After completing a Bachelors degree in Outdoor Pursuits I began building my outdoor resume through various volunteer opportunities as well as personal expeditions from the Rocky Mountains to Baffin Island, Nunavut. I began expedition raft guiding for NRA/CRE in the summer of 2005 and during the intervening 10 years have had the privilege of experiencing the Nahanni River multiple times each summer. Combined with trips down tundra rivers such as the Burnside, and amazing whitewater rivers like the Tatshenshini, I have gained hundreds of days behind the oars and have had the honour of sharing these experiences with some of the most amazing people I have ever met.
Me and my family are still loving the northern life after 12 years in Yellowknife, NWT. We welcomed a new member to our family on October 27th, Dashiell Warburton, and are figuring out new family routines! I am enjoying the short, clear and cold northern days but my mind is looking forward to getting back on the river next summer.
Another year down and, alas, another year away from those beautiful northern rivers. Working for myself this past year has been exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. It also meant that I couldn’t sneak away for even a short paddling-fix this summer. However, I did get to meet up with many guides as they passed through Yellowknife on the way to or from many of our amazing river trips. Even though I couldn’t experience it myself, watching their eyes light up as they described their recent adventures couldn’t help but stir my wanderlust.
There is another reason I am not back in the canoe seat this year: my wife and I were expecting our first child. Margo arrived, happy and healthy, in October. Surprising how my perpetual list of put off renovations and lack cleaning habits all of a sudden became my top priority! I have no doubt I will have this little one on a river or two in short order, maybe the Nahanni in a few years. Rafts are an amazing way for children to see a river and I intend to see how that goes.
From one adventure to the next, see you all really soon.
After a month spent hanging out in Paris with my wife I decided that I wasn’t done wandering and headed to China! A company I started with a few friends opened an English language school there and I was excited to see it in person. Going from Paris to rural China was two opposite ends of spectrum but seeing how people live on both ends of the earth was humbling and gave me a lot of perspective on my life back home in Yellowknife. This perspective allowed me to make the leap and leave my job to focus full time on working for myself. Just like travel it has the same feelings of anxiety and the unknown but I’m finding it also has the same feelings of accomplishment and personal growth. What the next year looks like is truly unknown but I am definitely looking forward to figuring it out. I know that it for sure includes a return to some amazing northern rivers as one year away was way too long!
So this winter finds me already booking up my summer and unfortunately it will mean, for the first time, a season away from the great northern rivers I have enjoyed the past 8 summers. My partner and I are feeling a need to wander for a while and are going to spend the best part of the summer meandering around Europe. I am also honoured to be asked to Crew Chief another road cycling team competing in the southern US this summer. Although I will miss spending those long northern days on the river this summer I look forward to catching up with all of you in the summer of 2015!
This year found me still serving time in the local jail…..I mean working there:) The winter was busy as I accepted a new role as a training officer within the Corrections Service. Training new and returning staff for most of the winter was incredibly rewarding but involved a lot of days buried in a training manual, writing training reports and slamming folks onto training mats. Government loves their paperwork and by the end of it my writing hand hurt!
As the long cold winter finally broke around late April here in Yellowknife I turned my attention to another river season. After a season off last year I needed a recharge and the Nahanni didn’t disappoint. Myself and 10 guests enjoyed ten days of 35 degree weather, Jeff Siddle’s epic laugh and the amazing storytelling of Melanie Siebert. Time went by way to quickly and as the cool weather returns north I look forward to seeing a few friendly faces next summer.
My Yellowknife adventure is now entering its 6th year and I think it’s time to use the phrase ‘settling down’ to describe my current situation. Although I did not get the pleasure of guiding this summer it was definitely still an adventure. I lead a team of 8 road cyclists and 9 crew on a non-stop 3000 mile Race Across America. Funds raised went to benefit a northern youth food program run in many schools called Food First. I was honoured to help this charity whom work tirelessly to get basic nutrition programs into every school in the NWT.
My other small adventure was marrying the love of my life in Las Vegas on August 30th. Sarah and I got married at a drive-through wedding chapel and then drove off into the sunset. At least that was the plan anyway until the car stopped running right in the middle of the strip! I can’t wait to share many more moments like that with her as no matter what I seem to do she never stops smiling.
I look forward to seeing you all again soon on another northern river so I can bore you with an endless wedding photo slideshow. Until then.