Four years ago, after another long summer playing on the Ottawa, I packed up my Ford Escape with a (then) 6yr old and everything we would need to spend the winter in one of BC’s little ski towns. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when arriving in Fernie, BC, but after a few short weeks of waist deep powder and amazingly stunning landscapes, I was quite pleased with our decision to venture west.

If you’ve never been to Fernie, let me show and tell you a bit about this little gem in the east Kootenay region of BC. The town is surrounded by mountains;


The fast moving waters of the Elk River flow through town;

It has world class skiing;an elaborate bike trail system, and a park completely dedicated to Frisbee golf (otherwise known as ‘frolf’). These, among so many other reasons, is why I spent the last 4 winters and 2 summers transplanting myself in this mountainous region.

Working with one of the local rafting companies was an amazing opportunity to check out a few of the [astonishingly beautiful] local rivers, and get to know so many of the local paddlers

(The Put-In to the river - 372 steps of scary.... This guy paddles every day of the year on the Elk)

Winters filled my soul with lots of pow slaying, ski touring, and shredding the mountains with inspiring and talented individuals.

But as wonderful and glorious as BC was, and is, a little change was needed. And before we knew it, the car was packed and we were adventuring back east to the Ottawa Valley. Opportunity and family were calling us back, and since we love adventures, heading back “home” seemed like the next logical thing to do.

Being back in the valley has been a whirlwind of excitement so far. Paddling, friends, family, and plain ole ‘valley livin’ has begun to re-open my eyes to all the beauty there is here.


Not to mention re-uniting with so many wonderful people during the ICF World Freestyle Kayak Championships this past August.

As the leaves begin to change to wonderful red colors (which is something you don’t see in Fernie – no maples there), I am looking forward to all the new adventures to be had. Regardless of location, a lifestyle remains the same, and our lifestyle involves boat loads of fun, adventure, and playing outside.

Off on my next adventure..... off to some of Quebec's finest whitewater with 51 fresh Outdoor Adventure students.


Laura G:

I love you Shell!! And the Valley. Miss you both every day.

Sep 28, 2015


Welcome back Chelle Ma Belle!!

Sep 28, 2015

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