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Stepping through the trees at Treetop Trekking

A walk in the forest is often touted as a therapeutic and peaceful venture. But sometimes, a trek in the woods actually results in elevated levels of excitement and adventure (and possible anxiety). Especially when you're trekking through the forest canopy, using ropes and logs and nets and cables as your trail.

Introducing Our New Family Member!

We have a new family member! If you have been following us on social media, you've already met Buddy through a few of my posts and pictures. But I realised the other day that I haven't really introduced him to the world properly. Sorry about that! It's time for me to welcome him to our wonderful tribe the right way - with a blog post.

I'm thrilled to officially introduce you to our bouncing little boy named Buddy. He's the new adventure dog on the block, and we can not be any happier that he's joined our family.

An Easter Tradition: Hunting eggs for National Service Dogs

Good Friday is egg hunting day for us. But this isn't any ordinary egg hunt. This one involves the keen hunting skills of a canine partner. Ok. To be honest, it involves typical doggy over-exuberance, and it really doesn't involve much actual hunting.  But it's a great way to get outside with our families and furry partners to help out an excellent organization.  Each year, hundreds of dogs and their families gather to hunt Easter eggs in several Ontario cities and raise funds for National Service Dogs (NSD).  Buddy, our newest member of the family did a great job carrying on our tradition of taking part in this hunt.

Let's DO THIS! Buddy was proud to wear his first-ever fundraising bandanas. He earned them!

- 42 at Mew: The time we stayed in an Algonquin yurt on the coldest weekend EVER.

A few years ago, we discovered how awesome it is to experience winter in an Ontario park. It started with staying in a yurt in Killarney. Then we opted for more luxurious accommodations and stayed in a cabin at Arrowhead. This year, we decided to officially check-off four seasons of camping in Algonquin Park with four days in a yurt at Mew Lake Campground.

With each trip, we have learned something new. And with each trip we have had amazing experiences. Camping at Mew Lake this past Family Day Weekend was no exception. In fact, this year was really special. We were active participants in Algonquin at the lowest recorded temperatures in history! Yup. We were winter camping in -42 at Mew.

A fear of falling: That time I fell on my face and badly broke my confidence

I am afraid that one day, I will fall and hurt myself very, very badly. I know, I know... nobody wants to fall and hurt themselves. But my fear is big enough that it has rendered me shaking and in tears at doing things other, less fearful people can do without much hesitation. Stuff like hiking down a steep, rocky incline. Or walking across a fallen log to cross a stream, or stepping from stone to stone to cross a creek. Or skiing down the blue runs at our local ski hill. I'm not talking big rivers and mountains here. I'm talking about stuff that an average person with average skills can do easily and with confidence.

It is not easy being someone who loves outdoor fun, when the outdoors are filled with things you can fall off.  This fear can make me extremely grumpy, causing me to unfairly get angry with the innocent people around me.  It has given me anxiety attacks. It has almost stopped me from doing stuff .  And you know what? That's just not cool with me. So over the years, I've tried to push my limits a little bit at a time and work away those fears so I can be more nimble on the trail and pursue the things my family loves to do outdoors, without worrying about being stopped - literally - in my tracks from fear.

My fear of falling is very different than a fear of heights. I can be up high no problem - especially if there is a railing or wall to make feel secure.  I don't worry about falling over walls and railings. So I can stand at the edge of an amazing look out, high above the trees and feel fine.

 But the task of stepping across a crevice on the Bruce Trail during a backpacking trip a couple of years ago almost made me turnaround and hike back to the parking lot. Luckily, I was able to find where that very deep, scary crack in the escarpment stopped. It was just a few feet of bushwacking off the trail and I continued my hike on solid ground, with nothing more horrible happening than a few branches slapping me in the face for my efforts.

I wasn't always this way....