Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 in Review with Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies

As 2012 comes to a close, I wanted to take a moment to say thanks to everybody for your support, for following our adventures, telling your friends about us, and for being a part of such a fabulous year.  Looking back, I'm proud of what we achieved this past year, proud of where we've traveled, and extremely proud of the new outdoor pursuits we added to the giant list of things we LOVE to do outside!

New and Big This Year




Noah and I both took up bike riding this past spring.  We got Noah started on a bright orange Strider Bike and I started riding again for the first time since high school.  We both discovered that we LOVED our bikes and started taking them with us on all of our adventures.

Noah Learning to Ride His Strider Bike - March, 2012
Perfecting the Art of Group Camping in Cypress Hills - June, 2012


We went camping in Dinosaur Provincial Park in May and I discovered that I LOVE camping!  I'd never really liked camping in summers past so this was a big accomplishment for me.  My husband had always liked camping so he was happily on board for a whole summer filled with camping.  Meanwhile Noah proved to be quite the cheerful camper too as seen below in one of the hundreds of photos we got of kids playing in the camp hammock.

Two Campsites and Eight Families:  Little Bow Provincial Park - August 2012

Camping in Dinosaur Provincial Park - May, 2012


We went on an overnight canoe trip in August and discovered that it was by far the easiest way to travel into the backcountry with young kids.  We proceeded to buy our own canoe and to begin the transformation into becoming a water family.

I also made my own discovery that I loved Stand Up Paddlebording while on vacation in British Columbia.  I rented one and within five minutes knew I had found my new favourite sport.  It has since become a not so secret love affair as I went on to buy my own board a week later and tackle my first two rivers in September.

How to Fit 7 People in a Canoe:  Backcountry Adventures in Kananaskis - August, 2012  (Photo:  Jen Sollid)
A Recipe for Great Family Memories - Just Add Water:  SUP'ing in Little Bow Provincial Park - September, 2012  (Photo:  Cam Schaus)


We took a family trip to the Mosquito Creek Wilderness Hostel in January and proceeded to take four more hostelling trips this year with three more lined up in the next few months.  We've become great supporters of Hostelling International Canada and you'll be hearing lots more in the future about our trips to the wilderness hostels in the Canadian Rockies.

Winter Paradise at Mosquito Creek  - January 2012

Winter Camping in Kananaskis at HI Kananaskis - February 2012


Backcountry Adventures

2012 marked two new accomplishments for us in this area - First overnight canoe trip with the kids and First winter backcountry trip.  Check and Check. There will definitely be more of both in the coming year starting with another winter trip planned to the same Alpine Club of Canada hut at Elk Lakes in British Columbia.  Paddling Trips will most likely become the norm for backcountry overnighters for the next few years as well;  It's just so much easier to travel with a boat carrying our gear!

Snowy Adventures in Elk Lakes Provincial Park - April, 2012
How to Fit 7 People in a Canoe:  Backcountry Adventures in Kananaskis - August, 2012



Definitely not a new sport for us but we definitely got further this year without the Chariot or Child Carrier and actually sold the Little Life Carrier in September.  We are looking forward to what next summer will bring with less assisted hiking.  We will also be getting a lot of use out of our special Piggyback Rider Carrier for Preschoolers next year for short rest breaks on the trail.

Sunshine Meadows, Banff - August 2012
Spring Adventures in Jasper National Park - May, 2012
The Piggyback Rider Saves the Day - Jasper in May, 2012

Snowshoeing, Cross Country Skiing, and Skating

While also not exactly new sports for us, Noah got his own pair of snowshoes this winter and has been slowly gaining confidence on his skis.  We expect to make great strides in these two sports over the course of the coming winter and have lots of trips and ideas lined up.

Noah also switched over to single blade skates this winter and shows great enthusiasm for shuffling across the ice. 

Teaching Toddlers and Preschoolers to X-Country Ski - December, 2012

Friends for the Journey on the Cascade Fire Road -  December 2012

Family Snowshoeing Adventures at  Elbow Lake - November 2012
How to Love Winter in the Canadian Rockies - On Skates:  Cascade Ponds - November 2012

Outdoor Play

I couldn't not mention the leaps and bounds we've come in this area since launching the Calgary Outdoor Playgroups in January this past year.  You can read all about our journey to make outdoor play a part of our day to day life in the post I wrote, Learn to Love Winter with Outdoor Playgroups.  We've made dozens of wonderful friends through our outdoor playgroups that will go forward with us into 2013 to join us on our future adventures.

Winter Fun with our Outdoor Playgroup - March, 2012

Spring Hiking with Our Outdoor Playgroup - May, 2012

Most Popular Posts this Year

1.  Family Camping Made Easy:
2.  Christmas Gift Ideas for Outdoor Children

3.  Family Bikepacking - Guest Post by Andy Amick

4.  Learning to Share in the Backcountry

5.  Snow, Puddles, and Mud - Oh My

6.  Redefining the Definition of Outdoorsy

7.  Learning to Love Camping - It's all about Style

8.  How to Become and Outdoor Family

9.  The Secret Backcountry Ski Lodge in the Canadian Rockies

10. Winter Camping in Kananaskis

We'll see you around the corner in 2013!

Happy New Year from Our Family To Yours

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