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Adventure

Summer Health


Withstanding Summer’s Heat. Tips for sun-smart health Summer in the city: a season for wandering through street festivals, enjoying outdoor activities, relaxing in the sun and—ideally—not getting a sunburn along the way. Although welcome, the summer season brings with it a few intrinsic health risks to be wary of while out enjoying fun activities. To …Read More

Autumn Bucket List


An Autumn Bucket List   There’s nothing like a long and lingering fall in Alberta. The smell of harvest in the air, the rustle of leaves underfoot, the sight of geese overhead. For many, it’s the very best time of year. To celebrate it, here’s an autumn bucket list to look forward to.   Host …Read More

Geocaching


The Hidden World of Geocaching A game (quietly) taking the world by storm By Robert Michon   Geocaches are everywhere. In fact, you’re probably within walking distance of one right now. Alarmed? Don’t be. Geocaching is a fun exploration game that’s gained a strong following in the Edmonton area. In fact, Strathcona County is home …Read More
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A game (quietly) taking the world by storm

By Robert Michon   Geocaches are everywhere. In fact, you’re probably within walking distance of one right now. Alarmed? Don’t be. Geocaching is a fun exploration game that’s gained a strong following in the Edmonton area. In fact, Strathcona County is home to the second-oldest geocache in Canada. But how exactly do you play? Where did it even come from? And how do you get started? Wonder no more. We’ve got all the info you need to become a geocacher extraordinaire.   Just What Is Geocaching?   Geocaching is a type of way-finding game that uses GPS technology in order to lead players on a kind of scavenger hunt. Members of the geocaching community hide small waterproof containers in locations all around the world and post coordinates online for other geocachers to find. The containers always contain a logbook and, sometimes, a small trinket as a reward. When you find a geocache, you are meant to sign and date the logbook as proof of your victory, and you can even take a trinket from the cache, as long as you leave one of your own for the next geocacher to find. Anyone at all can play, as long as your cellphone has GPS capability.   Geocache coordinates can bring you to almost any location, and they’re a great excuse to get out and explore. You’ll be finding hidden vistas, great trails and viewing your city from a fresh perspective.     A Brief History   Geocaching hasn’t been around long; its roots trace back only 16 years. In May of 2000, the American military made their jealously guarded GPS technology available to the general public, and only two days later, people had already begun to hide caches for their friends to find. The very first geocache was hidden in Portland, Oregon, and it was an instant hit, quickly spreading beyond the group of friends it was initially meant for. Today, geocaching is a worldwide phenomenon, with caches to be found on every continent. One has even left Earth entirely and is hidden aboard the International Space Station.   Rules of the Game   While the rules can vary by location, there are some basics for everybody to keep in mind to make the activity safe and fun for everyone.First off, geocaches cannot be placed on private property without the express permission of the owner. High-security areas, such as government buildings and schools, are typically off limits, too. Geocaching employs a “leave no trace” policy, meant to preserve the natural state of the location. That means no garbage, vandalism or destruction of the area in your hunt for the cache, and if players find a disturbed site, they’re encouraged to clean it in order to preserve the reputation of the game.   two young tourist determine the route map and navigator Game Types   While there are hundreds of permutations of the game available, there are four main types that can easily be found around the city.   Traditional caches are the basic cache type that started the whole trend. You get a set of coordinates, maybe a hint if you’re lucky, and you set off looking.   Puzzle caches (sometimes called mystery caches) make you work for those essential coordinates. They’re hidden within a riddle, cipher or some other puzzle, which must be solved before the hunt can even begin.   Multi-caches take you on a bit of a ride. Instead of a notebook to sign, each cache contains yet another set of coordinates, which ultimately brings you to the final location.   Event caches are gatherings of 50 or more people (rather than typical small groups), all competing to find the most caches in an area in a certain amount of time. Even mega-events (which include a minimum of 500 people) are planned.   Whether you love solving mysteries, being taken on tours, visiting scenic vistas or exploring underrated locations, there is probably a geocaching variant to suit your ability level and interest. It’s fun for families. It’s fun with friends. And it’s even fun alone. Now that you know all about it, you’ve got no excuses. Get out there and start caching!   Geocaching Lingo for Beginners   Muggle: a non-geocacher   FTF: First to find. A high achievement for cachers.   BYOP: Bring your own pen. Make sure you sign the logbook!   DNF: Did not find. Better luck next time.   GZ: Ground zero. You’re in the right spot. Take a look around.   Power Trail: Multiple caches in quick succession for easy finds.   Trackable: Trinkets that travel from cache to cache. [post_title] => Geocaching [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => geocaching [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-05-19 16:40:07 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-05-19 16:40:07 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.summercity.ca/?p=1980 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [_excerpt] => The Hidden World of Geocaching A game (quietly) taking the world by storm By Robert Michon   Geocaches are everywhere. In fact, you’re probably within walking distance of one right now. Alarmed? Don’t be. Geocaching is a fun exploration game that’s gained a strong following in the Edmonton area. In fact, Strathcona County is home … ) 1

Travel Canada


East, West, Home Is Best Make our nation your destination By Vanessa Roset   You’ve heard the saying, “Not all those who wander are lost.” It is the globetrotter’s mantra, often printed on inspirational travel posters designed to lure us abroad. But how often do we wander in our own backyards? From coast to coast, …Read More

Archery – The Revival


  Drawing a bowstring and a crowd By Robert Michon Let’s face it, archery’s had a pretty bad run the past few hundred years. Accustomed to modern conveniences, the majority of us aren’t hunting for our own food these days. And those who are, aren’t often favouring bows and arrows. But thanks to a current …Read More
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Drawing a bowstring and a crowd

By Robert Michon Let’s face it, archery’s had a pretty bad run the past few hundred years. Accustomed to modern conveniences, the majority of us aren’t hunting for our own food these days. And those who are, aren’t often favouring bows and arrows. But thanks to a current pop-culture obsession with all things Katniss, archery is enjoying a spike in popularity. Not only are Edmontonians eager to learn this lost art, there are ranges, like Wyld Archery, just waiting to get you started. Care to take aim? Here are a few things to know.   A Growing Community   Edmonton has always had its hunting suppliers, but when Wyld Archery’s founder Justin Watson set up shop, his was the only dedicated archery range in the city. “I’ve been shooting for 30 years now,” he says, “and during most of that time there were just never any official lanes that I could use. Eventually, I just decided to fill that gap myself.”   It took a while for the idea of dedicated lanes to catch on, but over the years, Wyld Archery has built a solid community of shooters, which continues to grow along with the rising global archery trend. Edmonton’s archery community has grown so much in fact, that while Justin may have been the first in the city to open up dedicated lanes, he wasn’t the only one who noticed a business opportunity. There are over half a dozen archery shops, complete with ranges, open across the capital region today. While many of these shops cater more towards the hunting community, Wyld proudly serves every kind of archer you could imagine. “We’re an archery shop first and foremost,” says Justin, “We don’t care if you want to hunt, shoot at paper targets, whether you’re amateur, pro, young, old—whatever. We just want people to have fun shooting.” And true to this philosophy, Justin does get quite a wide range of customers, from kids on school field trips, to sharp shooters, to historical role-playing groups. Wyld welcomes anyone looking to hone his or her skills.   The Hollywood Effect   If you’re wondering who is responsible for the sudden rise in the popularity of archery, you need look no further than Hollywood. Justin keeps track of archery on the big screen. “Pretty much any time we see something new in the media that highlights archery in some way, we see a huge surge of people coming in to shoot. The Hunger Games, Arrow, The Avengers, Brave—Disney has honestly been great for us. They get people excited about archery.”   While all kinds of people are starting to pick up bows, Justin has noticed that women are coming out in especially large numbers. “In my first few years of shooting, I only knew of two female shooters, and they were both coaches of mine. I really like seeing more women getting into the sport. I think a lot of it does have to do with movies like The Hunger Games and Brave. Women are seeing these positive role models in movies and saying, ‘If she can do it, then so can I.’”   Practice, Practice, Practice Of course, many of these archery hopefuls lose interest after about a month of shooting, disappointed that they have not quite become Hawkeye or Katniss Everdeen. But each surge also brings in new people who excel at the sport and quickly become archers for life. As a veteran archer, Justin has the same advice for all newcomers, “What people really need to understand is that archery is a patience sport. It’s rewarding, but you have to expect to put some practice in before you start seeing results.”   If all of that practice sounds daunting though, don’t worry, you’ll be improving more than your aim. Archery works out muscles that you really don’t use in day-to-day life. Master archers might not notice the strain, but as a beginner, you’ll feel the burn.   So whether you’re looking to get into hunting, historical re-enactments, sharpshooting or just wanting to try out a fun new activity this summer, look no further than your nearest archery range. The lanes are open, the bows are strung and your target awaits.   Where to Shoot   Wyld Archery Pro Shops and Lanes: 14805 Yellowhead Trail, Edmonton   Cabela’s North: 15320 37 Street NW, Edmonton   Cabela’s South: 6150 Currents Dr NW, Edmonton   Jim-Bows Archery Edmonton: 13955 156 St NW, Edmonton   Capital Region Archery Club: 5618 76 Ave NW, Edmonton   T&T Archery: 130 Broadway Blvd, Sherwood Park Sherwood Park Archery Club: 51419 Range Rd 223, Sherwood Park   Trophy Book Archery Ltd: 3B5, 495 South Ave, Spruce Grove [post_title] => Archery - The Revival [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => archery-the-revival [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-05-19 16:39:04 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-05-19 16:39:04 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.summercity.ca/?p=1970 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [_excerpt] =>   Drawing a bowstring and a crowd By Robert Michon Let’s face it, archery’s had a pretty bad run the past few hundred years. Accustomed to modern conveniences, the majority of us aren’t hunting for our own food these days. And those who are, aren’t often favouring bows and arrows. But thanks to a current … ) 1

Vancouver Island


If your dollar won’t stretch to a European vacation, one alternative might be Alberta’s left-hand neighbour, British Columbia. July through September is an excellent time to visit Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. The weather is warm, and nature is at its finest. Whether shopping, dining or culture is your pleasure, this regional overview will …Read More
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/ adobe stock[/caption] If your dollar won’t stretch to a European vacation, one alternative might be Alberta’s left-hand neighbour, British Columbia. July through September is an excellent time to visit Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. The weather is warm, and nature is at its finest. Whether shopping, dining or culture is your pleasure, this regional overview will get you ready to pack your bags. Victoria Sure, you’ve heard it called the home of the newly wed and the nearly dead, but BC’s capital isn’t the city you visited in the 90s. Recently praised in Vogue for its robust high-tech community and dedication to craft brewing, Victoria is both a family-friendly destination and a sophisticated city for those travelling without kids. Most tourism focuses around the Inner Harbour, at the intersection of Government and Belleville streets. Here you’ll find the Royal British Columbia Museum, the Empress Hotel, BC’s Legislative Assembly grounds, access to city tours on double-decker buses, harbour tours on mini-ferries and whale-watching expeditions in Zodiacs. Close by you’ll find horse-drawn carriages, kayak rentals and numerous shopping destinations, including the newly renovated Market Square, Lower Johnson Street (one-of-a-kind boutiques) and Fort Street (Antique Row, plus galleries and specialty shops). There’s even more to see if you leave the core. Here are a few Victoria-area “musts”: Craigdarroch Castle—sumptuous former home of a Victorian industrialist; The Galloping Goose—former railway converted to a gorgeous multi-use trail; Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site—19th-century coastal defense installation featuring the Fisgard Lighthouse; Sidney by the Sea—Canada’s Book Town, plus dozens of quaint shops; Butchart Gardens—botanical wonderland. You might be surprised to learn Victoria is also a foodie paradise. Locally sourced, organically grown food is a priority in -Canada’s fittest capital. You’ve gotta eat, right? Salt Spring Island Take a float plane from Victoria’s Inner Harbour or a ferry from Swartz Bay, and you’ll arrive at Salt Spring Island, BC’s brilliant cultural destination. With a population of just over 10,000, Salt Spring boasts more artists and performers per capita than anywhere else in the province. Janet Clouston of the Salt Spring Island Chamber of Commerce says, “The arts and culture scene here is better than in some medium-sized cities. To be able to have what we have here and a small-town life experience is amazing!” But Salt Spring Island is more than arts and culture. It also supports surprisingly diverse dining. From funky eateries like the Tree House Cafe to the grandeur of Hastings House (one of the West Coast’s most-praised restaurants), there’s something for every palate, much of it locally grown. Salt Spring Island has more than 200 active farms, including three vineyards. You can shop the farmers’ market in Ganges every Tuesday afternoon from June through October. Want just a taste? Visit on a Saturday. From April until late October, you’ll find the gigantic Salt Spring Market in Centennial Park in Ganges. Nearly 150 artisans take part in the market annually, and everything is made or grown on the island—part of Salt Spring’s authentic charm. Nanaimo Nanaimo, north of Victoria, is Vancouver Island’s new “It” destination. Mountains, beaches, marine life—what’s not to love? Founded as a trading post, Nanaimo grew into a coal-mining hub and later a forestry centre. For decades it was little more than a stopping point for visitors heading to Victoria and Tofino or exploring the Gulf Islands. But today, Nanaimo offers festivals, street performers, museums and water-based activities. It also shares Victoria’s mild, sunny climate and the West Coast commitment to locally grown, locally made food and drink. If you have a boating background, you should know that Nanaimo is an increasingly popular base for folks chartering sailboats and powerboats. Nanaimo’s mid-island location is perfect for boaters travelling north into Desolation Sound or south into the Gulf Islands. On a boat, you have unparalleled access to the incredible Georgia Basin and its many tiny communities, which host some 200,000 visitors annually. Driving to Nanaimo from Victoria? Be sure to visit Chemainus. Featuring dozens of outdoor murals, glorious views of Stuart Channel and yummy baking and ice cream, it’s a delightful stop. Port McNeill Nanaimo is often the end of a journey up island, but visitors who keep going north will discover a wild landscape and numerous small, welcoming communities, including Port McNeill. Graham McNeil, who’s lived in Port McNeill since 1970, says the town “has the reputation for being one of the friendliest towns on the coast.” Port McNeill is the gateway to northern Vancouver Island and the Broughton Archipelago. Visitors enjoy fishing, boating, ecotourism, caving, camping and more in this small town. You can view grizzly bears in the towering wilderness of Knight Inlet, just a boat ride away, and the Broughtons is one of the coast’s top areas to watch whales. Port McNeill is connected by ferry to historic Alert Bay, home of the world-class U’Mista Centre, a museum of aboriginal heritage. Plan to spend several hours there. Another short ferry ride takes you to Sointula on Malcolm Island, originally settled as a utopian cooperative. If you go, drop by the town museum—it’s fascinating! En route to McNeill, or as a day trip out, visit Telegraph Cove, a charming micro-village (population 20!). The boardwalks and historic buildings reflect an industrial past, but today it’s a quiet place for relaxation and exploration. With so much to see and do, Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands really are a paradise next door. The most difficult part of your trip may be convincing yourself to come home. t8n

Three Cheers for BC Beer

Eager to explore Victoria’s craft-beer pubs? Here are five you won’t want to miss. Garrick’s Head Pub (1140 Government Street) Swans Brewpub (506 Pandora Avenue) Canoe Brewpub (450 Swift Street) Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub and Guesthouses (308 Catherine Street) Moon Under Water (350B Bay Street) Local breweries host tours—with tastings—throughout the year.

Vancouver Island Fun Facts

Whale sightings along the east side of Vancouver Island peak in August and September. The Royal BC Museum says six of BC’s 34 First Nation languages were spoken on Vancouver Island. Many are now being rediscovered by a new generation. [post_title] => Vancouver Island [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => vancouver-island [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-06-30 16:32:54 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-06-30 16:32:54 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.summercity.ca/?p=2575 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [_excerpt] => If your dollar won’t stretch to a European vacation, one alternative might be Alberta’s left-hand neighbour, British Columbia. July through September is an excellent time to visit Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. The weather is warm, and nature is at its finest. Whether shopping, dining or culture is your pleasure, this regional overview will … ) 1