The Expeditioners Truck Wrap for #ExpeditionCanada

The Expeditioners Magazine Truck
Wrap and Design by Auto Trim Estrie
www.autotrimestrie.ca

5 month ago we prepared to depart on an adventure across Canada of epic proportions. A journey to discover and explore Canada like few ever do. An adventure of a lifetime. Through social media we knew we would be reaching hundreds of thousands of people, but we also wanted to reach those where we were visiting. For advertising, there’s nothing better than transforming your vehicle into the ultimate billboard. We knew the design would be really cool, but we never imagined the amazing impact it would have. Tens of thousands of people, if not more, saw the truck. A gas stations, people would come up an chat with us, same with any place we stopped. Folks from all over would whip out their cell phones to scan the bar code.. even while we were driving. After 16500kms of driving all over Canada, we’re ecstatic at the amazing effect our truck wrap–that was designed and done by Auto Trim Estrie, would have. Here’s a video of how the whole process of transforming your truck into an advertising platform works.

Thank you to the professional team at Auto Trim for their superb job on The Expeditioners Magazine Truck!

Photos and Videos by Roberto & Bella
Video Editing by Bella

Whistler, British Columbia, CANADA | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World

Whistler, British Columbia, CANADA | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World
By. The Expeditioners Roberto
Photos and videos by Roberto & Bella
WHERE: Whistler, British-Columbia, Canada

WHEN WE WENT: #ExpeditionCanada took us zig-zagging over 16500km—from East to West. After four months of exploring the country, we got into Whistler the second week of November and stayed for almost two weeks.

WHAT WE DID: Whistler is renowned for its skiing and snowboarding. Whistler/Blackcomb is by far the best ski resort that we have ever explored. With big powder dumps and vast terrain—it’s a downhiller’s paradise. Luckily for us, the resort came on board and sponsored us 4 days of skiing and boarding. Official opening date was November 28th—but the season’s snow started well enough that people were on the hills two weeks in advance already..including us. We went for short hikes—visited around town, and reminisced about all the crazy adventures we had on previous trips to the region: back-country skiing, heli-skiing, and snowshoeing!

WHERE WE STAYED: Our lodging was amazing in one of our favourite resort towns in the world: It began with the Hilton Resort & Spa, then Legends at the foot of Creekside, onto the Crystal Lodge in the heart of the village, and ended with the luxurious Chateau Fairmont Whistler.
Other Sponsors: Whistler Tourism | InReach Canada | Mountain Hardwear | HGregoire | AutoTrim Estrie | Whistler- Blackcomb

OTHER THINGS TO DO:
1. Snowmobiling Adventure
2. Go Zip-Lining from Tree Canopy to Canopy
3. Take the Peak to Peak Gondola
4. In summer time get an adrenaline rush with some downhill mountain biking
5. Mountain Biking what some call the best trails in the world.
6. Bungee Jumping
7. Explore Lost Lake
8. Whistler Sliding Center
9. Go Heli-Skiing. There’s nothing like it!
10. Cross-Country Ski the Black Tusk Trail
11. Go Back-Country skiing to Marriot Basin or Cerise Creek

HOW TO GET HERE:
A. Fly to Vancouver and then drive or take the shuttle to Whistler (only 1.5hours)

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office view

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Bella ridge

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Lady Evelyne Smoothwater Provincial Park, Ontario, CANADA | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel guide to the world.

Lady Evelyne Smoothwater Provincial Park, Ontario , CANADA | THE EXPEDITIONERS | Destinations | Travel Guide to the World By.
Photos by The Expeditioners Roberto & Bella
Writing by Roberto

WHERE: Lady Evelyne Smoothwater Provincial Park, Canada Situated
Located in the heart of the Temagami region and centre of a 2400km interconnected canoeing network, thousands of years old
A spectacular wilderness park that has a beautiful rugged topography, crystal clear lakes and rivers galore.
The Lady Evelyn River is the centerpiece of the park, surrounded by some of the highest points in Ontario, with stands of towering pine and numerous waterfalls
The park forms the headwaters for a number of rivers in the Temagami area and is connected to four waterway parks
The park protects some of Temagami’s famous old growth White and Red pine ecosystems– which are blissful to camp around. This is indeed a canoe-camper’s paradise!

WHEN WE WENT: We were there this past end of July/ Beginning of Aug. We received our gorgeous Bluewater canoe from our amazing sponsor’s (Impex Kayaks,Scott Canoes and Bluewater Canoes) warehouse in New Liskeard, Ontario- and proceeded to head out for some canoe camping on Smoothwater Lake.

WHAT WE DID: We canoe camped for a week, searching little inlets, enjoying beach campsites, and as always, photographing everything! The bugs weren’t too bad at all and the landscape was phenomenal.

WHERE WE STAYED: All canoe campers know that packing up for a multi-day paddling adventure can be a toilsome task. Luckily, We had the Edgewater Motel and campground that sponsored us for over a week in New Liskeard. A delightful place to stay on the shore of Temiskaming Lake, the jovial banter from the owners is warming indeed. Take a stroll along the water to watch perfect orange sunsets. We stayed here both before our canoe camping adventure, as well as after! The shower and bed was delightful after being out in Lady Evelyne Smoothwater Provincial Park
Learn More about the Edgewater Motel and Campground at http://www.edgewatermotel.ca/

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PARK: Experience the rugged terrain marked by clear lakes and rushing rivers. Hike the Ishpatina Ridge or Maple Mountain and marvel at the stunning panoramas of the landscape below. Photograph the plentiful wildlife and explore the many deep lakes and fast flowing streams that are ideal for Lake and Brook trout. Learn about the parks significant geological, biological and cultural features that are unique to one of North America’s premier canoeing destinations.

OTHER THINGS TO DO:
1. Canoe Camping – Lady Evelyne RIver, the Makobe River, Smoothwater to Scarecrow Lake
2. Canoe Day Trips
3. Fishing: ngling is primarily for Brook trout and Lake trout in many of the lakes and streams in the park. Sucker Gut Lake contains warm-water species such as Walleye and Small-mouth bass. Ontario provincial fishing regulations apply.
4. Swimming: There are endless opportunities in the backcountry for swimming including both shallow and deeper water entries along rocky headlands.
5. Birding
6. Boating
7. Hiking: Maple Mountain Trail: 3.2km or Ishpatina Ridge Trail: 3.2 km
8. You can also take a quick hike up Devil’s Rock (just a few km’s from Edgwater Motel) and get some amazing views of Temiscaming Lake

OPERATING DATES:
Camping Dates
April 26, 2013 to October 27, 2013
Opening and Closing (Day Use)

April 26, 2013 to October 27, 2013

GETTING HERE: Easy Drive from Montreal, Toronto or Ottawa

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Yellowknife, NWT, CANADA | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World

Yellowknife, Alberta, CANADA | THE EXPEDITIONERS | Destinations | Travel Guide to the World
By. The Expeditioners Roberto
Photos and time-laspe by Roberto & Bella

WHERE: Yellowknife (and surrounding area), Northwest Territories, Canada

WHEN WE WENT: It was this past end of August, and we stayed in the area for almost 3 weeks. The end of August is a particularly nice time to go because you are able to see the Northern Lights dance across the sky on every evening that there are no clouds. We captured nightly time-lapse after time-lapse, and can difinitively say that these were the best lights we have ever seen! Secondly, for the outdoorsman, most of the bugs are gone. This is a fantastic thing for canoeists, hikers, boaters, kayakers or cottage goers.

WHAT WE DID: We explored Yellowknofe Old town, getting Bella a pair of handmade Mukluks. We spent a week at the Willow Ridge Retreat on the outskirts of YK, photographing the Northern Lights, Mountain Biking, and took out the canoe on Prelude lake for some mind-boggling sunsets. We also headed out on a spectacular 10 day expedition on Great Slave Lake–exploring nameless islands, feeling the expanse of this enormous body of water, and capturing skies like we have never seen before

WHERE WE STAYED: The Willow Ridge Retreat is the perfect place to stay if you are looking for the Northern Lights. Being about 25km from town, there is no light pollution here, and you can sit on their idyllic viewing deck all night watching the starry skies be painted in swirls of green, white and purple. We camped in Prelude Lake Territorial Park as well.
Learn More about the Willow Ridge at www.willowridgeretreat.ca

HISTORY: Yellowknife’s name originates from a Chipewyan tribe who used weapons and tools made of copper that appeared yellow in colour. This tribe battled the Dogrib of the area for many years but the Dogrib Dene re-claimed the area in the 1820s. The Yellowknives Dene of today are the descendents of the Chipewyan tribe. In 1825 Chief Akaitcho became a peacemaker when, at Mesa Lake, he participated in a famous peace treaty with Dogrib Chief Edzo, ending the long period of hostility and warfare between the Chipewyan and Dogrib. The city is also known as Sombe K’e, which means “place of money” in the Tlicho language.In the 1930s gold was found on the shores of Yellowknife Bay. It changed Yellowknife forever. By 1936 it was a boomtown to which southerners, often plagued financially by the Great Depression, flocked for work and adventure.

OTHER THINGS TO DO:
1. Visit Old Town
2. Stay at the Aurora Village
3. Stay in a B&B Boat House
4. Canoe the Tibbit Lake Circuit
5. Mountain Bike on the Tundra
6. Explore the Gallery of the Midnight Sun & Weaver- & Devore for arts crafts and all your camping needs.
7. Cameron Fals Hiking Trail

HOW TO GET HERE:
A. Jets connect Edmonton and Calgary to Yellowknife 6 times per day. Fly with Air Canada, Canadian North, First Air and WestJet

Three highways link the North to Yukon, British Columbia and Alberta. Drive up the Alaska Highway through Yukon to link to the NWT’s Dempster Highway. Follow Alberta Highway 35 north to connect to NWT Highway 1, the Mackenzie Highway. British Columbia Highway 77 connects to NWT Highway 7, the Liard Highway.

There’s scheduled bus service on the Mackenzie Highway, and seasonal bus service on the Dempster Highway. Vehicle and RV rentals are available for the Mackenzie Highway from Edmonton, Alberta, and for the Dempster Highway from Whitehorse, Yukon.

Road Distances: From Yellowknife to:
Miles KM
Vancouver, BC 1613 2595
Edmonton, AB 937 1508
Calgary, AB 1110 1789
Winnipeg, MB 1773 2853
Toronto, ON 2824 4544
Whitehorse, YT 1180 1900
Chicago, IL 3078 4953
Dallas, TX 3150 5069
Salt Lake City, UT 2036 3278
Denver, CO 2391 3848

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Jasper, Alberta, CANADA | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World

Jasper, Alberta, CANADA | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World
By. The Expeditioners Roberto
Photos and time-laspe by Roberto & Bella

WHERE: Jasper, Alberta, Canada

WHEN WE WENT: Bella and I experienced the Jasper area twice this year. Our first pass through was the first week of October. The second was again for a week in mid-November.

WHAT WE DID: We went hiking along the trails behind the Jasper town. We bouldered at their municipal wall. We went for a few 2km swim sessions. We sea-kayaked on Maligne Lake. We walked the whole town, several times. We used it as a base for a winter trekking trip. We hiked through knee deep powder. Around stunning Waterfalss and hoarfrost. Until finally, at Berg Lake we experienced a magical night by a glacier..with stunning Northern Lights above. We stayed up all night staring at the sparkling sky. (See the timelapse we took below!)

WHERE WE STAYED: The Whistler’s Inn – Centrally located–just across the street from the train station and in the heart of it all. A lively bar downstairs with plenty of friendly locals. Elk grazing almost every evening in the parc across the street. Super comfortable rooms with ample space. Rooftop jaccuzi. And an uber kind and attentive staff!
Website: www.whistlersinn.com

OTHER THINGS TO DO:
1. Check out Maligne Canyon & Maligne Lake
2. Visit the Athabasca Falls
3. Explore the Columbia Icefield
4. Take the Jasper Tramway to the top of Mount WHistler
5. Mountain Biking what some call the best trails in the world.
6. Ski at Marmot Bason
7. Hike the Bald Hills
8. Of Golf at the Jasper Golf Course…if you;re so inclined:)

HOW TO GET HERE:
A. Drive from Calgary: 5 hours (some of the most stunningly beautiful driving you have ever seen..trust me–we’ve dona lot of driving all over the world, and this drive is the most stunning .. ever! | Drive from Edmonton: 3 Hours and 45min

Jasper National Park is situated 370 kilometers (192 mi) west of Edmonton, 404 kilometers (256 mi) northwest of Calgary and 805 km (500 mi) northeast of Vancouver.

If you don’t have a car, you can take the Jasper Shuttle bus from Edmonton, Banff, Calgary and Lake Louise. Check out: www.jasperadventurecentre.com/shuttle-bus.html

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Kayaking Maligne

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Bear Bang Gear Review: Tru Flare

The Expeditioners Video Gear Review: Tru Flare

Being out in the wild requires you be conscience of the wildlife. For us Canadians that enjoy wilderness travel, there will always be Black Bears and Grizzly Bears to deal with exploring the wild!

You can startle them quite easily if you’re coming up a trail and they didn’t hear you. And your defence against these hairy canines (when you don’t have a rifle) are more intended to deter, than to stop. Enter the Tru Flare, a pen sized device that launches blanks into the air with a loud bang in the hopes of scaring them away. Be reminded that there is no guarantee that a.the bear will get scared from the noise or b. that you’ll actually have time to launch one before being charged.

This one that I demonstrate using is an aar-jarring shotgun-style bird banger that shoots 125 ft away from you. Noise level: 115 dB.

You can also use the pen-launcher for Emergency Flares. Check-out our demonstration of the Bear Bang in Willmore Wilderness, Alberta, Canada (Aka. Bear Region!)

Korean Thanksgiving in Manning, Alberta

Definitely one of the most amazing things from having embarked on Expedition Canada is that we simply don’t know what the next day will bring, or whom we will meet. Every day is an adventure. A mystery.

After having driven 900km south from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories– and having slept in the truck at a gravel pit off the Mackenzie Highway the night before- we were exhausted and decided to stop by a lovely looking motel (Hillcrest Motel) in the small town of Manning, Alberta. The clock was nearing midnight- but still, a jovial lady greeted us and checked us in.

We chatted with the owner, Agnes, and left her an Expeditioners card. After leaving our stuff in the room, curiosity called and we took a quick walk to look around the tiny town. Yet again, the Northern lights were shining above, but we didn’t have our cameras and so enjoyed the ribbons of green flittering across the sky. The temps dipped, near zero, as they tend to due on optimal aurora viewing nights. And then off to our queen sized bed we went.

This morning Hillcrest jumped on-board as a sponsor (after having perused our sites) and even invited us to their Korean Thanksgiving Dinner. A feast of traditional korean fare like Kimchi was laid out before us, a little beer mixed with a korean vodka-like brew, and wonderful conversation from our host and her friends.

Here are a few photos from our meal, and video of us toasting just as it began!

That’s the wonderful thing with this kind of adventure– you just never known where you’ll end-up for dinner!

Here is where we are staying: www.hillcrestmotelmanningab.com

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The Willow Ridge Retreat

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Where the Cameron River flows out of Prelude Lake there is a perfect venue for watching the Northern Lights Across the sky– the Willow Ridge Retreat.

Truly a retreat for the body, mind and soul. Completely off the grid, you will find full detachment from the world up here. Located 33km from Yellowknife by taking the Ingraham Trail (HWY 4) and then a tiny dirt road, you will come upon this wonderful guesthouse overlooking Prelude Lake. Now this isn’t your average lodging for several reasons. For one, the home is completely off the grid, using solar panels and a wind vane for the home’s electricity. A wood stove compliments the home’s heating system for those like us who love the feeling of a wood burning fire and the crackling sounds of a homey hearth. A fabulous dock leads off over the water– where we spent our mornings sipping coffee and book in hand. (For which I must add the Willow Ridge Library has the perfect and appropriate selection.) Another pathway from the house leads down to a menagerie of kayaks and canoes which you can take out on serene Prelude Lake. But I digress, for it is not even these wonderful things that transported us so– but the skies. The magical skies.

Away from any light pollution, every night where there wasn’t any cloud cover– we watched the Aurora sing her song. We watched them from the house’s Aurora viewing deck. We watched them dance over the lake and we watched them from the dock. But the coup came when moments before falling into slumber, we watched them through our window from our room.

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Additional Info:

The retreat is 1.2 hectares (3 acres) of property with access to seemingly unending kilometers (miles) of backcountry beauty.

Willow Ridge Retreat offers a unique experience of living off the grid at 62*N with conscious thought of our environment. Guests may be pleasantly surprised how comfortable living with renewable solar and wind energy, supplemented with mechanically generated power, can be. Guests will be invited to participate in energy and water conservation, composting, and recycling. The guesthouse is fully equipped with running water, flush toilet, and shower. Guests need only bring their own food supplies and personal items. All bedding is provided. The kitchen equipment includes a medium sized fridge and a full sized stove with oven.

Surrounded by ice, rock ridges, northern boreal forest, and the vast starry skies during extended dark nights in winter, Willow Ridge Retreat is the perfect place for watching the Aurora Borealis, skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dogsledding, or having afternoon tea in a canvas tent on the lake ice.

Surrounded by lake, river, rock ridges, northern boreal forest, and the vast blue skies, under our midnight sun in summer, Willow Ridge Retreat is the perfect place for swimming, canoeing, kayaking, pedal boating, or bird-watching.

Surrounded by rock ridges, northern boreal forest, and vast skies in all seasons, Willow Ridge Retreat is the perfect place for trekking through backwoods trails, photography, reflection, writing, drawing, reading, building and strengthening relationships, resting, soul seeking, absorbing beauty from surrounding nature, and always: wonder.

Please contact The Willow Ridge Retreat as you are making your plans to discuss which seasonal activities we are currently sponsoring.

Contact Info:

Willow Ridge Retreat
Hosts: Paul and Roseanne Goertzen
Box 1974
Yellowknife, NT X1A 2P5

867.920.2019 phone

Website: www.willowridgeretreat.ca

Price: $250CAN / Night

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Our First Vehicle-Associated Sponsor: HGregoire – Canada’s Centre D’Auto / Auto Center

The Truck

It was a couple of years ago, and Bella and I were in the market for a new truck. The four cars I had ever had were: Nissan Pathfinder, Pathfinder, Pathfinder…and you guessed it, another Pathfinder. All LE Models. And we were looking for The Expeditioners next…you guessed it, Pathfinder LE.

Now, you’re probably thinking, why would The Expeditioners need an LE? As indeed, LE stands for Luxury Edition. For one, we need the leather seats. Have you ever spilled a coffee on a fabric seat? How about a cup of water? Maybe some sand? A little mud? Some snow? Lots of snow? Rain got in? Or your friend spilled his soda and fries? Oil from your bike chain? How about some salt from your winter boots and ski boots? Water from your wet folding kayak spilled everywhere? Oh, your neoprene suits didn’t fully dry before throwing them in the back seat? How about the post camping food-bin…did the maple syrup leak out?

With fabric seats, the liquids will seep into your seat and rot the interior, the salt will leave white stains, the oil from your chain will never come off, the ketchup will be a constant yucky reminder of your buddy, the maple syrup will make everything gross and sticky, and the seats will take a smell reminiscent of a locker-room’s wet towels bin. But with leather seats– if you frequently clean your car, or wipe the ketchup stain of the seat, sop-up the water, or clean the coffee right away– then those little accidents don’t get immortalized. So there’s my argument for leather seats.

Hood

Secondly, is the sound system:) We spend many many many hours on the road. Expedition Canada alone involves over 6500km of driving… one way! And we loooooove our tunes. The Pathfinder LE has a Bose sound system. Looking out the window at mirrored lakes, sun breaking through puffy clouds, your best friend and lover sitting next to you, and the right song on… is just simply superb.

Truck afficionados know that certain 4x4s will just live longer. Many making it up into the half-million km mark. The Pathfinder is such a truck–and it has the power to pull/carry the heavy loads our adventures require. I parted with the last four around the quarter-million kilometer mark.

Now, the small conundrum is the fact that it is an expensive truck.

It’s common knowledge that the moment you drive a brand new vehicle off of the dealer’s lot, you are literally losing 30% of the original value of the car.

This is why, we never buy new, but instead previously owned. With about 70 000km on such a truck, you can literally get it for less than half the price from new. The trick, though, lies in finding the deal.

Bella and I had called every Nissan dealership in Ontario and Quebec, but nobody had what we were looking for in the price range we were looking for. I was getting stressed at not finding something–for in a few weeks, we would be heading off back-country skiing to Gaspesie, Quebec and we were going to be filming for CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.)

HGregoire

We had driven by the giant HGregoire Mega Auto Center on Autoroute 25 in Saint-Eustache, Quebec many times, but had never given it consideration, as indeed, all the previous trucks had been bought through Nissan dealerships. We thought we’d give it a check online first.

We found exactly what we were looking for! A 2007 Slate-Grey Nissan Pathfinder LE with 95 000km. Except there was no pictures…and we were leaving on a trip in a couple of days. Rushing over to the mega auto center, we perused a ton of vehicles (it was amazing the variety they had), but couldn’t see the Pathfinder we had “seen” online.

We were cordially greeted by a super jovial fellow and sales agent named Stephane Pare– to whom we anxiously inquired about the Pathfinder with no photos…and nowhere in the showroom.

“Let me check it out,” he said, and tapped away into his system.

“This one is so fresh it arrives tomorrow morning. That’s why the photos haven’t even been taken. We could have it cleaned and ready for a test drive tomorrow afternoon.”

That’s what I call efficiency! At 1pm the next day we were test driving it.Then we negotiated a little–and added HGregoire’s Premium 3 year or 70 000km warranty so that we would have no worries whatsoever. And then we bought it.

The Pathfinder

In less than 24 hours of having researched HGregoire’s immense inventory (they have numerous Megacenters) we had found our truck, test drove it, and purchased it.

And it was a great deal!

When we picked it up, we had the brief opportunity to meet HGrgoire’s Marketing and Media Head– Michelle Therrien. A very kind and sharp lady that took an interest to our concept. I told bella as we left the lot– “Maybe they’ll sponsor us one day!”

We hopped in our new truck and headed off to pick-up our friends for our Gaspesie trip and then our Pathfinder took as all over Eastern Canada.

Expeds Bella

Canoe Camping

Fast-forward a couple of years to a few weeks ago, and we approach Michelle Therrien about possibly having HGregoire be a sponsor for Expedition Canada.

We had a fantastic conversation on the phone. We talked about our truck and our travels. Michelle had been following our galavanting around the globe since we bought the truck and happily said they would love to sponsor us–and take the major logo placement on The Expeditioners Truck.

I put the phone down, and turned to Bella and said: “Do you remember what I told you when we left the parking lot when we first bought the truck?”

Sometimes, you’ve got to just believe!

Thank you very very much to HGregoire’s team and Michelle Therrien for believing in us!

You can follow our epic journey across Canada via our Facebook Page, Website and Twitter. Make sure to look for the hashtag #ExpeditionCanada and if you’re looking for a great deal on a pre-owned vehicle in Canada, well you know where to go!

www.hgregoire.com

H Gregoire Website

On the road