Spring in Shawnigan Lake

Posted on 11th April 2017 in explored, nature, wandering

Shawnigan Lake is where I’ve been calling home for a while now. It’s a beautiful community along the Victoria Watershed, just north of the Malahat and Victoria, on Vancouver Island, in beautiful British Columbia.

Being an outdoors man, naturally I’ve taken to wandering with my camera in hand. Every month I get a collection of wander-clickings I’ve captured, and if you follow any of my social medias, you’ve maybe seen some of these images pop up at times. You know, when the mood hits.

Ever since I was first exploring these lands with my parents on summer vacations of y’or, I have always been incredibly fascinated with these old growth forests. They are unlike any other I’ve experienced, which isn’t to say they are better, but just that they have a special place in my heart that started when I was young. The giant roots crossing single-track trials covered in cedar branches and fir needles, with oregon grape and salal flanking as I meander up and down valleys. Oh, the depths of canyons found within trunks of a thousand year old fir trees.

This is what I’ve come upon.

tech specs // Sony a7 / Super Takumar 55mm f1.8 / Jupiter 11A 135mm f4 / Super Takumar 28mm

Shawnigan Lake - Ned Tobin Click here to read more.. »

Tyna and the Butterflies

Posted on 13th March 2017 in lifestyle, wandering

I like those days where we just get in the car and go. Where you plan a bit, with maybe some water and fresh batteries and destination, but the rest is serendipity.

Tyna Kottová (IG) and I picked the Butterfly Gardens just north of Victoria, BC.

Everybody is different, some of us plan for everything – my mom has always been notorious for having the biggest basket of toys heading to the beach, while others let plans go with the wind and hang on for the ride. I’m definitely of the former, though I like to tell myself I only plan the framework, the skeletal of what’s to come.

Can you guess what type Tyna is?

tech specs // Sony a7 / Super Multi Coated Takumar 28mm f3.5 / Super Takumar 55mm f1.8

Tyna Kottová at the Butterfly Gardens - Ned Tobin Click here to read more.. »

Forests for the World, Prince George, BC

Posted on 22nd May 2016 in adventure, nature, wandering

In Prince George, there is a region of forests they’ve dedicatedly labelled: Forests for the World. I’ve linked there to the Tourism PG‘s website that explains it fairly effectively.

When I was living last in Prince George, out our back door were trails that led me through this land, or more technically, to this land. On days I was feeling particularly ambitious, I would hike all the way up past the University of Northern British Columbia to the officially designated trail system.

In the news the other day, a man was attacked by a black bear along these trails, and survived because of his valiant dog! And it’s true, there are animals a plenty there. I remember one morning taking my dog, Angus, for a walk and we had an interesting encounter. There is a stretch along a path where there’s a big culvert separating two trails that go parallel. One the one path I walked, and on the other path was a mother moose and her little calf! I was happy it was blistering cold and by this time both Angus and I were b-lining it home as silently and quickly as possible. We would some mornings wake up and see that our composting buckets had been upturned by a bear at some point in the night. I remember one day my father and I cleaning muddy bear paw marks off the fence he had just built!

For this hike, I had a German Couchsurfer staying with me, and I took her up to see what the wilderness of Prince George, Northern BC was like.

A walk through Forests for the World by Ned Tobin in Prince George British Columbia Canada

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Southern Vancouver Island the Long Way

Posted on 3rd April 2016 in adventure, nature, wandering

Last fall my Swiss friend Nene came to Canada. I offered my truck (and company) to tour her around BC so she could get to see this beautiful land the way that I see it, and the places that I know and am fond of in this land. Canadian pride I guess. The first leg of our journey took us North! To Prince George. The second leg we hopped on the ferry over to Vancouver Island where we did day trips from Shawnigan Lake and toured mostly the southern tip of the island – Victoria and up the West Coast of the island to Port Renfrew.

Our trip to Port Renfrew, we thought we were just taking a left and heading through some gravel roads and couldn’t get lost and make it to Port Renfrew – easy peasy. About 3 hours later we found ourselves in Sooke. From Shawnigan Lake, it should only take about 1hr to get to Sooke. Likewise, it should only take about 1.5hrs to get to Port Renfrew, so obviously we took the long, windy road to get there!

Our road took us on a series of logging roads, cut blocks, and dense forest. It was interesting to see deep inside the belly of the beast (the Canadian wilderness), but to be honest, the West Coast is just so wild and epic every single time I stand upon her shores, so I was kind of sad that our day along the coast was delayed in the backroads.

But, such is life.

As we made our way up the highway parallel to the Juan de Fuca trail network, we made a vow to stop at every single Provincial Park we came to.

This is what we saw.

Logging roads of Vancouver Island Click here to read more.. »

North! To Prince George

Posted on 11th March 2016 in adventure, nature, wandering

I grew up in Prince George, BC. I’ve always described it as the place smack dab in the middle of BC, though it’s the capital of Northern BC. On a map, it’s pretty perfectly in the center. Driving, it’s about 10 hours north of Vancouver.

Driving from Vancouver one first finds the Fraser Valley, then abruptly turn norther into the winding Fraser Canyon that turns into the North Thompson canyon and then connects back up to the Fraser River to follow it more or less all the way up through the Cariboo to the Central Interior and Prince George. On the way back South, we hooked West at Cache Creek to wind our way through to Pemberton and Whistler before getting back to Vancouver.

In the winter the scenery is brown and muddy and very snowy and icy the further north one goes. In the fall you can expect to find every color of the rainbow in the trees that occupy the landscape that spins by. In the spring and summer everything is green and growing and each of the little lakes and creeks along the way call out, inviting you to jump on in.

Being so long of a drive, and one that I’ve done countless times in my life, I’m usually trying to avoid stopping, rather then stopping to take photographs of anything that catches my eye.

Having a foreign friend – Nene – with me, I took all the back roads and detours I knew! She was all smiles, and “ooh” and “ahhh”. Great travel companion!

20151113 - North BC Fraser Canyon Pemberton - Ned Tobin - 6

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