Nature Therapy & Alpine Lakes

A lot of us are feeling the weight of the world these days.

With the current state of the world due to the pandemic, politics, climate change, and SO many additional factors, its easy to get lost in a state of despair. As important as it is to stay informed about the global events, self care must always remain number one. And for myself, that meant turning off the news, logging out of my social media, and spending time in the great outdoors for some much needed nature therapy.

One silver lining of this pandemic,

was that it forced us to really appreciate what’s around us. At first, when cancelling my travel plans for 2020 (Faroe islands, I am still coming for you!) I was feeling so incredibly discouraged, as many people were. However, I kept having this lingering feeling that maybe 2020 was a good year for me to stay in BC and explore my own back yard a little more. And even though it wasn’t my choice to do so, I am very thankful that the pandemic forced me to stay put.

There is nothing more therepeautic than breathing in that fresh mountain air

If it werent for my daily dose of nature, I would have lost my mind during lockdown. And i can thank my beautiful dog for getting me out of the house daily. But there was one hike in particular, that was without a doubt the highlight of my summer, and perhaps even my year. This hike, was to the base of the Comox Valley Glacier, to a beautiful aquarmarine coloured lake called Century Sam.

Now, this hike is not a hike for beginners

It had my friend Alison and I cursing a fair bit on our way up. But man, was it EVER worth it! To me, there is truly no better feeling than completing a challenging hike. I had just gone through a breakup and had spent weeks moping on the couch in a pit of despair with zero motivation to do the things I love, including hiking. But as soon as i got a wave of motivation i decided it was time for some nature therapy, and to finally accomplish the hike that had been on my bucket list for years.

it is important to note that this trail is only accessible on weekends as access to the trailhead is on an active logging road that they keep shut to the public during week days. Four wheel drive is definitely a must for accessing the trailhead as there are some pretty significant potholes and ditches that require a high clearance vehicle to pass. For some directions on how to access the trail, there is an excellent article on The Outbound.

The trail was absolutely stunning. It started out relatively flat and weaves through the forrest next to a beautiful flowing river. Hearing the sound of the water flowing was such a calming way to begin the hike. Next up, you begin to do a little bit of “bush-wacking” and this is when the hike started to get interesting.

Pretty quickly, you begin gaining elevation.

From this point on, its basically straight up until you get to the top. There is lots of area’s where you are required to use your hands, and proper hiking boots are definitely a must!

My favourite thing about this hike was the amount of happy encouraging hikers we met along the way. Every person we passed that was on their way down as we were going up, expressed little phrases of encouragement, which gave us the motivation we needed to keep going. And once we finally reached this lake, we could not believe our eyes.

As much as i love popular spots like Lake Louise or Moraine Lake, the fact that you can drive right up to them takes away from the experience for me. Knowing that i had to put in some hard work and sweat my buns off, made the summit THAT much more rewarding.

Nothing but smiles and good company

Its safe to say that spending this day in the alpine with one of my closest friends, was a major highlight of the summer. This day will forever be remembered as a day of great accomplishment for me. It was also a very important reminder to keep pushing through the mud even when you feel like giving up. The end result is almost ALWAYS worth it, and i mean this in more ways than one. And also, never underestimate the power of nature therapy.

What do you do when you feel the need to reconnect and ground yourself? Let me know in the comment section below!

The soundtrack to our adventure

Ucluelet is Never A Bad Idea

Life is swell, on the west coast

Taking time to reflect on that beautiful weekend we spent in Tofino last week.

Click the Link below to read my previous post about the amazingly adorable place that we stayed in.

After completing a small hike overlooking the beautiful Cox Bay, we began to take a little drive out to Ucluelet. We decided to stop at the Wild Pacific Trail to stretch our legs and give Nala a bit more of a walk. And what a fabulous choice that was.

We walked out to the lighthouse and were greeted with the some of the most magnificent waves. I was completely in awe of the turquoise colour of the water, and watching these massive waves crash behind the lighthouse.

It was every photographer’s dream conditions.

Not only were the waves mesmerizing, the sun was also peaking through the big thick navy blue clouds creating god-like sunbeams shining down on the ocean. I was in heaven. What started off as just a 15 minute break to stretch our legs, quickly turned into a 3 hour wave watching session until the sun went down.
Ucluelet is never a bad idea.

There really are no bad days on the west coast.

A road trip is not complete without a sweet playlist. So, I figured i’d leave you with the song and playlist that I had on repeat for this weekend.
What is your go-to music for road trips? Let me know in the comments below!

All images found on this blog have been shot & edited by Steph Gaul

How it all began

I first picked up a camera at the age of 10, and havent really put one down ever since.

Growing up on a tiny island off the coast of Vancouver Island, Canada, gave me such a keen sense of adventure, and an immense love for nature. For as long as i can remember, I’ve been infatuated by waterfalls, glaciers, volcanos, beaches, you name it. (No wonder i fell in love with Iceland so much)

I feel the most inspiration when I’m outdoors. Which is why shooting landscapes gets me so thrilled.

That being said, i also love photographing people.
I love getting to know new people and learning about their stories.

Photography, travelling and writing are of my favourite things in the world. Being able to combine these 3 aspects of my life gives me nothing but joy.

Anyway – i am tired of talking about my self. But id love to get to know you.

If you read all of this, I’m glad you’re here.
Now let me know, what inspires YOU?

All images found on this blog have been shot & edited by Steph Gaul