paddling

The Flood

The Flood

Cougar Creek in Canmore looked wild and exciting on the evening of Wednesday, June 19. My partner Toby and I were staying with Toby’s brother whose house backs directly on to the creek, and we went for a stroll before bed. The fire department was starting to put up caution tape, and the bank was abuzz with walkers and joggers. Almost everyone wielded a camera.

By 5:30 a.m. on Thursday, the story had entirely changed. As the fire department pounded on doors up and down the street, we heard our names.

“Toby! Jenny! We’ve got to get out.” . . .

CBC In Town and Out: Mississippi River

CBC In Town and Out: Mississippi River

The Mississippi River Canoe Route is one of the oldest recreational canoe routes in Canada, but it doesn’t get very much use these days. In the last 20 years, it has fallen out of favour in the paddling community, though little along the river has changed. Mike O’Mally and Alex Broadbent are hoping to put this paddler’s paradise back on the map. Click through to the full post for an audio link to this story from CBC’s In Town and Out.

Wilderness and the Imagination

Wilderness and the Imagination

It’s been three years since I defended my master’s in creative non-fiction writing at the University of Victoria, and since then I’ve done a lot more thinking about wilderness – about how it is both a real place and a construction, how it has its own essence regardless of where we find it. So on this three year anniversary of my defense, as my manuscript makes the round of publishers, I wanted to share Sherwin Arnott’s analysis of my work, from 2010.

Lake Journal: Back and Beyond

Lake Journal: Back and Beyond

Five friends and I completed a 54-day canoe expedition on Nunavut’s Back River in the summer of 2005. I was ready to be tested, but I never imagined the combination of grief, beauty and disaster that would push me to the limit and leave me with a new understanding of the wild. I wrote this essay at the Banff Centre’s Literary Journalism program in 2005.