Canadiana: The North

I’ve always been captivated by the majestic beauty of Canada’s north. With skies that appear to dance to the rhythm of one’s heartbeat and glaciers that run as high as they do deep, it is a place of otherworldly landscape.

I am so proud to call this country home.

Prints and other merchandise available at society6.com/oblada.

Up North, Dawn version (©Deborah Clague, 2019).

Up North, Dawn version (©Deborah Clague, 2019).

Up North, Night version (©Deborah Clague, 2019).

Up North, Night version (©Deborah Clague, 2019).

Now

It was all too brief, but Banff National Park always delivers a memorable holiday: 

Hiking near Bow Falls with the iconic Banff Springs Hotel in the background.

Hiking near Bow Falls with the iconic Banff Springs Hotel in the background.

Bow Falls

Bow Falls

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Enjoying the view while driving the Columbia Icefields Parkway. 

Enjoying the view while driving the Columbia Icefields Parkway. 

Hiking up to Athabasca Glacier.

Hiking up to Athabasca Glacier.

Inukshuk near the edge of Athabasca Glacier.

Inukshuk near the edge of Athabasca Glacier.

Adding a stone, making a wish.

Adding a stone, making a wish.

Despite sweating in the heat earlier in the day, I was absolutely frozen at the top of Athabasca Glacier. 

Despite sweating in the heat earlier in the day, I was absolutely frozen at the top of Athabasca Glacier. 

Hiking a beautiful valley in Jasper National Park.

Hiking a beautiful valley in Jasper National Park.

These guys stopped traffic.

These guys stopped traffic.

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Dining at Seoul South Korean Restaurant in Banff. He asked for "as spicy as you can possibly make it ... and then make it spicier". No heart attacks or other health issues reported, thankfully. 

Dining at Seoul South Korean Restaurant in Banff. He asked for "as spicy as you can possibly make it ... and then make it spicier". No heart attacks or other health issues reported, thankfully. 

Hiking the jurassic landscape at Horseshoe Canyon near Drumheller, Alberta. 

Hiking the jurassic landscape at Horseshoe Canyon near Drumheller, Alberta. 

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Roar! The  World's Largest Dinosaur  primed to attack. 

Roar! The World's Largest Dinosaur primed to attack. 

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What kid –  and kid at heart  – wouldn't love visiting a town with giant dinosaur statues near every intersection? I love it! 

What kid – and kid at heart – wouldn't love visiting a town with giant dinosaur statues near every intersection? I love it! 

Summer in Manitoba (Part II)

My best friend likes to wake me up by sitting on my face. I gasp, choking for air, and this reaction causes him to move over and stare at me intently. Where words are not possible, he uses his big brown eyes to beg and plead. Shame on me that I love him so much, I let him get away with it even though it's 6:00am and I am on vacation desperately wanting to sleep in long enough to just wake up when Price is Right is on. Sigh. 

I always thought any slumber-related demise for me would be an accidental overdose of sleeping pills but this has made me realize it may end up a result of involuntary manslaughter on his part. 

He cute though. 

There are so many great areas to unwind in or around Winnipeg that I don't totally mind the early morning wake-up call by a 20lb pooch desperate to explore all the new sights and smells outside. It gives me some much needed exercise (as well as an excuse to later indulge in an afternoon nap).

My absolute favourite place near Winnipeg is La Barriere, a 323 acre park a very short distance from my mother's house. Its forest trails hug the snaking La Salle River and I've always marvelled at how tranquil it is. I don't think I've ever seen more than three other vehicles parked when I've visited, although the assumption of solitude may be misleading at times. I, uhm, do have a story about ... er, stumbling upon two individuals ... erm ... 

It's also a great place for birdwatching. 

Another great spot to reconvene with nature is Assiniboine Forest/Assiniboine Park, which at 700 acres makes up one of the largest urban forest areas in North America. This was the first place I took the dogs while visiting my hometown. We explored for hours. And after Reggie dived into the pond (nearly dragging me with him), I ended up cleaning my new car for hours. His personality is vastly different than Monty's. Where Monty is a happy-go-lucky lapdog constantly trailing my shadow, Reggie is the most stubborn, indifferent canine I've ever known.

I'm so proud. I've taught him well. 

I'm very partial to the south-end of the city, as that is where I was raised. St. Norbert is a historic, bilingual neighbourhood that lands just on the periphery of the city proper. Within walking distance of my mother's home is Trappiste Monastery Provincial Park wherein lies the burned architectural ruins of Trappiste Monastery founded in 1892. I remember skipping school as a teen and spending the afternoons here with my friends, watching the clouds pass by and dreaming about what our future selves would become. As an adult, I now walk the dogs there to ponder that exact same thing. 

To discover more great reasons to visit Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada click here or here

Summer in Manitoba

Manitoba's Interlake region is a geographic corridor between Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba in which a number of historic and scenic sights are located for tourist exploration. While on a recent visit to my home province, a good friend and I took advantage of the beautiful weather and embarked on a day trip to visit some of those hotspots. It started with a legendary hot dog and ended with an eerie, allegedly haunted church. 

Skinner's is a Manitoba institution and welcomes visitors at the gateway to the Interlake. I can attest to the fact that their hot dogs are delicious but the ice cream is also worth the drive as well. 

Skinner's is a Manitoba institution and welcomes visitors at the gateway to the Interlake. I can attest to the fact that their hot dogs are delicious but the ice cream is also worth the drive as well. 

Lower Fort Garry is a National Historic Site built in 1830 by the Hudson's Bay Company. In addition to being a centre of commerce and trade, it was also the location in which Treaty No. 1 was established between the federal government and seven First Nations chiefs marking the birth of modern Manitoba. 

Lower Fort Garry is a National Historic Site built in 1830 by the Hudson's Bay Company. In addition to being a centre of commerce and trade, it was also the location in which Treaty No. 1 was established between the federal government and seven First Nations chiefs marking the birth of modern Manitoba. 

During the summer, actors recreate life as it would have been during colonial times. 

During the summer, actors recreate life as it would have been during colonial times. 

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Gimli is one of the most beautiful towns in Manitoba. Situated on Lake Winnipeg in the heart of the Interlake, Gimli was traditionally settled by Icelandic immigrants, of which the culture and language is still maintained today. 

Gimli is one of the most beautiful towns in Manitoba. Situated on Lake Winnipeg in the heart of the Interlake, Gimli was traditionally settled by Icelandic immigrants, of which the culture and language is still maintained today. 

The "haunted" St. Andrews Church. My father shared a story of this place on several occasions, the details of which never altered. Either he had a really good memory for random tall tales he scared his kid with or there is something more to the church's legend. 

The "haunted" St. Andrews Church. My father shared a story of this place on several occasions, the details of which never altered. Either he had a really good memory for random tall tales he scared his kid with or there is something more to the church's legend.