Picture of the Week #4

Picture of the Week #4

Hello friends,

If you didnโ€™t know I had a facebook page where I share pictures and links to my blog anytime I a new post goes up! You can click the link to like and follow the page if you want!ย ๐Ÿ™‚ย https://www.facebook.com/phoenixraayphotography/ย 

You can also follow this blog by going to the home page and clicking the 3 dots in the top corner and hitting follow!


Here is my picture of the week!

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I love fall – however I love all the seasons. Growing up in Northern Alberta we had summer for a few months, fall for a day, then winter for 9 months, then spring for a day and repeat. As I moved around Canada I have fallen in love with actually being able to appreciate every season for what it brings. With fall comes the amazing colours that I was deprived of as a child. I only ever saw green, yellow and then brown. The red and orange leaves make me all giddy like I am a little kid. I swear every time I drive by leaves that look like this I want to get out and snap a pic – I may just have to start bringing my camera everywhere I go!

Whats your favourite season? ๐Ÿ™‚

Recent Posts:

Peaceful Mornings in Small Towns

Social Media โ€“ A Highlight Reel

September Recap 2018

Until next time,

xoxo

Life Update | September 2018

Life Update | September 2018

Hello friends,

Today I bring you a life update. Over this summer I have not been consistent with my posting. I moved to a new city, got a new full time job, tried to explore around and keep up with all the social activities.

However, even with all these new changes something was still off. I was not feeling fulfilled or happy with what I was doing with my life. That is why I chose to go back to school this fall to get educated in what I have always been interested in. The world of Design. I have always loved designing and creating things ever since I was little – I just never understood where to start because I enjoy so many areas of it.

I love creating on the computer, but also hand on projects. I love building, but also delicate close up photography. There are so many areas of “art” I would love to explore, but I have always strayed away from it because naturally I am good at sciences and math. I am not the best drawer out there either and I always thought to do anything in art you need to be good at drawing, but I have been told otherwise so now I guess I will put that information to the test eh!

I am enrolled in the Design Studies certificate program at Algonquin College. My first legit art schooling ever. It is unbelievably nerve wrecking to walk into a classroom and not know how good you will do. I always had an idea of the grade I could get and relatively how hard the course would be because I had taken so many science courses before. Now its completely opposite. I know nothing about this side of school – scary yet exciting at the same time.

Going back to school at the completely opposite end of the spectrum I am use to is forcing me to open up my mind to new ideas and to truly embrace the creative side of myself that I have always wanted to explore. The scientific side of me would of never started this blog – but the creative side said go for it.

That is was I am doing – going for it.

I am excited to see where my mind will be come April when this course is done, but for now its a mystery to you and me. I will keep you guys updated with my thoughts and where my head is at with the art world. Hopefully I love it.

I am 22 – now is my time to explore what I want to do.

Find what makes me happy.

And flourish.

… while of course protecting the environment as I go because without our environment we could not be here doing what we love.

Let me know your thoughts and if you have ever done something like this before, I would love to hear about your experiences ๐Ÿ™‚

Until next time,

xoxo

Strawberry Picking | Ottawa 2018

Strawberry Picking | Ottawa 2018

Hello friends,

This past Saturday my boyfriend and I did one of the best things you can do in the summer, especially if you live in Ontario – pick fresh strawberries.

Now I don’t know how many of you have ever done this before, but it is fantastic. If you have never tried a fresh, farm picked strawberry what are you doing with yourself?!

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Shouldiceย (click here to get to their website) was the farm we went too. I believe they have three locations in Ottawa, Ontario. Their strawberries were delicious, so I would recommend trying there farm, although I haven’t tried any of the other farms yet to compare!

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When we turned in there was this little Canadian sign saying drive through to the strawberries! So we did exactly that. As we rolled up I was getting very excited haha I felt like a little kid at my grandparents camp again.

Honestly, I don’t know why more adults don’t do this! It is great and youthful!

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At the end of it my boyfriend actually told me he was happy I made him go and we both thought it was a cute little date idea! So ladies and gents, there you go, dating advice from me: bring your lady or man to a hot field on a +35 degree day and make them bend over, drip sweat and pick berries without squishing them! If you want to make them work even more, tell them you’re picking clean – no stems!

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We ended up just getting a small basket because we assumed it took a long time to fill and lets be honest, my boyfriend is quite pasty for the hot sun! However, it took no time at all to fill. These little plants were loaded I tell you.

Some may say, well why would you pay that much for strawberries when you have to pick them yourself? The answer is simple; because they are incredibly delicious, easy to pick, and actually a very good price for the massive amount that you get!

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At the beginning of each row there were orange flags. The two girls who you pay told us to pick a row and move the flag with you as you go. This way they know what rows have been picked and how far down you went! I thought this was a very clever idea since I actually never thought about how they kept track of that before!

So if you had any questions, no its not a free for all, trample the berries and pick sporadically! Its very well maintained and kept track of.

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Quite a few people were out while we were, but we chose a row farther down to enjoy our time out there rather then rubbing butts with our neighbour while bending to grab a berry!

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I don’t even think these pictures do them justice. They were so good!

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Once our basket was full we headed out of the field and to the car. We overheard the girls saying they will be open for a few more weeks, so if you are in the mood to go I would go soon! Once the berries are gone, picking season if over!

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Its safe to say that we ate these for dessert on Saturday night. Almost the whole container too! They are so sweet – like natures candy.

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Have you ever been strawberry picking? If you haven’t I highly recommend you go! It is a great activity for all ages and it is an awesome way to support local farmers!

Recent posts:

Canadians in the UK | 2018

Surprise! | UK Adventure

Until next time,

xoxo

Canadians in the UK | 2018

Canadians in the UK | 2018

Hello friends,

We made it. My parents and I got to the United Kingdom from the far away land where maple syrup grows.

We took a taxi from the Heathrow Airport in London, to a small airbnb – more on the outskirts of London. I must say, it was very much what I expected London to look like. If you have ever seen movies based in the United Kingdom they are pretty spot on.

It was extremely terrifying though to be driving on the wrong side of the road – and I will let you know that it didn’t feel any better doing it on day 10 of the trip either! It feels so wrong, just like when someone is walking on the wrong side of the sidewalk! Also, the lanes, oh my gosh, the road lanes are so tiny! They just barley fit the vehicles driving by – it looks like everyone is about to side swipe each other.

Anyways, we finally arrived at the air bnb after my parents and I nearly had a heart attack on the way there! A very nice lady greeted us and showed us around. She also complimented all four of us on our teeth, which we thought was a weird compliment but we took it! I didn’t take any pictures of her air bnb to keep her privacy, but it was lovely!

Everything felt miniature in her house. The kitchen was actually a decent size though compared to other ones we saw. The staircase was extremely narrow, if you didn’t duck half way down too, you’d hit your head! Once we dropped off our bags we decided to head out for a stroll and to grab some dinner.

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My dad always wants to be the photographer!

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I quickly noticed that everything was covered in mould or moss! Obviously this is due to their climate, but it was something that I have never noticed anywhere I went before.

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My 6’3″ father standing besides an average door in London!

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Royal Mail! I guess when you live where the Queen is you have Royal Mail not any old normal mail. No sir.

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So, if you think I was exaggerating about the size of the lanes think again. This was actually a pretty common sign I saw in the UK.

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There were usually cars parked on both side of these roads too, so you can imagine how tight it is for one car to get through let alone two way traffic! All of our drivers drove very fast, but somehow we managed to make it!

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Here is a good example of what most residential roads looked like, as well as, the residential housing. Well, I shouldn’t just say residential because it looked like this everywhere. Little shops were all connected and same with the restaurants. If there were walkways in-between buildings they were tiny!

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Next we came across this very old church. The history in London is absolutely amazing. The tombstones dated back a few hundred years. We tried to find the oldest one, but I can’t remember what the date was on it!

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The red door was beautifully in tact and stood out from a distance against the dull surrounding colours.

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The grass was also very vibrant against the grey sky! There was also flowers everywhere, which brightened the dull day.

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Are you a person who gets creeped out by old churches and graveyards or do you enjoy them?

Recent UK posts:

Surprise! | UK Adventure

Until next time,

xoxo

Traditional Dog Sled | Fort Chip

Traditional Dog Sled | Fort Chip

Hello friends,

I have seen a few dog sleds in the past, but they were always on the go. You only caught a glimpse – a few seconds of magic – and then poof! Off into the distance it goes, over the beautiful white snow.

However, I had better luck this time ๐Ÿ™‚

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On our way home from Fort Smith I made my dad stop at Fort Chip (about half way back) so I could pee haha if you’ve ever travelled with women you know we have small bladders! And I also like to stay hydrated! Anyways back to the dogs!

My dad was a bit of a grumpy pants at first because of course it would add like 15-20 mins to the drive and whatever else he could come up with. Now he thanks me for making him turn into Fort Chip because we got to see this! And not only see it, but we pulled over and talked to him about the dogs and everything! It was so cool.

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The dogs were super cute too! I missed my dogs so much already (firstly because I only get to see them when I come home to visit, which is rare now that I am a legit adult – kind of ๐Ÿ˜‰ – and secondly they were put in the kennel while we were on this trip so I didn’t even get to see them yet!) all I wanted to do was get down and cuddle with them – pretty sure I am not allowed to do that though!

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So this guy here laying down is the leader of the pack. Anytime his master stops the sled, he is trained to lay down. So as you can see he was being a real good boy.

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And a very handsome one too I might add ๐Ÿ™‚

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Now this one here was stunning as well. He has the rare gene, found in a few dog breeds, that allows him to have the beautiful mixed eye colour. I have always loved these eyes!

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The guy was so happy talking about his dogs, you could feel the love he had for them. Just by looking at his dogs, they responded with the same amount of love for him.

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Well that was my short and sweet post on the dog sled that we saw when we headed for a pee break! I had to make this separate from my next post because it will be the last one of my ice road journey and it is probably the one I am most excited to share with you all! It will be up soon!

If you haven’t read the previous parts of this trip click below:

We drove on Ice?! |Part 1

The Journey to Fort Smith Continues | Part 2

Exploring the Northwest Territories | Part 3

The Tiniest Town Youโ€™ve Ever Seen! | NWT

Was that a Lynx?!

Have you guys ever been in a dog sled before? I think that would be so cool to do one day! Let me know down below!

Until next time,

xoxo

Mont Tremblant | Day 2

Mont Tremblant | Day 2

Hello friends,

Todays post is about our second day in Mont Tremblant for the May long weekend! If you haven’t read part 1 click the link down below:

Mont Tremblant |Day 1

This Monday morning we actually slept in, which never happens especially when we are on a trip! It felt really good to just have a chill morning. When we finally rolled out of bed and looked acceptable to step out into the world, we looked up good brunch places to start the day off right. Now I was excited about actually eating brunch because usually we are up too early and too impatient so it ends up being breakfast.

My boyfriend actually found this place called Charlotte Cafe and it was incredible! We got to sit on the patio too because it was a beautiful morning. Their menu was only in french, but with the few years of french I took in elementary school we figured it out haha Both of our meals came with a little shot glass of fresh juice too! I think this one was watermelon and strawberry – it was a nice refreshing surprise!

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Literally the best eggs benny you will ever have

Once our tumies were full we headed out for a hike. The sun was out to play on this beautiful day. We hit up a different info centre today, this was their “main” one we were told. We asked the lady about going canoeing however she said they weren’t doing it yet because the water was too high and fast. So we settled for another hike.

Actually I wouldn’t call this too much of a hike, more like a hard walk haha We did walk up and down some hills but nothing too extreme. It was just under a 2 hour walk which was perfect for us. It was hot and we also had to drive back home later this day.

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At the very beginning of our walk we spotted this little guy. There are literally squirrels everywhere here I have noticed – he posed and hung out with us longer then they normally do!

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Now this is what I call planking

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When we came across this map of all the trails and the bridge we decided to turn around. We could have walked another hour and made it into the resort, but after doing some calculations we figured it would be smarter to get home a little bit earlier that night. So we turned around after admiring the water.

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On this hot day, looking at the water all I could think about was jumping in for a swim!

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After the walk we headed back to the resort to explore once more before the drive home. We ended up stopping to get ice cream, as obviously it was needed on such a hot day. The shop was called Oh la Vache! It was a tiny shop with a big line up. When we went inside I was looking for a menu and they didn’t have one. They also did not have a list with prices so I thought that was weird – however now I understand their reasoning. After we ordered our ice cream the total was $16!! Isn’t that crazy! For literally two cones. We were both shocked by this. (They also had a very tiny selection just an FYI)

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The most expensive ice cream cone in the world

It was good, but just normal. I would not pay $8 for this ever again! After this we walked back up the hill and realized that duh of course we should have went to the rocky mountain chocolate factory for ice cream! Lesson learned.

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I took some more pictures of the resort this day since it was a beautiful sunny day. This shot above is what I would call the “main stretch” of the resort. There are stores along both sides and at the top are restaurants.

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I love how colourful this place is I must admit. They created a good vibe within this small town.

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Here is where the gondola is to ride up the mountain. A bungee jump thing and rock climbing wall were also here for the kiddos to burn off some of the $16 sugar they just ate.

There was a nice open flat area at the top of the hill which had chairs set up to relax in. In the little wooden booth to the right of the picture they were playing music – not a live band or anything, but still very nice!

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In conclusion, I had a good time on this trip. I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much because I knew it would be not Banff or Jasper, but Mont Tremblant was beautiful in its own way. It was definitely weird to go somewhere and have people speak to you in french right away until you give them the “i’m sorry I have no clue what you said” look.

If you are visiting Quebec, I would recommend checking out Mont Tremblant. There are lots of hiking and biking trails as well as kayaking and canoeing in the summer months. The food that we had was all very good, so no complaining in that department! The one thing I will say is that it is expensive. Everything is more expensive then I expected and the tax is high!

Have you ever been there or would you go if you were in the area? Leave me a comment below!

Until next time,

xoxo

 

The Tiniest Town You’ve Ever Seen! | NWT

The Tiniest Town You’ve Ever Seen! | NWT

Hello friends,

If you haven’t read the first parts of my winter road trip you can click the links below!

We drove on Ice?! |Part 1

The Journey to Fort Smith Continues | Part 2

Exploring the Northwest Territories | Part 3

I bet most of you have been to a very small town in your life. Whether it be just passing through it or staying for a little visit.

I use to think that the town where my grandparents have a summer camp in was small with the population being ~3,200.

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I have found a new smallest town I have ever visited, Fort Fitzgerald, NWT Canada. Before you scroll down, guess in your head what the population is.

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9! 9 people live there! Did you guess correct?!

I literally googled it for this post, but I thought that maybe 20 people lived there. Although even in my head I was like noo that would be too low.

As we arrived it was getting late as you can tell. There were very few houses at all, let alone with outside lights on. There were a couple of houses that looked like no one could, or should for that matter, live there. Looking at the census I don’t think anyone did!

Fort Fitzgerald is only houses. There are no stores or any other shops; luckily the “big city” Fort Smith isn’t too far down the road (25 km North)! If someone who resides here is looking for employment or schooling, other then hunting and trapping, they must go to Fort Smith.

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Now for some information about this little town!

Fort Fitzgerald is positioned on the Alberta/Northwest Territories border along Slave River. Its original name was Smiths Landing until 1915 – renamed in the honour of the late Inspector Francis Joseph Fitzgerald of the North West Mounted Police. Fort Fitzgerald was located at the beginning of four sets of impassible rapids – in the picture above the “DANGER” sign is warning about these rapids. In its prime, Fort Fitzgerald was a very active portage route for goods to be transported to the North.

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Once the extension of the railway extended service to Hay River, NWT on Great Slave Lake, there was no more need for the portage through Fort Fitzgerald. This obviously deteriorated the community leaving it now almost barren.

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While in Fort Smith, we ended up at their community museum. We actually ended up getting a private/personal tour with an explanation for all of the pieces on display. The lady went into detail about the major portage activities in Fort Fitzgerald and the history surrounding that time period. It was very fascinating to hear her story; she was extremely knowledgeable. Better then any history class I have ever taken!

I know that most of you, if not all, will never go far North to visit those remote communities, but if you do drop by the museum in Fort Smith. Most likely the very friendly lady there will tell you the same story too ๐Ÿ™‚ There is a lost of history packed into those small communities, which you can’t learn about in school. You have to go out and experience it for yourself.

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Upon completion of touring around big ol Fort Fitzgerald, we came back to Fort Smith. We saw these tipisย  in the day time, so I wanted to come back at night and see them all lit up! Love me some lights!

Overall, I loved this trip. The history we learned from the locals was fascinating and eye opening.

I still have a couple posts with more pictures from the drive back – one in particular I am so excited to share with you guys! So stay tuned!

Until next time,

xoxo

Tulip Festival | May 2018

Tulip Festival | May 2018

Hello friends,

I will just let you know right off the bat that this post is going to be 99% beautiful flower pictures from this weekend! I know there is an overwhelming amount of pictures here, but I couldn’t cut it back anymore. They were so pretty and colourful!

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This weekend we went to the Tulip Festival in Ottawa, ON Canada. It was on Sunday. We had a relaxing morning and then got ready and headed out. It took us probably around 20 minutes to find a parking spot and then we had to walk back to where the tulips were. There was soo many vehicles and people everywhere it was a little overwhelming! haha Definitely worth it though!

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As soon as you got to this park all you saw was flowers. It was absolutely stunning. We were right by the water too which made the day even more beautiful. The weather was perfect and the sun was shining. It would have been a great thing to do with your mom if she lived in Ottawa! (#mothersday woo!)

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This day has now gotten me obsessed with flowers in the spring time. I can’t stop looking at them! The colours are so vibrant.

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Like I said, there was a lot of people there and everyone wanted pictures in front of the flowers! There was soo many little photoshoots going on. All I was focused on was the flowers though! haha And my loving boyfriend had the patience of an angel with me stopping every 2 feet to snap a picture of another flower that looks the same.

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I wanted to play around with different angles and focusing depths. Trying to get professional looking flower pics!

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Down below is a slide show of three pictures. If you look closely you can see that there is a little bug flying in the first one, it lands on the flower in the second one and then in the third one you can see his little shadow behind the petal! I didn’t even know I got this until I looked at the pictures when we got home. So, what I learned from this was that you can never take too many pictures of the same thing!

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So once you walk through all the flowers, you’ll get to the “food court” of the festival. There was a lot of cool little food trucks and stands with basically anything you wanted.

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And of course we made a pit stop for some fries and later on ice cream! It was 24 degrees out, us Canadians need our ice cream when its that hot! haha

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They also had a small band playing live music!

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At the other side of the festival we walked down by the boardwalk along the water. Such a beautiful day to be outside. There were people kayaking and canoeing all over the water.

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Anyways, that is it folks! I told you it would be mostly pictures! Next post will be back to continuing the winter road story, I just had to share these beautiful flowers with you all! Have you ever been to a tulip festival? (This was my first!) What is your favourite type of flower? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

xoxo

The Journey to Fort Smith Continues | Part 2

The Journey to Fort Smith Continues | Part 2

Hello friends,

Today I bring to you the continuation of my ice road adventures! If you haven’t seen part 1 you can click here!

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Alright so we left off right after lunch on the first day. We crossed back over the frozen stretch of water to continue north to Fort Smith, NWT. Still a very snowy day, but we were on the lookout for wildlife!

In this field, my mom spotted a fox, or something, moving in the distance. It was snowing too heavy for a good long distance shot, but eventually me and my dad both saw it! haha My mom has such good eyes for wildlife.

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This part of the drive was definitely more stressful then the first half and I wasn’t even driving! The road was much more narrow and the scariest part wasn’t that we were driving on ice, it was the fact that now we were driving on winding roads through forested areas. Now it was beautiful for sure, however there are large trucks that just barrel down these roads, so you had to be careful coming around corners.

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These pictures make the road look wider then it was! haha if you look closely though you can see that the majority of the tire tracks are all in the same spots and with the trees being so tall, you cannot see a thing coming at you.

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After driving for sometime, we crossed over another frozen body of water. At this point driving on water in a loaded down truck is getting less scary haha

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We could kind of see blue skies starting but it was still snowing constantly, which was fine because in the winter I love when it snows, but it also made it harder to spot wildlife!

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These are the signs on the other side of the frozen water. As you can see, there are strict bridge rules to follow! Even if there are no police out here to catch you! However, I assume most people respect these rules seeing as it would obviously only hurt you if you were to speed on this ice and god forbid break through or something….

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Oh and apparently this is also a public parking area, you know if you wanted to just chill and hangout here in the middle of nowhere for a while ๐Ÿ™‚ We saw one car parked there and it seemed like it had been there for a while! lol Not a hot spot for hanging out I guess.

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Anyways back into the bush we went! 172 km and we are in Fort Smith! woo lets go!

If you were driving normal speed we would have been there in no time haha funny story about this picture actually. I wanted to get the perfect shot (well as good as I could with what I was working with) and so I kicked a coffee cup out from behind the sign so there was no garbage in my picture. The fact that there was a random coffee cup laying on the ground out here really irks me though. Like who would think littering was a good idea instead of just keeping it in your car until there is a garbage can eh?

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I don’t know if you can see it, but there is a winding road sign as well as the speed limit through here is 40 MAX! “Take er slow boys!”

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By this time we are getting closer to our destination and our eyes were peeled looking for wood bison. We kept seeing all these tracks everywhere and then we saw this! A herd must have been all huddled up on this mound recently. Just seeing this was cool, but I wanted to actually see one!

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When we got to this sign, my mom was like “take a picture because its the only one we will see” haha So I did thinking that she may be right.

And low and behold literally 2 seconds later we saw this on the side of the road. At first, we pulled over because there was a couple trucks pulled over on the shoulder and we thought maybe there was some bison in this valley area.

Well, I am sure there was, but not anymore! What you see in those two smaller pictures above are hunters and a bison….yup I am sure you can guess what happened here. Now it was a unique experience to see this but I still would of rather the bison been alive! They do use literally every part of it though, and one of these bad boys will feed a small village! It is extremely interesting to see different cultures, especially when its just a few hours north of where you live.

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So shortly after seeing the hunters we reached our destination. Literally like the only hotel here haha The back of the truck was packed with snow from the road. My parents said that last year the entire back of the truck was covered with a good couple inches of solid snow. It stayed on there even after we opened the back up and closed it! haha

This night we had a lovely meal at the Chinese restaurant in our hotel. One of the few places to eat here. And they had vanilla ice cream with strawberry sauce which was to die for.. just an FYI if you ever eat there ๐Ÿ˜‰

I will be back soon to continue the story of this very cool trip so stay tuned!

Until next time,

xoxo