Real Man Travels Presents: 150 of Our Favourite Canadian Things

Follow along as we list off our favourite 150 Canadian things over 150 days to celebrate Canada Day!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Exciting News!!.Guest Post for Trip-Logic


        Exciting News! My first guest post is out!    
          It is based on my most prized souvenir 

                             Check it out!!
              My Guest Post here at Trip Logic
             Thanks to Kate for the Opportunity
        Thanks to Sam and Amanda for their Help!

A Royal Thanks for all of the support and kind words.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

The 2nd Craziest Thing I Have Ever Done


                               #2  Extreme GT sledding

                This one is really silly and very dangerous. So please don't try this!

     Before my twenties my friends and I were bored and starved of  fun. We were tired of driving around town in my old pickup night after night.  It was winter time and there wasn't much to do.  That night my friends Brad, Jason and I decided to make our own fun, we grabbed 3 GT snow racers and some (not very safe) rope and headed out to a distant quiet back road. Little did we know how crazy this idea would be.

     When we made it to our desired location, we were gitty with anticipation and my stomach was in knots from nerves. All  of us knew this was a bit on the crazy side and one bit of bad luck could end all of our fun. So we carefully tied two of the GT's to the bumper and tested it out slowly at first pulling them over snowy gravel. Seemed ok to us!

    Thumbs up! Green light! The next run increased in speed, you could hear the guys hooting and hollering.  The odd spark would fly off the sleds. Then Bam! Brad was off the sled I seen him tumbling across the road in my mirror so I stopped as safely and as quickly as possible. When I got out of the truck Brad was upright and appeared to be ok. He was smiling ear to ear "Let's do that again!!" he said.  I was relieved that he wasn't hurt but I could barely stop laughing because all I could picture in my mind was his him rolling across the road. Still to this day in my mind very funny

     The next run I gently made my way up to a good speed. The radio was turned down so I could hear the guys yell. I could hear them just fine. They were having a blast. I was feeling a little nervous so I slowed down. They  weren't scared one bit, you could tell the guys were having fun from their girl like screams and manly hoots. They felt comfortable going that speed. 

     During the next turnaround, we spotted 2 snowmobiles approaching us."It's gotta be the cops!" I thought. Time to turn on the "Williams charm." As they slowed down we realized they were just normal people. They slowed down to talk to us.  Turned out these two guys recognised us from school and stopped to chat. After a few minutes of talking they had found out what was going on and of course they wanted to join the craziness. 

           What is it about a man or boy that makes them want to do stupid fun things?

      So we got them saddled up for the ride. Brad and our 2 new riders were ready to rock. It was our first time doing the three wide setup. Jay was sitting up with me watching the guys out the back keeping me updated. They yelled up to me "I wanna go fast!” I yelled back. "OK! Hold on to your hats!". Brad should have listened, I hit the gas and we were off. Slowly climbing in speed 25 35k. Sparks started to shoot off the sleds like Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation we reached 45 55 60k. All of a sudden Jay yells "Brad lost his hat!!" knowing there was little I could do for his hat I punched it one last bit to 70k I could hear those guys loving every second. We were all laughing. 

                                                         It kind of went like this

      I started to slow down for the sign ahead. When out of nowhere this truck turns the corner. The guy in the truck is staring right at us, then we all heard a crunch and the truck slammed on the breaks and the driver looked pretty mad.  See what had happened was the three guys on the GTs bailed in to the ditch sending the 3 sleds forward and one sled went right into and then under this persons Truck!

   BUSTED! Boy did I ever feel guilty then. I hopped out quick and got the sled out from under the truck and I apologized to the man. He advised us to leave the area and drove off. Everyone was still hiding in the ditch waiting for the all clear. I yelled "guys you can come out now! Wussies!" They all slowly poked their heads out and made their way out of the ditch. Everyone was safe and still smiling so we called it quits.

   Would I ever do this again? No.  This may have been fun. But it could have ended a lot worse. I mark it down as #2 on this  list. #1 on the list of stupidest things I have done.

What are some crazy things you have done that you won't do again?

Monday, 11 March 2013

The 3rd Craziest Thing I Have Ever Done


                                 #3 - Jump off an Olympic Diving Platform


    Do you think your last grade school trip was quite possibly the best thing that ever happened during your years in grade school? 

     My Grad trip to Ottawa was one of the best things I could ever have done as a kid. I believe that every kid that lives in Ontario should be able to experience a trip similar to mine. Why? Well I hold a lot of very special memories from that trip. Exciting memories of being away from home for one of the first times in a very different place. Memories of good times had with school mates and one particular memory just so happens to make the list.

     On our trip to Ottawa we stayed in a University Dorm just off campus. The one of the 2 nights we stayed we were able to go swimming at the university's Olympic Size pool with 4 diving platforms. The diving platforms were a big hit. The odd time we would watch someone gracefully dive off of the top platform which in my eyes was HUGE, after watching one of us would do a cannonball or something else cool off of the lowest platform. I would watch and think "that is so cool I want to jump off of there" In reality I think the top platform was 40 ft high.

  I went up a level and jumped off the second platform a dozen times. I became more comfortable and more daring, which can be a dangerous combination at times. With those feeling I went up to the next level for more. 

     After much hesitation and feeling like I was going to miss out on an opportunity of a lifetime. I finally worked up the guts to walk up to the top platform,  I started to feel woozy standing there looking down at everyone telling me to jump so I brought my attention up took a deep couple breaths and jumped off as far as I could, the air rushed past me only for a few seconds until..... (BIG) Splash! I hit the water hard!

Tip - If one does not dive off of a diving platform, make sure that one puts legs together and points toes down! Without doing so could result in THE WORST WEDGY OF YOUR LIFE!!

   Yep I landed with my legs open, and received the biggest and worst wedgy I have ever had and it made the next couple of days. Let’s just say a "tad bit uncomfortable." 

   Would I do this again? Why yes I would! Even with my legs open wide. What a rush it was! What an unreal feeling. Even though it would still be scary, I would definitely do this again!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

The 4th Craziest Thing I Have Ever Done.

          
                                                
                                                                                   #4 Jump off of a roof

   I know this could be a hazardous thing to be posting. So folks... Don’t try this one at home.

     I was in the Haliburton Highlands with two friends Atom and Ryan and we had a plan. It was to shovel the 2 feet of snow off the roof Atoms family cottage.  It was a great plan I thought, 2 nights at the cottage for a little hard work.

      When we arrived it was night time and the road was not maintained during the winter and we had to walk to the cottage from the road, sounded simple enough. Right?...  Wrong! This is not an easy feat, not when you are over 200 pounds carrying a case of beer. Every step I took I broke through the ice crust into snow up to my knees and I mean every step I recall saying "Just leave me here guys. Leave me for the bears! But first come and take this case of beer!" While my somewhat lighter friends skimmed right across the snow top.  Later as we settled in, we laughed about me yelling "to leave me for the bears" Having remembered bears hibernate in the winter.

     So getting back to how and why I jumped off this cottage roof.  Well, it was a beautiful day, sun was shining over the frozen lake and trees, the temperature was a balmy -2 degrees. (Northern Humour)The cottage radio was maxed out and so was my back. We had been shovelling the snow, for a few hours and we were tired. What made it worse was the beer was calling our names like a temptress. So we decided to let nature take its course with the other half.

      When we finally did quit I decided to do a Fred Flinstone type of departure from the roof. I had purposely made a pile of snow at the corner of the cottage trying to keep it off the deck. As I made my way over to the edge and looked over, I felt the urge to jump. Have you ever had that urge?  Like jumping off a cliff in to water, it’s a calculated risk. So I figured in my risk calculation that there was a big pile of snow. Snow is soft like a mattress I thought. So I figured chances were slim that I'd get hurt. (I may have been pushing my chances and luck too far)

      The adrenaline was pumping (I was shaking) and without hesitation I hopped off the roof, feet first. 13 ft straight down into the packing snow below! The fall was a lot quicker than I had thought. Luckily I was right and I did not get hurt. The snow cushioned my fall just enough, although I did bend awkwardly when my feet touched rock. I still give the landing a 7.0.

  What an adrenaline rush and a story worth telling. But... Would I do it again? Heck no people..... After ageing and becoming a parent, I have settled down a bit and take better calculated risks. I no longer try to put myself in harm’s way for the heck of it. (Key word being TRY.)

Stay Tuned for #3 Next Week

Monday, 4 March 2013

The 5th Craziest Thing I Have Ever Done.

                                                               
                                                     #5  Toronto to Vancouver by BUS!

     This may not be crazy, but. It definitely could make you crazy. When I was in high school a good friend of mine moved to British Columbia. The decision was made to visit our now distant friend, by bus. It sounds fun and exciting but only for a bit. 

 The pluses of buses -It is affordable.You get to see a lot of things and meet new people. The Downfalls - No showers!  It is very timely stopping in every town waking up at every stop. 


     With the companionship of my friend Jason, we set out July 1999 on a Greyhound bus. Making new friends with fellow riders along the way, we were headed north to Thunder Bay, then due west through the prairies, until we got to the beautiful Rocky Mountain towns of Banff and Canmore. We were so lucky going from Calgary to Banff late afternoon, our driver acted as a tour guide pointing out the interesting facts as we enjoyed our first mountains ever. 

    80 plus hours later and about 60 bus stops later we arrived in Vancouver, with only a few friendly faces still there, we said our goodbyes and found out our luggage was not with us. We had to do some laundry to get by, until they found it. In need of a shower and a good night's sleep, we set out for our hotel. After a seemingly quick 2 day stay in Vancouver, we kept on moving.
   
     

     From Vancouver we took the hour ferry boat ride to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Explored Nanaimo's beaches looking out into the Pacific Ocean and spent the night in a hotel. In the morning we yet again hopped on another bus for another 15 hours, to a little seaside town named Port Hardy. We explored the quiet town, and stayed at a cozy Bed and Breakfast. By the time we reached this destination we were starting to feel the craziness of constant travel.


  
      The following morning we were Prince Rupert bound on a BC Ferry heading up the beautiful Northern BC coast. The views were magnificent. The odd whale was spotted too. I found myself with my first touch of sea sickness. Thankfully it wasnt until the evening. We spent 18 hours on the ferry. After that long day at sea, we retired to a hotel near the port.




     The next day we were picked up by our friends and it was a short 3 hour drive to their home in Kitimat, British Columbia.   We had a fantastic time. During our 5 day stay, we explored the surrounding forests rivers and trails of Kitimat.  Stumbling into a family of Black Bears, Mom Dad and 2 cubs, had to be the highlight of the trip. It definitely got the adrenaline pumping!



    At the end of our stay, our gracious hosts and friends dropped us off at the bus station we had about 78 grueling hours of bus time left. We knew we could do it. It just wasn't going to be nearly as fun, just like going home from any trip. One highlight on the way home was a day spent wondering around at the West Edmonton Mall. 50 hours later we were back home.
   


     Would I do this again? No. Lots of good things came from this trip. Three years later I did it again, this time meeting my friend in Edmonton and spending a few days there before heading to Northern British Columbia. So if you so choose to go great lengths by bus, break it up a bit or you might go crazy.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

The Five Craziest Things I Have Done Intro

                 Im No Stranger to Going Out of my Comfort Zone

Oh Me? Just saving this dudes life! Just another day...

       Hey everyone, I'm launching a little miniseries of the craziest things I have ever done. This is not your typical type of list. It will be a top 5 list and I will be releasing the posts individually, one story for each of the 5 crazy things.

      It’s not your typical type of crazy, like getting married young and having three daughters like I did, some may think that is crazy, and at times it is. I think of it as one of the best things that has ever happened to me.  

     It is not bungee jumping! Why not? Like most, I have a fear of falling.  I don't mind the height. (Little known fact about me, I am very allergic to pain.)
     
      I want to tell you the most interesting but also crazy things that I have done. Some of it is travel related and most of it I did before I was 20 years old. These things definitely have had an impact on the person that I am today also these 5 things have made me stronger, wiser, and I believe happier.

    Hopefully you get to learn a little bit more about me and I hope you enjoy the posts.

Stay Tuned,

Cheers, 
Chris