Under a Pile of Blankets: Cold Weather Car Camping

It goes without saying that you need long johns if you are going to sleep in a Jeep in cold weather. I have a lovely pair I bought in Lake Louise, Alberta, last fall. I sprung for the best: a merino wool base layer designed to lie next to the skin. They are soft and magnificently warm. Sometimes a base layer isn’t enough, but either way merino wool adds a note of warmth hard to get with other materials.

Last night it got down to single digits when I camped in Rocinante, my red Jeep, in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart in Carthage, Missouri, and I’d have to say my long johns are the one item I appreciated most. However, I have many other ways I deal with the cold. I’m a cold-weather backpacker and tent camper from way back, so camping in the truck is a breeze for me. The walls of the truck are, of course, better insulation than the nylon walls of a tent. They also keep me safer, since I usually travel alone now. The simple fact that the truck keeps me off the ground also keeps me warmer.

Do you let cold weather keep you from hitting the road for adventures in the winter? You don’t have to! Continue reading

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Breathing Through Lillooet

IMG_4036 Cloud-topped Coastal Mountains overlook the town of Lillooet, B.C.

A wide view of Lillooet, B.C., reveals the Coastal Mountain range (I think that’s Mt. Brew) standing guard to the west. The town is in the rain shadow of the mountains, so its semi-arid climate offers temps from 41° in the winter to 100° F in the summer.

I was driving intently along Highway 99 with my eyes on the road, barreling down and buzzing up the canyon hills,  stopping only occasionally to get out and pay the beautiful terrain proper respect with dropped jaw and hastily snapped photo.  My destination was the Vancouver International Film Festival, and I was already late. Continue reading

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Digging Treasures from my Memory

I was gone from home and everything I knew for more than three months, living in places unfamiliar to me around people I did not know or barely knew. The Canadian Rockies and the U.S. Pacific Northwest consumed me. Like a wave, the experience swept away many pains, frustrations and annoying attitudes that had been poisoning me. Okay…I know I’m being dramatic. But I believe this trip was a truly life-changing one for me. I am a new person. I am admittedly still annoyed with a lot of things, both about the trip and about life in general. But the shadows I suspect will prove to be permanent are the good ones–memories that will transform into glowing backward-looking beacons of happiness in my old age. The bad memories of my trip are fading, along with bad memories from eons ago. Give me a few more weeks, and I’ll be safe to be around again.


Fall tree with glowing sun in John Hendry Park, Vancouver, BC

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Millions-of-Eyes-Winking Lakes…and Invisible Caribou

Yesterday, I traveled about 50 km to see Maligne (muh-LEEN) Lake west and south of Jasper, AB. (Still waiting for my book manuscript and client product to arrive from the states, so I’m “stuck” here for a few more days.) I cooked myself dinner on the portable stove (fried potatoes), looking up every few minutes to see snippets of turquoise water peeking through the pine trees. I loved Maligne Lake, but I REALLY fell in love with Medicine Lake, a unique series of million-eyes-winking bodies of gently rippling water attached by meandering rivulets, embraced by mountains on all sides, some of them so big I felt as though God’s right-hand men (or women) were watching over me.

Jasper, AB, sightseeing - Medicine Lake, near Maligne Lake

Medicine Lake, southwest of Jasper, AB. Meandering rivulets connecting sparkling mini-lakes, with caribou footprints in the sandbars…wow.

Lots of sandbars with footprints on them…caribou! Didn’t see the actual animal, but the spirit of the place really snagged my imagination and intensified my feelings of connection with the natural world. How does a place so beautiful exist? I felt as though my eyes worked better when I was there, because I WANTED to see more. I wanted to really see what I was looking at. You can see more photos on Facebook later today (Foster Executive Writing & Editing).

Get business and writing tips in the blog at Fosterwriting.com, based on the places I go and people I meet .
BioVi, my exciting new client, is giving away a free iPad Mini! AND, you can learn tons about good health, antioxidants and probiotics. Click here to enter the

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Dinner with a Stranger

9/24 I had dinner with a total stranger last night: Jacques Despres, part owner of LouLou’s restaurant. Actually, I can’t really call him a stranger anymore. I have gotten to know him and some of his workers while spending lots of time in the restaurant. Other than the Jasper library, it’s the only place I have really felt comfortable using the Internet for hours. The food is really good, and there’s a beautiful patio with big open windows in warm weather (not today). Thank you, Jacques. Everybody, go to his restaurant when you visit Jasper!!! To read business and writing tips and stories go to my blog at fosterwriting.com.


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Thank You, Guardian Angels: A Retired Engineer, a Bus Driver and ?

One of the last days I was in Lake Louise was not my best day on the road. I was questioning my work, my trip and my life, to be honest. I have an almost unquenchable positivity about me–always have. But when I run out of positivity, I can crash pretty hard. I guess it’s because I’m not used to it. Thank goodness, the guardian angels were watching out for me. I was just kind of surprised at the form they took. Continue reading

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“Oh, sh–!” “Seriously?”: My Articulate Expression of Awe Upon Seeing the Canadian Rockies Between Lake Louise and Jasper

I really don’t swear that often. My friends would tell you, until I got divorced (the first time), they were shocked anytime they heard me say “damn.” I hate to admit, I do swear sometimes now. At bad drivers, mean people and injustices. I’m not proud of it, but there it is.

Yesterday and today, I found myself swearing at something that is NOT bad. No, it is very, very good. At the age of 54, I’ve seen a lot, and it’s tough to find something that takes my breath away…but God or somebody got the job done, and I didn’t have any other way to express myself.

Panoramic of glacial lake along Alberta's Icefields Parkway

From south to north along Canada’s Icefields Parkway–a big bite of the mountains my eyes gulped down between Lake Louise and Jasper. Wow. Just…wow.


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