can barely move. Still amazing couple of days with amazing people.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Back in Banff

I seriously thought I would never be back here, but I am and I love it. Banff is such an awesome little town. Heather is fitting in pretty well as well and seeing the magic of Canadian travel. Minus the cold of course. The last week has been -30. Honestly just thinking about it makes me cold. I havent even been out on the hill yet its been to bloody cold...

Sunday, November 29, 2009


So Livid who are you?

The End of the Road Trip

So I made it to Banff.. and I have slacked off with the last week of writing so here is what happened.

My last night in Utah I had dinner at Scott #2's place for some amazing cowboy chili along with a few other couchsurfers Cari, Grant, Tiago(from brazil) and Sam. It was a great night filled with lots of food and wine I hated to tear myself away since I was having so much fun but I had a huge drive the next day. I did catch up with Scott #1 for an hour before hitting the sack.

Tuesday November 24th I left Salt Lake City and drove the 14 hours to Seattle. I was staying with two friends of mine Carrie & Steven. To be honest my last month of travel and adventure was catching up with me especially the extensive exercise I was doing in Utah and after 14 hours straight driving I was bloody exhausted so I excused myself to bed pretty early.

Wednesday we went down to Pike Place markets. In the afternoon I took it easy and played Legos with Jackson.

Thursday was fun, Carrie cooked an amazing thanksgiving dinner so I stuffed myself full of turkey, sweet potato, apple pie etc. I played some guitar hero with Jackson and just drank lots of beer and wine. My body was in pain I still have sore ribs from my fall in Colorado and my arms were killing me from my Utah experiance.. Plus my RA really hates Seattle weather and was causing extreme pain and all the other side effects (geez I sound like an old lady) I have to admit I was not at my most interesting and went to bed early once again.

Friday I drove to Vancouver with a German girl Anna. The Canadian border customs barely even batted an eye. Our main problem was a huge car pileup that had us stopped for an hour right outside all the outlet malls. Silly black friday shoppers!! Anna was really cool and we chatted tons. I was 10 minutes late to picking up my sister but she forgave me (yay) It was so good to see my sister it can get lonely overseas!

Saturday I drove to Banff! It was a shitty drive, snowing most the way but the worst was in Field. 5 HOURS!! Here I am stuck in the middle of nowhere with no phone reception 80km away from the end of the trip. So frustrating. I was supposed to be playing volleyball at 8pm and couldnt call or anything to say I wouldnt be there. We didnt make it into banff until 1130pm..argh.

So thats the end of my road trip ...11,880km not including side trips. I had an AMAZING time met some AMAZING people but bloody hell I am glad to not be driving again.

And I have a few plans in mind, I found a place I would love to call home. The weather, the lifestyle.. its exactly what I want from life now. I have changed a lot and I'm not sure humidity and perpetual summer is for me anymore. My RA is basically non-existant there...Im pretty sure you all know exactly where I want to move to. It definately won't be for a few years yet but its definately on the cards!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Denver to Utah

Ok I have slacked off a bit with writing but omg my last few days have been intense. Anyway the Denver couchsurfing meetup was awesome! They got the whole loft of this bar and there was about 30+ people there. Draft beer was $2 and appetizers 1/2 off. I walked right in and just started talking to people. I am usually so shy when it comes to meeting new people in large groups but couchsurfers are so much like me that its really easy to get into conversation. They are trusting, open people with such a love for travel and life that its really hard to dislike any of them! I didn't want to leave but I was pretty tired so around Midnight I went home.

Friday I headed off to Utah about an 800km drive. Not to bad but I decided very last minute (pretty much right when I saw the turnoff sign) to check out the Arches National Park. So that added another 100km to the journey but it was so worth it. I didn't have a lot of time since I didn't want to be driving all night but I spent a good couple of hours just exploring the National Park and wow it was amazing. I really just want to come back to Utah and camp for like 2 weeks and explore all the national parks. Still I'm glad that I took the detour just in case I don't make it back this way. Oh and the weather was gorgeous.

So about an hour and a half out of Salt Lake City I get pulled over for doing 15mph over and given a misdeamanor. I don't normally speed that much but I was bloody tired and just wanted to be in SLC already. Ah well another souvenier.

My couchsurfing host wasn't even in Utah he had gone to San Franscisco but left his key out for me so I made myself at home and his next door neighbour Scott took me under his wing. I was so tired from all the driving and I had my cousins stomach bug so took it easy friday night.

Saturday Scott cooked me steak, eggs & mushroom for breakfast and then took me out for a nice little local hike with a waterfall. It was pretty intense for me, only about 2 miles one way but with a bit of elevation and my body is not used to mountains anymore. Plus the stomach bug. Still it was beautiful and on the way back we saw two beautiful black moose fighting. I have never seen a moose with its antlers still on. Saturday night I went out to the SLC cs meet bumming a ride from we will call him Scott #2The meet was good I met some cool people and then after the meet even though I was exhausted I decided to go out to one of Scotts #2 friends birthday party. It was a gay club with a rubix cube theme which I thought was pretty cool. You dress up in all colours of the cube then eventually swap clothes with people till you are one complete colour. I chatted to some utah locals. It was also $15 for all the redbull/vodka I could drink! Scott #2 was another great guy.

I met like four people called Scott that night.. I think every second person in Utah is called Scott...

Sunday, slightly hungover I was up at 7am to go see another CSer a cool Chinese guy call Leo. We were going to go snowboarding but because there had been no snow in a week he took me out snowkiting instead. It was 9,800 feet or something in elevation and I was given lessons on flying the kite so the board would pull me along. Wow.. being on top of this mountain with beautiful Utah powder everywhere harnessing this kite.. hard but amazing feeling. I wouldn't mind learning it more. I was out of breath after two hours so Leo took me to this cool natural hotspring about a 2 mile hike in and we soaked away the day. It was a long day I didn't get home till 8:30pm and fell asleep almost instantly.


Oh Utah you are amazing... 9" of fresh powder for me to enjoy I FINALLY went snowboarding in Utah. I was reccomended Snowbird. It was good, I was tired and my ribs were still sore after my fall in Colorado. Wow though.. for a green run it was crazy steep and with all the powder I just basically rolled down some parts of the mountain. I couldn't control my board very well over the moguls.. I need more powder practice!! I guess I will have to come back to Utah!

Gee though my weekend has been really intense so much physical activity I am looking forward to taking it easy in Seattle. Speaking of which .. that it not a 12 hour drive I am looking forward to but I am looking forward to spending thanksgiving with Steven, Carrie & Jackson!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Five years on..

So today, well technically for me tomorrow but we are on Australia time now. November 22nd 2004, is the five year anniversary of my first boyfriends suicide. I guess it isn't something I hide or talk about much but as November rolls around I always remember. Jack was the one who made me love electronic music, he inspired me to dance. Now when I dance I always feel like he is there with me dancing by my side his eyes closed and hand raised as he becomes one with the music.

I think tomorrow as I ride the Utah ski hills and I am at my happiest, I hope he knows I am thinking of him, not by being sad but remembering the good times and what he gave me that I will never forget.

RIP Dj Howe

Something I wrote in 2004

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Colorado, Can I keep you?

I don't know if I mentioned it but my Weather Karma is right on track. I have had the most amazing weather my entire trip except for two days of misery in Prince Edward Island but that's hardly enough to damper my entire trip and I had an amazing time. Its making up for my miserable summer! So many people as I was bartending would ask me if I was hating on the Canadian Summer and I would always reply "I come from a permanent summer, for me its all about the Canadian winter and if there is one thing Canada can do right its Winter!" Even Alberta's lamo winter last year was better then anything Australia could offer.

So I did have to drive through Ida but as I wasn't sightseeing at the time it wasn't a big deal.

Anyway back on good weather karma, Colorado impressed me with a good 8"-12" of fresh snow over the weekend absolutely perfect for my Snowboarding! I went to the ski expo on Sunday and shelled out a ton of money on whole new gear. Last year I learnt on a 20 year old burton board with bindings and ex rental boots so as you can see I believe I really deserved this gear. I got a brand new Salomon Ivy Board which has this cool flex triangle thing, its supposed to be a very all round board and the triangle loosens when on flat to make edge riding easier and hardens on steep parts. Anyway its a step up! I also got some great new Salomon boots & bindings, pants, jacket, helmet & goggles.

So monday I went up to Red Rocks ampithetre for a look around and got a great view of Denver and some amazing scenery. I went with my cousins fiance Julie who is really cool so we get along well.

Tuesday I met up with Frank who is the brother of a previous couch surf host Mike. Mike is in Chicago and looked after my car for two weeks when I had to go home to Australia. So Frank was really cool, very active into climbing, mountain bike riding etc. He is also a skier but we won't hold that against him. So he took me up to Breckenridge for some snowboarding. I was a little worried at first since it had been so long since I last boarded but after a few initial stacks I got my balance back and my new board rode beautifully. My last run of the day I guess I was pretty tired and full of a couple of beers so I was cruising quite lazily down the hill when I lost toe edge control, normally when I lose control I can fall quite gracefully on purpose but this time I just went flying slammed my left side into the mountain, bounced and then landed on my stomach. I completely winded myself and bruised my ribs (not bad enough to need to see a doctor just to make them a little sore) So I lay on my back for a while trying to regain my breath and frank is just standing over me laughing. I lay there for a good five minutes before I managed to get myself up and get down the rest of the hill. After that though my confidence was shot and it was definately time to go home!

So Frank took me to Dillon Dam Brewery which is a local micro brewery that also has a pub/resturant next to it. I had some Bison Chili and more beer (of course!) So we just chatted which was good our conversation flowed really well. We went back to his place and watched random stuff before I crashed out at about 10:30pm.

My butt is bruised and my arms are so sore.. my legs actually dont feel to bad. Also my ribs are a little sore as well. Taking it easier today off to a Denver CS meet tonight. More snowboarding tomorrow then Utah on Friday.

Speaking of awesome weather Karma Utah is due to have a nice snowfall this weekend! YAY

Saturday, November 14, 2009

All I want for christmas is my very own cowboy

Well I definitely saw a magical side of Texas. On arriving in Amarillo my host (owen) was going to be djing some funk in a local bar. I decided to come along for some fun. We picked up a friend of his (Pablo) a columbian artist. Owen went about doing his thing and I sat at the bar drinking and talking to Pablo. Owens brother Sam was there also and set up a projector to play silent kung fu movies. Halfway through the night I ended up in the parking lot in Sams car getting stoned with him and Pablo. I asked Sam if he had a gun and he pulls out this crazy shotgun from behind the seat haha. Needless to say the 5am wakeup call from the cats that morning, about five beers and the weed I began to pass out on the table. I had to fight to keep myself awake as we couldn't leave while Owen was Djing. I really need to stop getting stoned while drinking but when I'm drinking I always want to get stoned.

Friday I went to Palo Duro a big state park just on the outskirts for some hiking and sightseeing. It was a beautiful balmy 15-20C slightly overcast with a nice cool wind. I think it was then I really fell in love with texas. Just being outside and hiking the canyon was amazing. I was virtually alone surrounded by the most beautiful scenery. The canyon itself is impressive... I hiked about 12 miles all up and my legs are definately sore today but it put me in such a great mood.

So off to Colorado today to stay with my cousin Eddi & family.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I could learn to love Texas

So Last night I was in Tyler, Texas for the night and spent the afternoon strolling tyler state park. Uneventful..but beautiful

I stayed with another couchsurfer, really great/strange guy (but strange in a good way) I met him at his church and sat through a few hymns. I was definitely not that comfortable, refused to say Amen at the end of the prayer and wouldn't move my lips during the songs. I really can't sing praises to something I don't really believe in. Then the guy doing the sermon decided to introduce me to the whole bible study group and I felt so out of place. But Robert was great and the church fed me fried chicken.

So he had a bunch of animals some dugos some kind of rat thing from chili and two ball pythons, one an albino, so beautiful. He also had three cats which decided to wake me up around 5am in the morning - ugh. Robert honestly was such a fascinating person though I really enjoyed his company and stories!!

So my drive to Amarillo was pleasant. I got pulled over about 200 miles out for doing 54mph in a 45mph zone. It was a cute young cop with a smooth southern accent. He was the first cop I had seen all texas which is weird cause in Louisiana there were cops every five minutes. He let me off with a warning telling me to make sure I slowed down. Sure thing I said whilst under my breath "Ill slow down if you promise to pull me over again" He knew I wouldn't pay my speeding ticket. I have been doing 10mph+ over the limit from the beginning of my trip and he was the first to pull me over and he didn't even give me a damn ticket!!

Anyway if all the cops are like him I could see myself living in Texas. Oh and the weather is great to.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ahhh New Orleans, City of Hopes, Dreams & Crazy People!

I am not going to recommend New Orleans for single female tourists at all. I wonder how close I came to disappearing without a trace. But the city is beautiful and the culture .. its a whole new world. Definitely something I would love to visit with a bunch of crazy mates. I left a lot of unfinished business in Bourbon Street.

So Mandinas on Canal street is where I had the best turtle soup in the world and a typical New Orleans sandwich called a Po-Boy which I had with soft shelled crab. I think its lucky that I have become both a seafood lover and a beer lover in my time in Canada, go figure. In fact I am stepping outside my little box and opening up a lot more to new experiances, yay go me.

Now I was introduced to this by my couch surfing host Philip who was a born and raised New Orleanian. After dinner we went back to his place and his girlfriend Nancy came to, we talked a lot. Nancy mentioned to me about wasn't I ever scared about staying with people Id never met. Well Im really not, in fact now that I think about it.. why aren't I. I mean I'm scared of pretty much everything so why not strange internet people... I mentioned that I can read people fairly well and if I felt that I couldn't trust the person I would just leave.

So go figure I should have one of my crazy nightmares later that night.. Phil came into my room and was smothering me with a pillow and I couldn't scream. I managed to wake myself out of it but it was one of those really crazy half-dreams where it really feels like its happening and you have no power to stop it.. hmm.. Anyway it was just a dream and Phil is a super nice guy!

So I had Tuesday to myself and I walked up to the French Quarter along the main street (Canal) and its 11am in the morning im surrounded by houses, shops, life and this car pulls up. This guy winds down the window and he looks like your typical business type guy (I am also going to mention he was white) and he asks me if I want a ride. Like seriously.. who the fuck does that anymore especially on a main road at 11am. Do I look like I need a ride? That really creeped me out, who knows what that guy was going to do with me when I got in his car.

I took the free ferry across to Algiers some historic part which was like this weird ghost town and I felt like if I walked around I was going to get kidnapped. And my host told me later that if I was going to go there I need to have a gun... So lucky I didnt venture to far into it or another reason for me to be missing in the morning. Now I'm a pretty adventourous person but New Orleans and I were definately not agreeing.

So many weird people stop me on the street to ask me how Im going and then proceed to tell me thier life story or tell themselves thier life story while im standing there. One weird little white rapper meth head dude had some kind of carboard box and was standing there talking to me about how he was just walking around town with his box.... uh yea. Then I had this black woman stop me in the street and yell curses I couldnt understand into the sky. So I'm a pretty friendly person and coming from Australia im used to people saying how ya going and not being weird ..

Anyway I had lunch in bourbon street and sat at the bar talking to another new orleanian Nathan whilst getting day drunk on Akida beer. I met three guys who were from Kansas City and we talked a bunch so that was fun. They owned some company there and were at a conference but got bored so got drunk instead. Its so cool how you can just carry beer around the streets, bars will give you to go plastic cups. And there is no laws on when you can sell alcohol one bar has some record for being the longest opened bar it was even open during Katrina. Also just admiring the french quarter was great.

My host definately made New Orleans awesome for me he took me out to some amazing blues/jazz secret musician who was crazy talented but only played in strange little bars. He made me appreciate the good side of New Orleans. I would love to come back but with a group of friends I could party with. Its really not something you can do on your own, unless you want to become a missing person!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hurrican Ida putting a damper on new orleans

Go figure, I guess my RA flareup was due to the huge hurricane just off the coast. Thank fuck it finally hit because today was a relief, no pain. I got up at 6am and was out the door by 7am on my way to New Orleans. A good 10 hour drive from Daytona Beach. I left my fucking phone, razor & a shirt in florida /sigh...

So the drive was uneventful except I was driving through Idas remnants. I took it easy and to be honest the time just flew by before I knew I was in new orleans! Stupid me put the wrong address in my GPS and Im sitting outside chamber of commerce wondering why my CS host lived there... I went hunting for internet and finally realised I put 411 instead of 4110... in the GPS so I was completely at the wrong place.. and me without my stupid phone! I found Philip in the end and he is great took me out for turtle soup and tomorrow night we are hitting bourbon street for some fun. Then I am off to Tyler, Texas!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Barely scraping by...

Florida is not agreeing with me. Its great seeing my Aunty & Cousins and the weather I just love so much, but its that weather that is against me. The humidity is causing a pretty severe RA flare-up. I am in pain, always tired and just feel like crap. I haven't had a flare-up this bad since..well I was back in Darwin. Its been four solid straight days. I hate that the type of weather I call home and love so much is so against my body. I cannot begin to describe how amazing I felt in Alberta.. I could do anything. Traveling and having to deal with a RA flare is really hard. I really hope it goes down tomorrow.

Well Monday Im driving to New Orleans and its a looong drive 9.5 hours. I did a bad job of planning my trip and said I would be in Colorado by the 14th lol.. So New Orleans monday night for two nights then I will be driving to Tyler, TX for one night. Then Amirillo for two nights where I will be hiking Palo Duro for a day before driving to Colorado arriving Saturday night.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Virginia Beach, Savannah, FLORIDA!

The drive from New York City to Daytona Beach, Florida I have actually done before and stopped in DC on the way.. there wasn't a lot I wanted to see on the East Coast however this time I was also driving by myself and I really hate doing more then 700/800km a day.

I ended up deciding on Virgina Beach the first day mainly because I found a good couchsurfing host I knew I would get along with, he had been all through South America and I plan to be going there next year. Anyway I was right he was awesome. He took me out so I could watch the Yankees game and then we stayed up talking and swapping music till the wee hours. I checked out the beach but it was nothing special to me..

Savannah I was stopping through as Cynthia (my first couch) recommended it as a place to be, I was definitely not disappointed. I had another great host Felicia and she took me on a walking tour of Savannah which was beautiful.. I really love architecture especially old styles and Savannah just has some amazing beauty to it. There was a movie filming there as well with Justin Long & Robert Redford we started sticky beaking but didn't see anyone famous.

So now I'm in Ormond Beach which is about 20 minutes from Daytona staying with my Aunty & Cousins. Its nice to relax for a bit, I had to pick up two suitcases Brendan and I left behind last year on the beginning of our backpacking journey and completely emptied the Jeep to give her a much needed clean! Also took the Jeep in for a much needed oil change. The 4wd is not working either which sucks because I will need it in the mountains since its winter now. I could use a car saavy male right about now.

One frustrating thing about America is they always seem to want my zip code and if I dont have one freak out like its the end of the world.. At the Jeep service centre the guy had my license and knew I was from Australia yet still asked me for my zip code. I did give him my Aussie postal code and he says "that wont work" well what you think in Australia we use the same fucking thing as you... argh

Sunday, November 1, 2009

New York, There's nothing you can't do

So I took a bit of a break from travelling and driving and spent the last week in New York. I drove in Tuesday October 27th and head out tomorrow Monday November 2nd. I was staying with my uncle in his batchelor pad in Elmhurst. I have been to this city enough times the tourist stuff doesn’t really interest me any more so I pretty much just chilled out.

Wednesday night we went to a bar to watch the opening match of the Yankees world series. Im a yankees fan by association since all my family is pretty crazy for it.
Friday I went into Manhattan as I was going to meet a friend for a drink but he never got in contact with me so I just did a little bit of shopping and 5th Ave walking.

Saturday was the big night for me, Halloween! I love Halloween was raised by an American mother but Australia doesn’t really celebrate it. Actually I just love any excuse to dress up. I was Gaz from Invader Zim. My friend Charles from Fredericton, New Brunswick was going to be in NYC the same night so we met up in Little Italy for dinner. He was with his friend, Brad also from New Brunswick and had this amazing Ghostbusters costume that just stopped traffic he had made the backpack from scratch and it even lit up.. crazy.

So after dinner we went to check out the parade but in true NYC style there was waaay to many people and My uncle and I couldnt really take the crowds. The costumes were amazing though! Brad kept getting stopped for pictures. Lenny and I ended up leaving and going to Times Square where we went to a bar and chilled out having a few drinks. My friends caught up with us again after the parade and we sat around a bit longer having drinks. The bar was pretty chill though so we decided to leave and go downtown to a club, Lenny decided he needed to pee really bad and pulled us off the subway halfway through so we ended up in the middle of nowhere... We found a little bar and sat down relaxing and drinking more. Uncle Lenny left about 2am he was passing out on me but I stuck around chatting to two guys that were staying at the hostel down the road and Charles & Brad as well. One of the guys was from Toronto the other Minnesota. So we all sat around drinking and chatting till about 4am before we got kicked out of the clubs and walked the streets for a little while, I didnt know where the fuck I was, I was tired, the clocks were back an hour for daylight savings so it was even later then it said.. we stopped at a diner and had a coffee and chatted. Charles & Brad left and I was talking to the two hostel boys (whoose names I cant even bloody remember, did they even tell me...) for a little longer but I was tired to.. so I flagged a cab, negotiated a price and went back to Uncle Leos place where he was still up partying with a friend of his dressed as Dracula.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bangor, Maine

So Monday Ted one of the guys I was couchsurfing with and I went up to Acadia National park for some hiking. Ted was great he knew the way around paying the entrance fee so we took a one way look road and parked a little way up. We had to hike down to the hike but it was a beautiful coastal walk and I got a ton of pictures. We also went past Thunder Hole where the surf crashed into the rocks and made a boom sound, apparently a few weeks earlier there was a hurricane and a bunch of people got swept off the lookout so they blocked it off. Oh I should mention it was an amazing day, blue skies and about 8C.

So we did this hike called beehive and there were two options you could walk an extra 500m and it was ‘easier’ (we walked a bit of it back and it was only slightly easier) or you could walk a shorter path and it was supposed to be more difficult. We took the more difficult part which was INSANE. It was literally climbing straight up the mountain.. we were on the edge of this cliff and holding metal bars to pull ourselves up. So halfway up as we are inching along this mountain I said to Ted “Did I mention I’m terrified of hieghts?” and he said “I thought you said you were claustrophic – heaps of wide open spaces here” as he gestures to the 100 foot sheer drop mere centemetres from my feet. “Well yea that to but I’m pretty much terrified of EVERYTHING” Still I grit my teeth and kept climbing, I could feel it in my legs (getting ready for snowboarding!!) The view was amazing and worth it, we followed a loop around and climbed another mountain with another amazing view. Overall it was a good 6km of hiking back to the car.

After the hike we drove up Cadillac Mountain for some absolutely amazing views of Bar Harbour and beyond, did I mention there were blue skies – you could see for miles. I couldn’t have asked for better hiking weather!!

We headed home and stopped by Stephen Kings house which was pretty cool, he had bats on his gate! Also went to Hope Cemetry this beautiful little cemetary which is a bit of a hangout for people it was also where the son was buried in the movie Pet Sematry. We finished off the night with some drinking I picked up a couple of local Maine Beers. There was this snake adder brew from North Korea and I got dared to try it. There was literally a dead snake in it... dont tell Dj!! It was disgusting but hey I did it..

Anyway right now I am in NYC staying at my Uncles Pad in Elmhurst. I drove the 7 hours without any hassles... it was a bit hairy coming into NYC but I did cross the George Washington bridge in my Jeep and didn’t crash at all.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Here is a little news about a little province known as PEI (Prince Edward Island) Canada’s smallest province. Um anyway as you know I have spent the last two days here, the weather was absolutely miserable. Gale force winds and really cold. My cs friend Cynthia took me around I got to see a lot of the real PEI the families behind it. Everyone pretty much knows everyone, the families all have some connection mostly related – its like Tasmania to Australia!! Another interesting thing is that the PEI canadian accents have a real irish twang to them. I almost thought they were old irish blood even though thier family had been on PEI for aaaaaaaaages. Anyway Saturday night Cynthia took me to her old mates place and we had fresh PEI mussells. I didn’t even know I liked mussells but they were DELICIOUS I could have eaten the whole bowl and very nearly did. I think Im turning into a seafood freakorama. I did do a bit of a coastal tour but the weather sucked to much balls.

I crossed the border today from New Brunswick into Maine and was detained for three hours.. ridiculous... fuck I hate US customs. They decided I was trying to import medication because I had a lot of prescription meds. All mine but I did have more then required its just so expensive to go to the doctor and get meds over here I get them from Australia... Anyway they took like half my medication away and did a seizure form bleh... I guess I was lucky they wanted to fine me 5000 bucks and send me back to Canada. Still my entire car was searched... I did have about a gram of weed and a pipe but I threw it out just before I crossed the border you could smell it in the car.. I think they found where it was and was trying to locate some weed so they could charge me. The bastards also took my tomatoes!!!!!!!!!

I sped to Bangor, Maine which is where I am now.. Saw like four cops but they didnt even chase me... I really want to get a speeding ticket in every state. My cs hosts are great we are going to do some hiking tomorrow and it turns out this is the home town of Stephen King so going to check out his house and a few of his movies were filmed here.

Friday, October 23, 2009


I left my host Matt in the wee hours of the Nova Scotia morning, I was ready to get on the road. He was a great guy but I guess our personalities didn't really mesh like the other two. I would not hesitate to welcome him into my home back in Darwin however. I did enjoy my time in Nova Scotia and the weather was amazing I really could have used an extra month there.

I am hideously underprepared for the weather. I left all my winter gear in BC thinking I was going straight to Florida after Ontario to hang out, I have a couple of hoodies and that is it. Oh and my famous hamburger toque. PEI is freezing, its raining and all I have is a hoody...

I am staying with the extended family of my first couch surfing experience Cynthia. She and her husband Randy hosted Brendan and I on our way to Alaska and then also on the way back. She is originally from PEI so she decided to fly in and see her family and hang out with me at the same time. I originally joined couchsurfing to save a little money since we traveled to Alaska in march and camping was out of the question, also hotels were around $100 a night! Yet it all changed for me because the people I met and the experiences I have had now have me choosing locations to visit depending on the people I will stay with. I have made some friends I plan to keep in contact with forever. I admit that not everyone I mesh with but like I said its quality over quantity and couch surfing is the way to travel for me. I have never had a bad experience. I really cant wait till I am home and hosting myself.

Anyway enough rambling, I am staying in PEI for a couple of days. I haven't decided yet if I will leave Saturday or Sunday. I will cross the Maine border Sunday and stay in Bangor but I was considering heading back to Fredericton to party with Charles (my CS friend) on the Saturday night (depending of course on his schedule). Fredericton is on the way to Maine. I guess I will decide tonight. I also don't know what to do after Maine, straight to NYC or stop in New Hampshire, Massachusetts along the way.. I dont know what there is to see at this time of the year.

I did a little hike in Cape Jourmaine to see the famous PEI bridge and some nice coastline. I haven't really done much else just relaxing. The weather is pretty miserable.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Nova Scotia

Ahhh well first my cough is still plaguing me and I was just looking on the internet about constant coughing and found this medical forum turned religious its kind of funny take a look http://forums.wrongdiagnosis.com/showthread.php?t=6371 I dont want to see a doctor in case I have something contagious then they wont let me into the US. Maybe Ill wait till im in Florida.

Anyway I spent to long at the Hopewell rocks waiting for the tide.. I did go to Fundy National Park which was free entry because end of season I guess still the info centre was open and the chick gave me a map for a few good short hikes. I took the wrong road and ended up trapped in construction for ages then I had to turn around and got stuck in the construction again.... So I got to Wolfe Point finally to see the highest tides in the world or some shit. Pretty. By now it was 3pm.... I had about a 3 hour drive to Truro, NS so I decided to scratch the hikes and just left the park.

On the way to Truro I picked a hitchhiker up who was buying his cigarettes in New Brunswick because it was cheaper by about $15 then buying them in Nova Scotia, different taxes are strange. Sometimes I think Canada is about 10 different countries.

So I got to my new location about 6pm. My new host is cool. He has a whole new turnaround on life and extremely positive to listen to. He also has a Ball Python called.. Monty which is absolutely beautiful I had to pull him out of his cage straight away! Holding him made me think of Dj and how much I miss him but it felt good to be one with a reptile again. We talked for a while a couple of his mates were round as well, strange questions like "do you walk in the forest and see crocodiles". Well ok just one of them was asking strange questions.

Today I went down to Peggy's cove which is probably the most photographed lighthouse in the world, and you can see why, its beautiful and even now when tourist season is over there was heaps of people walking around. I tried to take Sandra's challenge of getting the lighthouse without any people and almost did but these two annoying old people just wouldn't move!!! After Peggy's cove I drove along the coast for a while headed to Kejimkujik National Park, Seaside Junction to appreciate a bit of Nova Scotia's amazing shoreline. I did a nice 5.5km hike and my lungs didnt act up which was good, it wasnt a hard hike though no real uphill but amazing scenery!

Anyway by the time I finished that and drove back it was 7pm. So now I'm chilling with Matt my host and eating a Vegemite sandwich. Tomorrow im off to PEI

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

chilling in new brunswick

I can hear the waves move, I’m sitting outside at the Hopewell rocks waiting for the tide to come in so I can get a different view of the famous landmarks. But lets backtrack a little bit.

I actually got to sleep in a little bit yesterday morning, rose about 8am. After getting ready Ben toook me to a little spot known quite well to Rimouski locals. We did about a 2km hike up a mountain and I was not well. Its disappointing because I know that I am more then capable of hiking 2km without to much stress but the illness that has been plaguing me since Tiesto has gotten into my lungs. I think I have a pretty bad infection in there and I was coughing so much whilst trying to get up the hill I could feel pain in my lungs. I can honestly say I have never felt like this before so I was a little worried. However I was stubborn and already half way through the hike so refused to turn back. Ben kept saying we were almost there which drove me on though he lied a little bit :D. The view was worth the pain however a nice overlook of the area, we could have gone higher but I dont think I would have made it. He then took me to a waterfall which was amazing. I have seen plenty of tourist trap waterfalls and this one I think was better then nearly half of them. It really goes to show how amazing couchsurfing is, I see a different side of things and get to meet wicked people!

He also took me to a famous submarine and lighthouse, one of the actual tourist traps in the area. After the hike and sightsee I packed up my stuff, said goodbye and went on my way about 12pm. I felt sad I couldnt stay longer as we got on really well, we shared a love for trance music and passion for travel. Hopefully in the future sometime he will make it to Darwin.

Quebec especially further away from Montreal and QC is primarily a french speaking province and very few people actually speak english. So I waited until I crossed the border at New Brunswick which is offically a dual-speaking province and went to the pharmacy to get something for my lungs. I definately feel a little better today so here is hoping.

I stopped in Grand Falls, NB for lunch which was an amazing hand-made sub by moi with ham, spinach, tomato, cheese and red pepper & feta cheese hummas. SO GOOD. The falls were cool. After the falls I pretty much headed straight for Fredericton where I was staying with another couchsurfer, Charles. I had some trouble keeping a safe speed. The limit was 110 and I generally sit on about 20k over on highways but my silly jeep kept creeping up to 140km/h I dont want to be going to fast and get comfortable with it!

I got to Charles’s place about 7pm. Was happy to be out of the car after the five hours. Charles was fantastic, we both had the IT background to talk about and I felt comfortable opening up to him he was really easy going, gave me a few New Brunswick beers he also played me some songs on his guitar. He was a local NB his first language was french but you wouldnt have known. I found the NB local accent is very similar to the typical canadian accent like people from rural alberta & Saskatewan etc. People from Ontario tend to have an accent closer to the Americans. I was suprised because another NB local I had met in the Yukon had a very thick french accent. Charles mentioned closer to the north (Quebec) they tend to speak french more so that could explain it. Anyway went to bed about 11pm. I slept pretty well although did wake up in the middle of the night coughing like mad for about 45 minutes.

This morning I was up at 7am and out the door by 8am. The hopewell rocks low tide was 8:15am and you have a window of about a 3 hours in which to walk around before you are stranded. The weather was shit though, crazy fog pretty much the whole drive I did sit on around 130km/h anyway. I ran out of fuel and followed some signs to refuel but the fog got me confused and I couldnt find the petrol station and ended up in some random spot. I had to use the GPS to get me back on track. I made it to the rocks with about 10 minutes to spare I could see the tide coming in fast. I ran down to the beach and walked around the rocks for a bit. I lost my shoes in the mud.. anyway now im just chilling until the tide comes in a bit.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Quebec, cant complain

Quebec, can’t complain. I probably should have been kicked out of Canada for worst driver of the year today and two french guys did fall at my feet this evening, literally. Ok explain?

So last night was fun Lisa and I went to some bar which had Ottawa anihilating Montreal in Hockey. Now that’s a fun hockey match to watch you can really see the hatred between the two teams, I think there was a fight every two seconds! We were drinking some Quebec beer which was on special for $3. After chilling at the pub for a little while Lisa took me to the best poutine in Montreal. This place has 25 different types of poutine. I chose pepper sauce with onions, minced meat, mushrooms and of course the staple poutine ingrediants of mozzerlla cheese curds, gravy and fries. Talk about a heart attack waiting to happen, I couldn’t finish mine it was huge but so delicious I just wanted to savour everything!

We were home and in bed before midnight and then up again at 630am, today. I wanted to get on the road early and Lisa had to work. I was happy to see I had another parking ticket J’adore Montreal <3 Well I decided to place it at my feet and thats where that will stay. Hehehehe.

So I made it to Old Quebec City about 1030am and parked on a random street. Walked around for two hours just taking in the sites, taking thousands of photos. I dont know what to write about it except Old QC shits all over Old Montreal, although the Basilica in Old Montreal was still amazing. I had lunch at a little cafe with a Moka and Eclair. Well, when in france?

Leaving however I accidently nudged the car in front of me, bad turning circle and then drove off without looking to see if I did any damage. I was going really slowly though pretty sure the car was alright. I had issues getting out of Old QC my GPS kept wanting me to turn into the river and I did want to cross the river ...just preferably over a bridge and not swimming.. So confused and attempting to get out of the stupid city myself I went the wrong way down a one way street then even worse cut a taxi off on a roundabout! Oh man.. I was so frustrated with my horrible driving all that pride I had been feeling about my recant awesome freeway skillz gone in one brief moment.

So I drove to Rimouski which is very east quebec, made it there about 4pm. People further quebec do not really speak english. I had a couchsurfer lined up Benoit. He had a soccor game on till seven with his university and I went along for the ride and to watch men run around kicking things. Two of the soccor players just about took me out scrambling for the ball and falling down in a heap at my feet – le sigh. After the game we went to a store and looked at the many types of quebec beer available bought a few then went back to his place and chilled out trying to watch a movie and drink. We talked a lot though we had a lot in common and I felt very easy communicating with him his english was fantastic. We didnt watch the movie and ended up having a trance dj in the background instead, still I was up at 630 so very tired and about to crash! He is taking me to a nice waterfall hike tomorrow then I will be driving on to fredericton.

My flu is not completely over, its fucked. I have a horrible cough hanging on...argh..this is why I hate being sick lasts for ages!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Montreal in two days.

I'm not going to lie, I took it easy in Montreal. My flu is still hanging on making me tired and the cold weather is aggravating it. I saw the main things I wanted to see however.

Day one Lisa took me to a local market where we picked up supplies for dinner. I think everyone in Montreal speaks English and pretty much everyone speaks french as well. The Lonely Planet book is right you will listen to two people talking and they will switch from French to English. Its surreal. Everything is written in french however, but its pretty easy to work out that the huge red hexagon with "arret" written on it means stop :D After the market we went into Old Montreal where we walked around taking in the scenery. We did stop at Basilique Notre Dame, there was so much construction I had to climb a fire hydrant to get a good picture in front of it. The $5 entry fee was sort of worth it the church was beautiful, I know I am not religious but I felt calm being inside.. its absolutely amazing and I think if there is one thing you should see in Montreal its that.

Day two,

We had breakfast at a cute little cafe on Ste Laurent. I managed to order for myself, benedictine was pretty much self-explanatory and our waitress's first language was English anyway so she helped. After breakfast we hiked up Mt Royal which offered a stunning view of Montreal. I think it took a little longer because Lisa was distracted by all the men jogging past. Then we headed down and went shopping along a main street. My car has remained outside Lisa's apartment and last night received my first ever parking ticket in my history of parking illegally (only in Darwin I usually park legally elsewhere). In my defense I was unaware that parking on the street was illegal for non-residents (need some kind of a permit sticker.. I bet one of the signs in french told me) I think I will frame it, its all in french and there is no bloody way I am paying $50. I will be leaving Canada by July next year and my car registration isn't due until August. TAKE THAT QUEBEC!!

Tonight we are going out on the town then tomorrow I am leaving Montreal. I will be driving to Quebec City for a few hours then arriving in Rimouski for the night.

backtracking a little September 29th a hike in the middle of Muskoka

Donovan one of the Kitchen guys I hung around with had grown up in the Muskoka area and took me and Clayton (bakery) on a little random hike outside of his hometown Gravenhurst. I put on my runners and got in the car. He laughed at me..

"Look at you in your nice white pants..."
"what? I can roll them up to my knees"
"Yea thats not going to help"

I probably should have believed him..

We got stoned first another not so good idea. Donovan has a very short attention span and knew the area better then me he took off with clayton not far behind. If you know me at all you know that I am a hugely paranoid person, I am scared of everything. So being out in the middle of bear country having no idea where I was let alone the two guys I was hiking with were and the extra added paranoia of being horribly stoned I was literally going insane imagining countless things. Not only that I am also claustrophobic. We had to cross this one swamp which I think took me about a half hour, there was no crossing and it was thick with trees. I couldn't move I was surrounded by trees... I felt them closing in on me. I had no choice but to cross the swamp however so I ended up just pushing with all my force on the trees, my arms were so sore the next day from the exertion. I tried to walk on the trees but fell in the swamp anyway which was about a foot deep.

We also crossed three huge rivers by taking beaver dams across - cool yes but dangerous? This was the middle of fall, it was freezing. The dams were soft on the sides and it was easy to accidentally slip and fall in the river.

Anyway pictures of the hike are here despite everything it was an amazing hike with beautiful scenery and I would not hesitate to do it again. However I would do a few things differently I would wear pants that were not white, my actual waterproof hiking boots and not have any pot beforehand.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Muskoka - Ottawa - Montreal

Well I have arrived and sipping a red wine in true French fashion.

The journey here was a bit of a dream. I had a bad sleep the night before, the fish tank and strange dreams about murderous families breaking into the room kept me up (oh they made me watch the devils rejects before bed)

I made it to Ottawa about 2pm and had a bit of a hassle trying to find a car park so I could check out the parliament buildings. The signs were all over the place and the streets impossible. You could pretty much NEVER turn, I decided right then and there I found Ottawa harder to drive in then Calgary. At least in Calgary despite the one way streets you can turn, in Ottawa you need to go about a KM before they let you go left or right!

I didn't spend to long in Ottawa, I checked out the parliament buildings and did a bit of walk around. Amazing, the architecture was beautiful. Its got me all excited for Old Montreal tomorrow. Also ended up at Sparks mall which happens to be Canada's FIRST EVER pedestrian mall (slightly anticlimactic)

I don't know why I didn't plan my trip better, Montreal was only another two hours from Ottawa and I for some reason thought it was four. Jeepy had a bit of an accident on the way, the bumper must have been loose on the right side, maybe a bolt fell off and with my insane driving (ok compulsive speeder I admit it) somewhere between Ottawa and Montreal the right side ripped off and went flying over the windshield and into the oncoming traffic. I think it missed everyone and I was hardly going to attempt to turn around and collect the pieces so I said goodbye and left a little piece of myself back in Ontario.

I was to meet Lisa after she finished work at 8pm and ended up making it into the city at 630pm this was despite the horrible hour delay in INSANE peak hour traffic. I decided to walk around but got to cold and ended up jumping into a little bar where I had a local Quebec beer and contemplated life momentarily. I met up with Lisa when she finished and we went back to her apartment.

And that's where I am now, sipping my red wine and pouring over brochures for the next few days.

End of an Era & Beginning something new

I believe a tear was nearly shed as I walked away from my home for the last three months. I thought I hated Cleves but in reality it was my home for a short while and I did manage to meet some people that I will remember for the rest of my life.

Still if you are a traveler like me I really dont reccomend going anywhere near Clevelands House, the money & the work is horrible its pretty much just 24 hours of drunkiness for five months. It really did take a part of my soul Im not sure I will ever get back, It brought me to hate Ontario.

Anyway I am off - Driving up to the great capitol of Canada for lunch - Ottawa and then onto Montreal for a few days. I will be staying with Lisa and she promised some red painting of the town. Jeepy is packed and ready to go.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

At the end of every week each one of us becomes a freak!

3 more days and I'm out of here!

I have some Ontario slang for you, yes we know I'm a sponge I soak it all up then travel across the globe and pass it on to other unsuspecting sponges.

I'm just saying! - Maybe my favourite, used kind of instead of "you know what I mean" to add confirmation onto the end of your statement. Like "oh the drive to here was hell, I'm just saying!" Also has a derivative "What are you saying?" which actually means "what are you doing" however I dont use that one I think its whack.

Whack - I think its newfie slang basically means what it says "your whack"

yes bye (pronounced yes boi) - another newfie slang dont really know what that means sometimes its just said sometimes its in confirmation. Don't try and understand the newfies!

First stop on Wednesday is Ottawa Canada's proud capitol! Then Montreal for a few days :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Amanda: 1 Flu: 0

So after being pretty much unconscious for the last two days I finally opened a can of whoop-ass on the evil killer flu of doom that has been plaguing me and have managed to leave my bedroom and enter the real world again. Cleves staff christmas party tonight, will make an appearance its been over a week since I drank.

My last day is on Tuesday, cant fucking wait! Montreal, Halifax, PEI, New York, Florida, Colorado, Seattle (and whatever inbetween) - Here I come!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

Well I should write about the weekend before the memory of my fantastic night becomes another blur. If there was one good thing about me coming to Muskoka its the fact I met Chad & Cammy in the carpark after underworld. Hanging around these two amazing sweet guys made me realise how much I really don't get along with the college kids I work with.

My birthday itself was pretty tame, I was actually working but Clayton a great guy in the bakery made me a cake which was really sweet of him. The celebration of turning 28 was to happen that weekend to Tiesto!

I would never put Tiesto up there as one of my favourite Djs, maybe not even top 10 but I do like his music and I love to dance. Plus I had a lot of fun with Chad & Cammy at Underworld I was looking forward to partying with them again!

So for lunch I actually had a kind of “date” at turtle jacks in Port Carling with this guy who was sort of schmoozing me but I wasn’t really interested. He is a nice guy but not particularly my type just kept trying to impress me by telling me the same three stories he told me the week before. He did pay for lunch however and bought me a birthday present which was also sweet, that's kind of a new thing for me I don't generally let guys buy things for me... I don't like feeling like I owe them something, especially if Im not interested in them I get guilty. However he insisted and lets be honest my muskoka wages are shit so I gave in pretty easy on that one!

After lunch I drove to Toronto to Cammys house where I was meeting Cam & Chad. I was introduced to his family and sat around making small talk to his folks. We headed out for dinner I forget the name of the place but I had Chicken Parmigiana. Pretty much an Australian pub menu staple but almost impossible to find in Canada. Just about my favorite :D

After dinner we headed to Tiesto arriving about 10pm. We headed in and stood in line for about a half hour. Security confiscated every glowstick in the house and they weren’t even selling them inside! I guess Tiesto wanted everyone to look at his face on the big light show board all night! Lucky for us Tiesto wasnt coming on till 11:30 but the pre dj was really good. I was loved up and dancing hard. Tiesto did an amazing job some new stuff and old classics. He finished up around 3am and we headed out to the carpark where we had a car park party with a bunch of other people I dont remember their names. Then cams friend Brian and his gf Andrea came with us and we went into Downtown Toronto where there was this weird art show that went from Sunset to Sunrise all the places had some weird art. Like there was this weird hall and all these people with paper bags on their heads were standing around they would bump into you and then say sorry. It was some thing to represent passive aggressive behavior.

I peeed in the bushes in the middle of Toronto because I couldn't find a bathroom and I was about to pee my pants! We walked around for ages looking at art and then we went back to Cams house about 7am. We lay down in his living room watching bad cartoons. Chad went home about 11am and we flicked channels for another three hours before trying to finally lie down at 2pm. No go we just talked for four hours then got up and at dinner with his family. His family is funny they knew all about what we had been doing and his sister has ADD so she just kept talking, I choked down some turkey and tried to keep up but when Im sketchy I find it hard to deal with crowds. I was way to far gone to drive home so I ended up crashing at Cams and we stayed up talking some more, watching bad movies we eventually passed out at 2:30 am Monday Morning.

I bought him breakfast and then drove back to Muskoka, I had to work at 730pm. I guess the whole 30 hours+ awake and walking around in the cold all night wrecked me because I spent Tuesday in bed with a killer flu, still cant complain to much I had a really amazing weekend and would do it all again if I could. I'm sad I will be leaving Toronto in a week and wont see them until April for Coachella, still that would make Coachella all the more awesome :D Ive always believed in quality over quantity and these guys will be lifelong friends.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Canada has changed me.

There are so many things about me that are different now. Some have come from just being in Canada and others have come from my separation. I know I relied a lot on Brendan in the end and being apart from him made me tackle things on my own. I can drive quite freely on the right-hand side of the road and have even tackled some of the biggest freeways & cities in the world (New york will be in 2 months) I have even begun to like driving long distances on my own, in fact I have started to enjoy being along a lot more.

Brendan and I have separated officially. The long-distance thing wasn't working so for the first time in four years I am single again, and well.. I'm sad to let go of four years but I'm excited to devote some time to myself again.

I enjoy beer, a little to much perhaps. I have also followed about 90% of the canadian population and become a pot-head. The last time I smoked weed in this kind of quantity I was 21... well..when..in rome?

I love the cold. The summer here in muskoka has been mild to say the least, less then a week of +30 days. Their summer has been worse then my winter. But coming from a permanent summer I dont even really care that much that I havent had a summer, I just can't wait for the first powder day when I'm sliding my board down the hill. I wish it was winter now.

I'm excited to get back on the road to my new destination.. the new people I will meet. Don't take life to seriously, youll never make it out alive anyway!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Epic Night

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Niagara Falls

My updating is sucking right now. Add me to facebook Ill be back on LJ in full force in November. Oh and ps I will be in NYC for a couple of days late october. http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/profile.php?id=585873948&ref=profile

Niagara Falls

As luck would have it two of my friends from back home, home. (Darwin) were going to be in Niagara Falls about a 3 hour drive from me on the 16th & 17th of August. I hadn’t been to see the falls and hadn’t seen my mates in a year and a half since I’d missed them on my brief trip home so I was pretty stoked to be seeing them. Tuck I had known since I was in year 8 about 12 years old...lol.

I set out from Minett, Muskoka about 1230pm which was early for our meeting time of 4:50 pm. It was a super hot day, which considering I’m from Darwin is saying something. My drive through to Toronto was fairly uneventful however when I hit Toronto it was right on the beginning of peak hour 3pm. I’m not the best free way driver although I am getting it slowly. I took the wrong exit and ended up stranded downtown toronto for a good hour. Not only was I crawling along slowly my car decided it would be a good time to over heat. I had to turn the air conditioner off to survive. Imagine 40C, no air and surrounded by cars. Not fun. At least I could still have my music pumping I don’t know what I would have done otherwise!

So after I made it out of that traffic jam I hit about four more on the way through Hamilton. Worst time to be driving. I actually was only 20 minutes late to pick up Sharon and Tuck from the train station but they were a good 2 hours late and I had to sit in the sweltering heat waiting for them. We went to our motel relaxed for a bit then I took them to the Keg Steakhouse for dinner. I liked the beer glasses they gave us for the Honey Brown Niagara falls brew so they ended up in my bag a little later in the night.

After the keg Sharon went to sleep and Tuck and I went out bar hunting. We walked miles and couldn’t find one bar so I asked some security guards and they pointed us to a bar. It was dead but we sat at the bar just talking and drinking a few more beer. We had Creemore, Moosehead and Rickards Red. I liked the moose head glass but ninjaering was difficult. I think the bartender liked us however she ended up giving it to me at the end of the night.

Tuck and I went on an ear plug finding mission because Im a light sleeper and he snores but all we found some hot dogs from 711 and a Tim Hortons where I introduced him to Iced Capps and cheap donuts.

Tuck snored so loud all night that I barely slept. The next morning we got moving at 11am and went to see the falls and catch the maid of the mist into the spray. The falls were amazing. We had a great spot on the boat and it was so cool how close we got to the falls. Its really hard to describe them you really just need to go see for yourself.
That night was another drunken night. I even got cut off by a server she said I could walk out on the street and be hit by a car! LOL. Well I probably deserved it. We gave her a bad tip hehehe.

The drive home I stopped through Hamilton and saw Theresa one of my mates from Banff. She was there for a wedding so we talked for about an hour and then I left and drove all the way back to Muskoka. Work was a bit of a drag because I was so tired.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


No Drugs, No alcohol. Underworld rocked MY world. Epic Fucking Night.
Its been 10 years since Underworld had graced Canadian soil and I was just lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. They are one of my favourite Electronic groups of ALL time.

My date for the concert fell through and I found myself going solo, fine. I wasn’t going to miss it because I was alone. Its kind of funny though if I was with someone I may have missed out on meeting an awesome group of guys that totally helped me close my amazing night.

The drive there 2.5 hours with traffic, the wait in the line. I met a guy from Detroit who was also running solo and we hung out for the first few hours, he was a bit of a downer though.. didn’t dance, do drugs or drink. He was asking me what kind of movies I liked and I was way to pumped for his conversation. He was following me everywhere so I didn’t really talk to many other people.

When Underworld came on I kind of lost him, I pushed myself into the crowd and ended up right at the front of the stage to the right. I was literally five feet away from underworld, I could smell the sweat on thier brows (and the thousands of other sweaty people surrounding me) I danced so hard, I didnt have time to talk or to meet anyone I just danced. It was unreal, I haven’t danced that hard in so long.
When it finished I was pumped I made it outside and just stood there calming myself down wondering if I should talk to someone. I was so wired and just wanted to share my experience with someone who understood it like me.

I ended up walking to my car and decided I was wired enough to drive the 2.5 hours home. As I stood there with my key in my door I couldn’t help but think, I drove all this way and didn’t even meet anyone except some weird guy from detroit. Two guys were standing at thier car about 5 metres away. I remembered my promise to myself to meet more people on my travels and locked my car and walked over to the guys.
Me “Can I ask you a favour”
They looked at me “what?”
“Well I came out to this concert on my own and I was so busy dancing I didn’t meet anyone, I was hoping you would let me take my picture with you so I could pretend that I actually made some friends”

They obliged, I still didn’t know thier names. They were waiting for a couple of friends who had decided to get stoned by some wave thing in toronto instead of coming to the concert. We talked and they invited me to get a beer with them. I followed ..the rest is history. We met thier two other friends at the bar.They were all awesome, all around my age and so much fun. We sat at the bar having a few beers and they invited me to Tiesto and Coechella??? Some huge music festival in California in April.They apparently go every year rent out a huge mansion and just party for 3 days.

As the bar closed at 2am we walked back to our cars and had a dance party in the car park. I ended up saying good bye at 3am and drove myself out of toronto to a service centre there I put down my back seat and tried to sleep for a couple of hours. It wasn’t really happening so I jumped into tim hortons bought a coffee and then drove the two hours back singing my heart out. I made it home just before 7am and went to sleep, happy & content.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Game Over.

I think I broke my thumb playing beach volleyball today. I am working as server tonight, the only server.

Still epic volleyball game

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Who needs sleep, well your never gonna get it.

Crazy couple of days... I was working, and it was a busy night. I finished at 2am only to end up joining a fracs party. I was originally going to drive to the key and pick up the russian (Anton) but I was pissed off and I was tired and I wanted to drink.

I should have driven to the key and gone to bed. The situation got out of control and I went back to one of the cottages. I didn't sleep, I have issues sleeping unless I'm in a controlled environment. Life is so amazing and different here that I just really want to hold on to everything and its causing problems with my sleeping habit.

I got a ride by boat back in the morning and had enough time to run home and change for work. I spent all day working on no sleep and consumed 1 iced coffee, one normal coffee and a can of monster energy drink. I managed to spill a beer on a customer but he was pretty cool about everything and said not to worry but I felt so bad I just gave him a free beer.

After work I should have gone home to bed but went and hung out at the gate house instead. I fell asleep for about 10 minutes on the couch listening to one of the guys playing mario, then I was woken up by Kristian/Rabbit (a kitchen guy) who thought I was supposed to be working. He let me sleep in his bed for a couple of hours. Apparently I dozed off for another half and hour but I was soon up and out again hanging out with the guys. We were sitting around talking for ages before I finally decided to call it a night..at midnight. I went down to the bar to check out the open mic night and was practically falling asleep on the spot. Finally decided to leave around 12:30am ..got home and watched lost. Which by the way is a really fucked up show >< So crashed out about 2am. Slept solid through till 2pm.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Muskoka so far....

I have been in Muskoka, Ontario for a little over a month now working in Minett at Clevelands house. I work as a bartender which is actually quite fun but the bar I work for is a little slow right now, shitty weather and economy issues not helping. Still I might just try and bartend when I move on back west for the winter!

I'm not going to lie the whole adventure has been a little trying for me. The resort is primarily a college resort with the average age group 19/20. There is so much drugs, sex & alcohol my mind is a little bent from it all. Perhaps if I had known I would have steered clear but I'm a fighter and determined to make the most of my summer.

The people here are nice enough I am yet to find someone I dislike I just don't relate well to the college crowd and therefore tend to keep my distance. Still I party with the best of them (occasionally) and have managed to find a few I would consider life-long friends. Summer is on the verge of ending and what do I have to show for it but a few drunken nights. I haven't even gone swimming in the lake yet!

Maybe what's sadder is this is my first entry since being here. Heh... well the sun is out today.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Banff -Home June 1st - June 11th

Packed the car, repacked the car, repacked the car then repacked again. That was pretty much my first day! I took Brett my random from Australia to Johnston Canyon before we went to calgary. I let go of all my stuff  and cut down to fit another guy Daniel from New Zealand in. Then I had to buy something to fit on the top of the car because I couldn’t fit everything. We drove to Sparwood and I let go of MORE stuff. I really need to improve my backpacking skills! Chilled out at Sandra’s place in Sparwood. We went to the river and hunted down a beaver dam. Ended up seeing three beavers who were swimming in circles for ages every now and then they would slap their tails (in warning?) and dive under water.

Day 2 June 2nd 2009
I was up early but the boys slept in till 9am. We packed the car and headed out for Montana. Montana is a pretty boring state..plains & farmland galore. The border crossing was suprisingly easy they didnt search the car or take my fingerprints. The poor Kiwi was forced to fill out some forms but overall we were in and out within minutes. Such nice guys joking around.. we drove for hours and ended up at Great Falls Montana. A strangley large town in the middle of nowhere. It did have a very cool tourist attraction the falls the town was named for with a massive dam. I was pretty awed! How do you think we will go when we reach Niagra falls! After the falls we booked into a motel and bought dinner from a supermarket down the road. I got a 12pk of imported Kokanee beer for $12. Sitting in the motel watching bad tv sitcoms and thinking about tomorrow. My random Kiwi dude decided to sleepwalk & talk through out the night and I was sitting up constantly paranoid about my car! I think I might have got a few hours sleep in...

Day 3 June 3rd 2009
On a whim we decided to check out Yellowstone National Park. We got out of bed and checked out of the hotel by 10am and just drove straight to the park. After stopping in Livingstone MT we discover Old Faithful is actually part of the park! So we decided to make a day of it driving straight through to check out old faitful. We arrive at the Geyser with about 6 minutes to spare before it blows, talk about timing another 10 minutes and we would have had to wait an hour and a half! So after watching the geyser blow and spending some hard earned cash in the gift shop we heading up to Bridge Bay to camp the night. Worst night sleep ever it was cold, wet & cold.

Day 4 June 4th 2009
Took in a few more yellowstone sights such as the amazing lower falls of the grand canyon. It felt like you were looking at a painting thats how beautiful it was. As we left we stopped in a small town on the outskirts of north-east entrance and had an american breakfast served by a russian girl who couldnt understand the two boys in the group. The kiwi asked for mixed orange and apple juice which had her laughing all morning and calling it crazy drink. We left and I snoozed for a bit before Brett woke us up as a young black bear ran across the road. Further down we came across a moose and her kid which was surprisingly cute considering how ugly moose really are! After that there was a whole lot of nothing. We ended up reaching rapid city SD around 8:30pm and headed in for some couchsurfing. Our guy wasnt there but had given us the code so we went in to his small batchelor suite and made ourselves comfortable. He had another guy from New Jersey staying as well. Four of us actually ended up out the window sleeping on the roof, I dont know if it was because I was sooo tired or because it was a gorgeous comfortable night but i was out like a light!

Day 5 Mt Rushmore
Well I was up at 5am and really cold from being on the roof so headed back inside bruising my legs in the process! I was up again at 7 but the boys slept in till 11am. I finally managed to drag them out of bed and then we went out to Mt Rushmore. I hada killer headache I guess because of all the beer I drank the night before. Mt Rushmore was cool, lots of people. We followed this guy around on his tour and learnt a lot of stuff about the four presidents which I have pretty much forgotten already. After Mt Rushmore we went to Crazy Horse which cost something like 27 bucks to get in and it wasnt even half finished. So we told the gate we wanted to go home and not pay and she said drive in and take the first left, we drove all the way to the carpark took a few distance photos and then left. So not worth 27 bucks!! Then onto walmart where they sold guns. I was tired we got home and I fell asleep about 10pm. I think the boys were asleep not long after.

Day 6 Freemont, Nebraska
Woke up around 8am and discovered Brendans dad had passed away. Woke the boys up for the long drive to Nebraska. We had another couchsurfing set up which was at a cabin on a lake in Fremont about an hour from Omaha. We got into Fremont about 5pm and settled down in a bar for dinner and drinks. I got asked for ID and the Kiwi didnt.. He was only 20!! By about 9pm the girls we were meeting up with caught up with us and took us to the cabin. So I drank a lot more at the cabin and after some drinking games, talking to randoms and then a late night swim passed out in the car during a big thunderstorm. Reminded me of home..

Day 7 Driving to Chicago
I got woken up so early in the morning the guys wanted to leave, I ran inside to grab my stuff and there are bodies all over the floor.. I stepped over and found what I could. Except I lost my glasses god knows where.. I only found out later we were rushing out of there because the Kiwi shit the carpet. Now originally I was going to fly out of Omaha and give my car to the boys to take to toronto but after that fiasco and seeing how much they seemed to disrespect my belongings. Never once took out the trash in my car. I decided they were to young and said they could either drive straight with me to Toronto or I would leave them there. They decided to stay in Omaha and I decided to fly out of chicago instead. I didnt quite make it there the first night was to tired so shacked up in a super 8 motel in a random city about 250km out.

Day 8 Really driving to chicago.
I got in to Chicago about 11am and had a couchsurfer lined up who would look after my car and let me sleep there. I got really lost and didnt find his place till about 1pm. Then I parked the car on his street in a really bad reverse paralell before catching the train into the city. I spent six hours just walking around checking out the sights. Saw the Navy Pier and took a skyline cruise before walking down chicagos equivelant to New Yorks 5th Ave. Michagen Street. Eventually I decided to head back to the house but got lost, I was wearing thongs (flip-flops) and had blisters on my feet from them. I asked a random guy and he directed me right to the train station before I found my way home! Mick my host was 33 and owned a really nice 3 bedroom house. We just talked and talked till midnight, we had so much in common and he was a really great guy. It was nice to find someone I could talk to after being in the car with the two young boys. I’m just not 21 anymore and dont find the same things funny they seem to!! They were ok guys I just didn’t relate to them at all..

Day 9,10,11.... Flying Home
Well Mick left me in his house and I sorted out what I was taking to Darwin with me. It was a really surreal feeling to think I was going to be home, home in 2 days. Its been over a year since I saw a lot of my friends and no one even knew I was coming home. I was arriving at 2pm on my mums birthday. The flight was ok I managed to sleep a bit and I talked to a lot of different people including a Kiwi who I kept seeing everywhere. I had to fly Chicago – LA – Sydney – Melbourne – Darwin. I was definately sick of changing planes and got randomly checked 3 out of 4 times. Seeing Brendan was fantastic he picked me up from the airport and we went straight to Casuarina so I could order my new glasses as I had to fly back to Chicago the following Saturday. Then we went to my mums place and I walked in and hugged her from Behind she was on the phone to some guy selling raffle tickets. She turned around all annoyed saw me and just looked then suddenly it dawned on her it was me and screamed. She told the guy she had to go and hung up on him!!! I wished her a happy birthday then she had to go as well. I fell asleep around 7pm because I was sooo tired. It really is awesome to be home and it just feels like home...

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Well I have my randoms all set for the trip to Ontario trust it to all come together at the last minute! I have realised I have to much stuff and since I probably wont need most of it in Ontario I am going to leave it with Sandra's boyfriend in Sparwood. I'll pick it up when I come back east. So there are two guys coming with me one is an Australian all the way from Sunny brisbane. Only 18 and just out of highschool. I actually met him last night super sweet guy but very shy!!

I took him out to town and he passed the Theresa & Taki interview! yay. The other guy I haven't met but seems really nice as well. They are both super tall over 6ft and I only have one 3-4 man tent. I guess unfortunately we will have to cuddle up. Shhh don't tell Brendan LOL.

In other news I went along to be a cheerleader for some guy at a rugby game today, super nice and cute guy. He promised me I would get to see guys take their shirts off and he delivered. Something about shirtless sweaty guys just gets me excited. I think this being away from Brendan is doing bad things to me. Gee I miss him a lot its really hard to be away from the man you love and keep seeing all these sexy guys everywhere, and now im going to be traveling with another couple of young guys! My boyfriend is super lucky im so trustworthy :) Maybe if I write enough about men he will come back to Canada!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


So I have less then a week left to find my perfect traveling partner. I don't think its going to happen. Ive had three people contact me. I'm starting to think no one reads my signs. The first wanted to leave end of June. No can do.. I start my new job in Ontario on the 14th. The second person is a hippy who wants to go see his grandson in Manitoba so its only about a days drive and im not sure I even want to head that way anymore. However he seems cool and said he would make me sausage rolls!!! I was debating to go through Montana and then South Dakota before back up to Minnesota & Illinois. The third guy would be perfect but he doesn't have a US visa and wants to go through Canada. I'm not sure if I even want to go that way it really doesn't seem that exciting to me..

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Night crawlers

I had my work going away party last night. It was pretty cool lots of free booze and an awesome BBQ. I'm really going to miss a lot of people I work with! I don't think I'll miss the work though reservations is not for me. I got pretty hammered and ended up walking home about 4am. I was wearing shorts which was pretty silly since it was probably about -5 at the time.

Anyway the streets were dead quiet and I was out of it when I pass this empty lot full of trees and plants and I start hearing this rustling sound. Then I hear what sort of sounds like a growl. Wow did I freak out I ended up crossing in to the middle of the road. Who knows what it could of been .. a bear, a coyote, a cougar!

Oh my...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Keeping Busy

I'm really going to miss Mt Rundle..

My workmates have been telling me I'm not allowed to sit at home and dwell because Brendan's leaving. I will just become a hermit and depressed. But I have been keeping myself busy because the hardest part of seperation is going home and seeing that big empty bed.

So I went to my first garage sales of the season and scored a few goodies. Not that I need more stuff.. but then who doesnt. I volunteered for the childrens festival and helped thousands of little brats build alien trees.

Tuesday & Wednesday are full of getting the car and my teeth ready for the big journey. Still on the hunt for some people to come with me. I hope I dont end up driving through the US by myself! I also have a work party to say goodbye. I'm going to miss a lot of people! Then next weekend is my last weekend of work!

Friday, May 15, 2009

bye bye Baby

Brendan is gone. In fact he should be pretty much in Australia by now. I drove him to the airport even though I was falling asleep. I said goodbye to him and forgot to say I love you. Oops..pretty hopeless I mean we have only been pretty much inseperable from 3.5 years! This will be a true test of our relationship staying power.. and my awesome independance. Will I cope with driving from one side of North America to the other...ON MY OWN!!!

Well little Tom-Tom my ever awesome GPS will be by my side. And maybe that random hippy I pick up with his finger stuck out and the 10 inch blade in his back pocket..

Driving home was a bitch, I really hate driving on the right hand side of the road, I really hate driving in big cities AND what the fuck is up with the goddamn blizzard! 0 visability im crawling along the yellow middle line at 10k/h thinking if there was someone on the road I wouldnt see them (or it?) Doesn't Banff know its actually Spring right now!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I got my contract for the Ontario job in the mail today. One of the rules

if you are down on the dock for the afternoon during your time off, please be advised that washing your hair, shaving etc in the lake is strictly forbidden

Does that mean I can wash my hair in the lake in the morning?

What I find hilarious is that enough people have done this to warrant it getting special attention and added to the rules list. Is there no running water in the staff accommodation?

Friday, May 8, 2009

New Computer!

I bought a new laptop, well I bought three new laptops. One for my sister, One for Taki and one for me! I bought them from Bestbuy.ca and saved about $150 from each computer (inc 3 years extended warranty) Well bestbuy are pretty useless. Their service is horrible the guy who helped us didnt really have a clue. And then when we got home we discovered that we were missing a power cord from one of the computers. I kept trying to call the shop to get my shit organised but they didnt answer so I ended up ringing head office and finally got through to the store. turns out it was my fault for not checking the box!

fuck bestbuy I'm never buying off them again.... Although their prices are really good :(

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I'm not sure what I am anymore...

Gosh this travelling is putting my goals and dreams in perspective. Back home in Australia I had a passion for computers and I knew I wanted to work with them. Then I dropped a good career and packed up everything to work as a reservations agent in Banff. I am not a reservations agent. I dont like doing the same thing over and over again. I get annoyed when I have to answer the phone. Even though I was working there for 11 months I knew that I was leaving at some point and it made everything ok. Now that I'm leavng and heading 3000km away to Ontario to be a bartender. I have no fucking idea how to bartend and no idea if I will like it. I dont think its my career choice wouldnt I have picked it before?

I dont think I want to go home...if I go home it means I have to settle down to real life and plan for a future. I'm enjoying this care free existance. I love being a backpacker.

WHo needs real life ...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bye bye Banff, Hello Muskoka!

So now everything is official. I have given notice at work, told my flatmate.

I am moving to Muskoka, Ontario for a summer job in Clevelands House Resort . I applied for the job on a whim about a month ago when I was fretting about what to do with myself when Brendan left. I applied for a front desk position. I was told there were no vacancies and thought no more of it.

suddenly a month later in my email was a job offer as a bartender! I rang HR and informed them I had no bar experiance but they said no problems they prefer it and want to train me how they want me to be. So my wage is a piddly $9.50 an hour. Pretty low compared to Australian wages but Canada is a tip run country which should bring my wage up quite considerably. It is also a high-end resort so I'll be expecting the rich & famous to be tipping me in $50 notes. (one can dream right)

I leave Banff on June 1st and will be driving across the US of A. Taking in the sights and sounds for two weeks of adventure!

It all came out of the blue and I'm totally excited for what the future will bring me. Gosh it was a hard secret to keep :D

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My Big News

not yet. Ill let you know in 24 hours

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Some big things are coming up, some change. Life as you know it will cease to exist!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

mmm kevin feels good

Well I dont know if you watch Australian news (and why would you) but to fight the 'recession' our PM Kevin Rudd is stimulating us hardworking Australians (wait havent I been in Canada the last year...) with $900 each. Well either Brendan or I got stimulated today so we decided what better way to improve the Australian economy by spending it on brand new snowboard pants in Canada!!!

On other news we went up the hill today and the snow was shit. 2cm of fresh powder on a sheet of ice. Lasted one run then decided to call it quits and went to the Rose & Crown for lunch. Ran into some coors reps who bought us a round of beer.

All in all a productive day!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pure Bliss

This makes me happy. I think Wednesday and Thursday will be spent doing some serious snowboarding!

Friday, April 17, 2009

These are a few of my favourite things...

I love Snow


Heat, Sun,



British Comedies

Paul's Iced Coffee


Simulation Games (zoo tycoon!)


Dancing, Music


I never thought that I would love snow so much. Coming from Darwin which is always hot & humid and I love it it seems strange I would enjoy frolicking in - degree temperatures. I really dont know how I am going to cope once I get back home. I will have to plan a couple of trips to NZ or maybe even Japan! Its definately going to be hard to top my winter here in Banff thats for sure..

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I know I said it was Spring...

Just as you thought it was Spring Banff goes and lays another 13cm of snow on you. Somebody once said to me in Banff its winter 8 months of the year and something else for the rest! I have no idea..

Anyway Taki and I went up to Sunshine Village for the morning to enjoy the fresh snow and get some exercise/boarding in. I ended up in a huge pocket of powder and had to take my board off I was stuck. I did this massive face plant and snow ended up everything in my goggles, down my shirt. Ugh I really need to buy some better powder protecting clothes with the amount of times I fall over.

We picked up two hitchhikers on the way there a couple of guys from Ontario. We also picked up some guys on the way back who were from Victoria, Australia. They seemed pretty interesting they both had waterski instructor jobs for the summer in Toronto.

I've had a few flatmate issues lately so I'm not sure whats happening. We really dont have the money to rush off east and I hate to dig into my Aussie savings. Alaska & my sister kind of wiped us out! Hopefully we can ride this issue out and stay in Banff till June/July. Really have to move on soon though..

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spring is here!

How exciting my first spring! And its actually as awesome as people pretend it is.

for those of you wondering why I never have spring. My hometown Darwin is right near the equator. Its always 30C and the sun always sets and rises at the same time every year

I saw a little bird today!

The sky is so clear & blue
I can throw away my winter jacket!
People are just happier!!!
The snow is melting (ok thats a bad point)
Did I mention the days are warmer?
Gosh Banff is gorgeous in the spring!
The days are lasting longer, sun set at 8:30pm! and counting!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Melissa & Jason arrive

I know I have to put Alaska up but its been really busy with my sister MELISSA getting here and all!.

We picked her up from the airport late on Friday and we were all in bed by midnight. I had a really bad sleep however, I think everyone did except melissa. I cooked them pancakes for breakfast (yum) and then we did a little bit of local sightseeing. It was a warm day of +9C and the sun was out. Yay! Melissa was excited to do snow angels but the snow was really icy and dirty so I think she just ended up making a fool of herself heh.

Anyway Lo & Behold overnight on Saturday we ended up with 7cm of unexpected snow! It was still falling when they woke up so they got to see how beautiful Banff is under a snowfall considering how dirty everything was the day before! We were supposed to go sightseeing but the weather was white so instead we grabbed a couple of sleds and went sledding on a local hill. It was lots of fun but exhausting half way through we made a snowman. The snow was just a wet layer on solid ice so the sledding was getting dangerous! The snowman just came together beautifully perfect snowman snow.

We went to check out Yoho park yesterday but a lot of the best attractions were closed off because of weather. We did go for a trek out on Lake Louise. Melissa fell over once. Last but not least we saw the Calgary Flames toast the Detroit Red Wings in a home game. It was pretty cool, my first ever hockey game! Not enough fights though :D

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The End of Alaska

Day 3

We got up around 7:30am and was out of the house by 8:00am. Randy let us follow him for a while so we knew which way we were going because the GPS was a little lost. Then we set off on the great Alaska Hwy to Watson Lake around …km away. The drive was gorgeous and I took full advantage of it to make Brendan stop every two seconds so I could get a photo. At one point we passed this huge bull and I didn’t even notice it so Brendan turned around and it just stared at us we thought it was a big statue. I got out of the car to get some photos of it and kept thinking it was going to charge me. So after getting exciting seeing this huge buffalo we rounded the corner and there was about 10 of them eating snow on the side of the road. The road got a little bad mid afternoon winding and slippery so we lost a lot of time. We did stop at the Liard Hotsprings for about 20 minutes. Gorgeous! Stunk like rotten eggs though.
By the time we got to Watson Lake it was dark, about 730pm and we were so tired! Our hosts in Watson Lake were fantastic. We got in and Susan heated us up some moose stew which by the way is delicious and we sat around talking and watching the amazing race. We did go to bed a little bit early because we were exhausted from the long drive.

Day 4

We slept in because our next journey was to Whitehorse which was only a five hour drive. I don’t think we ended up leaving Watson Lake till about 10am. The drive was pretty standard, I saw some Caribou running around the side of the road which entertained me. Otherwise it was basically overcast most the way! We made it to Whitehorse but got a little lost by our hosts directions and ended up down the wrong HWY. We did find it in the end, our hosts were Lisa & Benoit (Ben-oir) Lisa was from Manchester but had been living Canada for about 20 years and Benoit was a French Canadian from New Brunswick. They had five HUGE dogs which were intense for me who is not a dog person. I knew what I was getting into I guess but they definitely threw me off…Once they got over the initial “new person” excitement they were big babies and cuddled up nicely. Except belle but her excuse was fair enough. Lisa & Benoit had rescued her from a shelter she had been abused as a puppy and suffered brain damage. She was a full time job just in herself. Our hosts were also entertaining. Benoit was a talented artist and could make anything out of anything, he was making a Hot Rod from scratch and creating custom pieces himself. He was also a tattoo artist by trade and did custom pieces in his house which paid the bills. He was telling me he wanted to out up a website to sell his custom car pieces from. He was also building a chopper (motorbike) from scratch and showed us the frame. He had rooms full of recycled junk and he had plans for everything! They were both planning on a big Australia trip in three years especially the north so perhaps we will see them again! Lisa cooked us dinner and we talked for hours about everything. We went to bed about 10pm.

Day 5

We got up early around 6:30am and was out the door by 7. We fueled up in Whitehorse and grabbed a couple of Tim Hortons coffees, im starting to see the Canadian obsession! Their donuts are pretty awesome too. We didn’t really stop until we hit the American/Canadian border where they border guards decided they were really bored and searched our car but Brendan and I had a good chat to one of the customs guys who happened to be from New York. We talked a little about the snowboarding resort we were heading to and he told us a little town you should check out you have to drive through a mountain to get to it. They were pretty friendly and asked us lots of questions “That’s a lot of stuff for one week” hehehe… well we had planned on three weeks including driving! And excuse us why did we have an interview in Melbourne to get special visas if it basically doesn’t mean anything! Brendan even had to prove he wasn’t a Terroist! Anyway we got through the border and headed our merry way to anchorage. The roads were horrible we were crawling along half the time. But after 14 hours (about 9:30pm) we finally made it to our home away from home the hostel. It was a really great little hostel we had a private room with a tv (although it never got turned on) and fridge. A double bed and pretty spacious for a hostel! Anyway we were exhausted so went to bed quick smart.

Day 6

After all the early mornings and long driving we slept in. We spent the first day just exploring the area. Nothing exciting to say, it was a bit of a miserable day. For dinner we met up with one of brendan’s locksmithing friends “Josh” We had dinner at this strange pizza place and indulged in some strange pizza.

Day 7

We headed down for some snowboarding! We did plan to get up early but didn’t end up leaving about 9am! Which in the end turned out to be good since the first lift didn’t open till 10:30am. We went to the aleyska resort. The snow was amazing it was a nice warm day of about -4 but overcast so I didn’t get any good views of the resort. It was honestly some of the best snow I have ever boarded on! Now I am a powder addict its so much fun just to float on powder but its really hard to be a proper technical snowboard rider on powder. Aleyska was my first taste of groomed powder. The top was flat and crunchy and I controlled my board awesomely. When I did fall over it didn’t hurt the crust just broke and I was in powder! But not to deep it was easy to get up again. We started out on the little green runs I wasn’t sure about my skill level but after floating down the runs realizing I’d stepped up (or maybe the green runs in America are easier then Canada) We took the tramway up to the top and decided to take one of the blue runs down. It was pretty interesting hairy at bits where it got a little icy. We did take another blue run a bit later which was about half the length of the whole mountain. It was my favourite I wish id found it earlier. We almost died when Brendan went down a black diamond run by accident and I only just stopped myself falling down the side of the cliff when I read the sign. So I pulled off my board and trudged back up the mountain. After the mountain we headed over to Josh’s place who cooked us up some salmon he had caught in the summer. So good! We drank, talked, drank some more.

Day 8

Bit of a crazy day. We went to do a hike up a mountain and we did a little but ran into a metre deep of snow and gorgeous views so we didn’t go any further. We then went into the town and did some walking down the streets and little bit of shopping. I got sucked into a snowboarding store and just drooled over all the gear. I seriously need to update! Went to Josh’s place again and he cooked us Gumbo! Some traditional Alaskan dish? Like a spicy soup with sausage. I was really tired and ended up passed out on the couch after about three drinks!

Day 9

The Iditarod! We got up early and went into the city with Josh. We did see our first moose today as well! It was just ambling down the streets of anchorage man those things are massive and ugly! We parked relatively close and walked around since the race started around an hour later. Its hard to describe but there were tons of people I snuck in and scored myself a free Iditarod hat and free target scarf! Lol. We had this one spot to do the viewing and this annoying cop and Japanese tourists kept hustling me out of the way so halfway through we moved to a parking lot and viewed from the fourth floor. Josh is a big guy and he got into an argument with some guy who was saving spots for his friends. I’m fairly non-confrontational myself so I just kept away. We got to cold however so we left after a few hours. Ducked into a book store and I picked up a bunch of second hand books. Then home. We didn’t do much else that day.

Day 10

We were up early and out the door driving to Seward to go on a cruise in the Kenai Fjords. We got there about an hour early so took a walk around the port, clumsy me fell on the ice The cruise was gorgeous. My only downside was that I was so cold! It was about -10 but with the windchill a lot worse. I had layered up expecting the cold but when your sitting outside in it for two hours it just starts to bite at you. I did get two hot chocolates to help a bit only to fall over on the stairs and spill hot chocolate on everyone. Why do people block the bloody stairs for!!!!!!!!! I did manage to save one of the hot chocolates. I don’t know why Brendan sent me to get them when Im the clumsiest person in the world. Saw a lot of wildlife a baby humpback briefly (didn’t manage to get a picture) a couple of sea otters, porpoise, sea lions & bald eagles. Was absolutely gorgeous scenery. We went out for Dinner with Josh & his girlfriend Devry at the “Outback Steakhouse” Then home to pack

Day 11

We were up and out the door by 10am LOL. Driving to Fairbanks for the day about 6hours away to see the ice sculptures. Nothing exciting on the way there shitty roads again about 100 cars in ditches. Alaskan drivers are horrible. We got in about 5pm and went straight to the ice sculptures. Very cool! People from all over the world competing. Once again we started to get to cold so back in the car then at our couchsurfing destination, Steffan! It was very last minute and he was really nice to take us in. His house was a little cabin with no running water, an outhouse & temperature of 10C. We slept on the floor he gave us some foam pads and I was freezing pretty much all night. He was a really nice guy but I don’t think I could live in a house with no running water for a week let alone four years like he had! He was actually german but was studying at the Fairbanks university. We ended up leaving just before 6am I don’t think I could have slept any more.

Day 12.

Pretty un entertaining day today mainly just driving Fairbanks to Whitehorse which was about 1000km. Roads weren’t to bad and I got to see a lot of scenery I missed on the way in because the skies were clear! It did mean we drove the entire length of the Alaska HWY since it ends in Fairbanks and we took a different route through Tok to Anchorage. We got into Whitehorse about 7pm and stayed with our hosts Ben & Lisa once more. I was a bit more used to the dogs this time.

Day 13

Early up again and we drove straight through to Fort Nelson. About 1000km as well. I guess the most exciting thing of the journey was that we saw a Lynx. It ran across the road in front of us and then ambled up the bank behind us. But by the time we turned around and I had my camera ready it was in the trees so I only got a really bad shot. Now that sux because it was in view for ages! Its not often you see a lynx anyway they are pretty timid and usually only come out at night. We pulled into this strange roadside motel to get a room for the night about an hour out of Fort Nelson. It was cluttered and no electricity they had only just opened that day, the bathroom wasn’t even ready. In the end they decided after showing us the room that they couldn’t be bothered turning on the generator for us so we ended up heading up to Fort Nelson where we stayed in Fort Nelson Hotel our first hotel stay of the entire trip! We just took it easy raping up the free wireless internet and having a much needed shower (four days and counting…) We decided to sleep in both of us were coming down with the flu and the early mornings long drives weren’t that great.

Day 14

So we were back in Dawson Creek staying with our fantastic hosts Cynthia & Randy. We decided to find their place ourselves and Brendan took the road he thought was the right road.. it was in the right direction but it was here we had our first accident. We were only doing about 60km/h but there had been so much snow the road was hard to pick and because of the warm weather the snow was really soft. A little bit to much to the right and our wheel sunk into this ditch and we were dragged down into a big snowbank. Jeepy was ok but the whole situation was Hilarious. I rang our hosts and they got their next door neighbours to come tow us out. Even that was a mission he couldn’t get us out the first time so he went back to get a snap strap and just as he left this old hick Canadian farmer pulls up beside us. Brendan gets out to tell him we are ok and he says “17 and stuck in a ditch eh” and Brendan says “ah bit older then that mate” and then he says “When I was young we used to dig ourselves out with shovels” haha. So anyway after telling him we were fine he drove on his merry way. We finally got to our hosts house and we were cooking a roast lamb. It was my first roast lamb in over a year I think Dad cooked my last one. I’ve never seen lamb for sale here except a few times and its been super expensive. This lamb was imported from NZ as well. We sat around drinking wine and eating before getting to bed at about 12:30am.

Day 15

HOME! We were up and out the door by 8am. We just drove home, nothing exciting except the mudflap coming loose and I had to jump out of the car and yank it off. The drive was pretty mundane seen it all before a few times. There was some really strong wind buffeting the car nearly knocking us off the road. Oh and some dumb tourists stopping in the middle of the road blocking traffic because of a few goats. We got home around 7pm.