Alberta Adventure: Pushing personal boundaries to hike Jasper’s Sulphur Skyline

Dave S. Clark

For me, travelling has always been a slow process of pushing my personal boundaries. Growing up, I travelled Canada, where I knew the culture and the language and felt pretty much at home. Then I made the jump to Europe and the Caribbean, then to Asia and Africa, pushing myself to explore regions that were much different than back home. I began to discover things I loved, which gave me the urge to explore them in more depth. For example, I loved the Moorish architecture of the Hotel Sevilla in Havana, which we stayed in a couple of times. That prompted a trip to the Andalusia region of Spain. That spawned the idea of a trip to Morocco.

When travelling, I’ve always tried to find great hikes, whether it was partway up the side of a mountain to Second World War-era pillboxes in Oahu or along an unrestored section of China’s Great Wall. One thing that I’ve always wanted to do was hike to the top of a mountain. The challenge was I only wanted to hike, not climb. Actually climbing things and using my arms and legs in unison to ascend a chunk of rock is still terrifying to me. I’ll hopefully get there one day, but I like to take baby steps. Continue reading “Alberta Adventure: Pushing personal boundaries to hike Jasper’s Sulphur Skyline”

Alberta Adventure: Jasper in January is the perfect winter escape

By Dave S. Clark

When it comes to winter in Canada, there are two options. You can stay inside and hibernate for four to six months, only appearing to go to work or to get groceries, or you can bundle up, embrace the weather for what it is and enjoy the great opportunities the northern wintery world has to offer.

Usually, I do a little of both – hunkering down and staying indoors when the mercury drops really low, and lacing up the skates for the outdoor rink or going for the occasional snowboarding trip when the weather is bearable.

As an Edmontonian, I’m lucky to have an incredible winter escape in Jasper, which is just four hours west. Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, Jasper is a blessing in both the summer and winter for those with the outdoorsy or adventurous spirit.

If you plan on heading to Jasper in the winter, there probably isn’t a better time to do it than Jasper in January, an annual festival full of activities, which is celebrating its 27th year in 2016. I’ve lived in Edmonton for almost all of those 27 years, yet had never experienced the festival until this year. Continue reading “Alberta Adventure: Jasper in January is the perfect winter escape”

Breaking the stigma: Travel destinations that proved their bad reputations wrong

There are many destinations that have a bad reputation or stigma that they can’t seem to shake. These places get slammed by the travel media, bloggers and tourists who can’t get past the outdated, inaccurate or superficial criticisms. Not every destination is created equally, but I can always find qualities I like in every place that I visit. There have been many times when I’ve told people that I’m heading to a country, for example, Morocco, Bosnia or Cuba and people question why I would ever go there. They are dangerous, war zones or the food is terrible, they tell me.

Below is a collection of posts from travellers who have had positive experiences in destinations that have had a bad reputation over the years. One of them is about Istanbul and since this was written, the city has been a victim of a suicide bombing that killed 11 foreigners in Sultanahmet district. I visited Istanbul in 2014 and would do so again, despite the attack. So, while these stories are positive, remember that any place in the world has its own dangers and no traveller is immune to that. But with common sense and an open mind, most of the world can be experienced in safety.

– Dave S. Clark Continue reading “Breaking the stigma: Travel destinations that proved their bad reputations wrong”

Alberta Adventure: Exploring Elk Island National Park

By Dave S. Clark

It’s easy to travel anywhere in the world these days, with the ability to book anything online, an abundance of information on every possible destination and technology to keep in touch with everything that’s going on back home. But with long distance travel now so accessible, it’s so easy to forget about what’s going on in your own backyard.

For years, I have driven across two and a half provinces to swim, canoe and boat around my favourite lake, which is just a few kilometers, as the crow flies, from the Manitoba-Ontario border. Twenty minutes into that 15-hour drive, I’d pass through Elk Island National Park. I’d be driving around 110 km/h, trying to make good time, and, if it was early enough, I might see some bison. They’d flash by as large, dark blobs that I never gave much thought to.

It wasn’t until I was standing on the beach of Astotin Lake, as the sun set over the mirror-still water which was only broken by two canoeists, that I realized I had been speeding by a gem right in my own backyard. I could do nearly everything I was doing in Manitoba – canoeing, sailing, hiking and just breathing fresh air – without even having to drive half an hour from my house. Continue reading “Alberta Adventure: Exploring Elk Island National Park”

Check out the TravelDriveRace store!

I’ve just launched the official TravelDriveRace store! Currently, I’m selling one pretty badass shirt that is based off the Volvo Amazon’s speedometer. The speedo has a pretty cool design… I just wish it was more accurate, or somewhere even close to being accurate. Oh well, it looks cool!

If you’d like one for yourself, please visit the official TDR store!

 

Alberta Adventure: Cypress Hills road trip – An island of amazing drives among a sea of prairies

By Dave S. Clark

It can be painful, excruciatingly so, to find great roads to drive on through the prairies. The roads are long, flat, straight and beautiful in their own right, but they can be a bit boring if you want to go for a spirited drive. But it’s not all flat and boring. Sitting right on the border of Alberta and Saskatchewan and only a short hop from the Montana border is an ancient island rising up from the sea of surrounding plains – Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park.

When I think of driving in Alberta and Saskatchewan, I think of telephone poles being the only thing that resemble trees and arrow straight roads, dotted on either side with cattle. Cypress definitely had the cattle, free roaming all over the park, but none of the roads were anything but straight. Continue reading “Alberta Adventure: Cypress Hills road trip – An island of amazing drives among a sea of prairies”

We made it and so did the Volvo Amazon! Canada 5000 a huge success!

By Dave S. Clark

We did it!

The L. Hansen’s Forwarding Canada 5000 Rally Against Alzheimer’s was a major success, mostly due to the fact we actually made it all the way from Edmonton to Vancouver to Halifax in the 48-year-old Volvo Amazon that we rebuilt in the months leading up to the trip.

We were also successful in raising between $11,000 and $12,000 (still waiting on confirmation) for Alzheimer’s Societies across Canada, which we’re extremely proud of. You can also still donate by visiting www.Canada5000.ca. Continue reading “We made it and so did the Volvo Amazon! Canada 5000 a huge success!”

AMC Rambler Shell 4000 Rally prototype pops up at Bring A Trailer Auctions

By Dave S. Clark

I can count on one hand how many Shell 4000 cars that are still known to exist. One of the McQuirk brothers still owns the Bentley Mark VI that he ran in the 1963 Rally. Paddy Hopkirk’s disqualified Mini from ’68 is still out there. Shell 4000 historian Marcel Chichak knows of a few more. But that’s pretty much it.

So it was incredibly exciting to see a car with Shell 4000 history pop up on Bring A Trailer Auctions – a 1968 AMC Rambler that was the company’s development prototype for the ’68 version of the trans-Canada rally. The car didn’t actually compete but was the mule for the team of three AMC cars that ran the rally, finishing second, third and fifth. This prototype also followed the rally all the way from Calgary to Halifax, just in case any of the cars needed support.  Continue reading “AMC Rambler Shell 4000 Rally prototype pops up at Bring A Trailer Auctions”

Shell vintage road maps a lifesaver for Canada 5000 route

By Dave S. Clark

For my Canada 5000 adventure, I will be strictly following various routes of the original Shell 4000, which means attempting to follow a route that was mapped out 50-plus years ago. That presents a number of challenges and one of the biggest is trying to decipher what the new names of many of the roads and highways are now.

The original allies were run in the 1960s, which was a transitional period for Canada’s highway system. The Trans Canada Highway was officially opened in 1962, but all that really meant was that there was a road from St. John’s to Victoria. The highway was mostly paved, but in many stretches, it was still gravel and hardly a highway by modern standards. Many of the roads that have now become the Trans Canada were still being built and sometimes, along different routes from the original roads. In the 1961 rally, a section of the route in Ontario actually followed what would soon become the Trans Canada, but at that point was still under construction!  Continue reading “Shell vintage road maps a lifesaver for Canada 5000 route”

Rally Against Alzheimer’s – Official charity announcement

We are very excited to announce that we are partnering with provincial Alzheimer’s Societies across the country for the upcoming Canada 5000, which we’ve tagged as the Rally Against Alzheimer’s!

Aside from the experience this rally provides us as automotive enthusiasts, it is also about raising awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and money to fight it. We are raising funds through donations and sponsorships, with all of the proceeds going to the Alzheimer’s Society of Alberta. All money raised outside Alberta will be donated to the respective provincial Alzheimer’s Society chapter.

Stay tuned as we will soon be set up to accept online donations for anyone wishing to make a contribution to our cause.  Continue reading “Rally Against Alzheimer’s – Official charity announcement”