Category Archives: TO THE OPEN ROAD

CATEGORY / TO THE OPEN ROAD / words & images from our travels from here to there, and everywhere ———>

backcountry camping in fishing cove nova scotia images

a few weeks ago now, dave and i took a little roadtrip to the east coast. it was quite hastily planned, & honestly the night before leaving, with barely anything packed, we wondered if we should even go at all. it was a busy time of year for us, and we’d already had to cancel this trip once, when we’d originally planned to go back in august. but, always itching for a new adventure & any chance to see more of this world, we went.

we drove for two days east, and as the sun set on the second full day of driving, we arrived at the start of the cabot trail in cape breton. that night in our cheap motel room, we planned to head for cape breton highlands national park & obtain a permit to backcountry camp that following evening. we were told to please call the head park office when we made it out to tell them we were ok & so they wouldn’t have to come looking for us. the next day, when we arrived to the parking lot where we’d leave our car, we arranged everything into bags right there in the gravel lot. there was a pile of hiking sticks waiting for us at the entrance of the trail — casually propped up beside the signs telling us what to do if we crossed paths with an assortment of wild animals.

the hike in off the main road took three hours down a mountain through black bear & coyote country. we carried everything we needed on our backs, including enough water, our tent, food, sleeping bags, and of course, camera equipment on top of it all. we arrived at the little inlet on the ocean & my legs were shaking from the hike. it was so beautiful & wild & isolated. it was like the scene from moonrise kingdom. we walked down to the water & shouted this is our land!!!

that night the wind gusts almost blew away our tent & i had serious moments of panic about wild animals eating us in the dark. every sound was definitely a pack of coyotes. i don’t think i slept at all. we were well & truly on our own, with no cell reception whatsoever & miles from the nearest road.

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i can honestly say this was one of the hardest challenges i’ve done in a long time & you know what, it felt really good. in the physical exhaustion & at times feeling terrified, i had a moment of realizing that confidence comes in tackling things like this & conquering them. it felt so good to make it to that cove, and the reward was the beautiful surroundings, the wind blowing the wildflowers, the cold atlantic, and just that feeling, i did it. to be self-sufficient, and to make it through the dark night felt like an accomplishment. i realized that sitting behind a computer screen & doing the same things every day actually makes my confidence in myself plummet.. there’s nothing risky about it.

& it felt really nice to feel proud of myself.

i’d encourage anyone reading this to go find a similar adventure for yourself, something that kind of scares you — the rewards are unbeatable.

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we never know what is going to happen, do we? life is always throwing us this way and that. that’s where the adventure is. not knowing where you’ll end up or how you’ll fare. it’s all a mystery, and when we say any different, we’re just lying to ourselves. tell me, when have you felt most alive? / eowyn ivey, the snow child

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last year i read a beautiful novel called the snow child, about a couple who move from their comfortable east coast life to become homesteaders in remote 1920s alaska. it was like something out of my wildest imagination that a few months later dave & i would spend a few brief days in alaska with a couple of friends of ours.

it was a whirlwind trip… i remember little details like the icy patterns on car windows & the sound of studded tires crunching through the snow & daylight that barely made it over the tops of the mountains & disappeared way too quickly. but i rely mostly on the pictures to help bring back that feeling like we were at the edge of the world & at the brink of something uncharted. that feeling tells me one day we need to go back.

november 2013 / in & near anchorage, alaska

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for me, there’s just something about eating a meal that’s been cooked outside & the campfire smell that lingers in your hair…

it’s just a slice of perfection.

we drove down to michigan at the beginning of the month to camp for a few days, and our friends amanda & abbey joined us! we went on hikes & napped in sand dunes in the sun. we kayaked, took lots of photos & made lots of fires. we watched sunsets & just listened to the waves of that little ocean, lake michigan.

it’s very true what they say : great lakes, great times.

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ludington state park, michigan / june 2014