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Archive for the ‘Updates’ Category

Since my last update I’ve traveled from Seattle to the Olympic Peninsula and along the Oregon and California coasts. It’s mostly been a national/state parks camping trip, with urban breaks in San Francisco and Los Angeles, my southernmost stop. I’m in Las Vegas now, looking forward to a loop through southern Utah before I head north towards home.

A few shots from the trip so far:

Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park, Washington

Fog in Nehalem Bay State Park, Oregon

Redwood National Park, California

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Bad news first: My participation in the AOL/Ford road trip project fell apart at the last minute. It’s a complicated story, but essentially there was an issue with work visas, immigration regulations, and my being Canadian. So the show goes on without me.

The good news is, since I had already packed up my things and sublet my apartment anyway, I decided to just drive south on a road trip of indeterminate itinerary and uncertain duration. I’m here in Vancouver now after a five-day trip through northern B.C., just in time for the TBEX travel blogging conference. From here, I plan to tool around the Pacific Northwest, maybe the Rocky Mountains, maybe head south to northern California. It’s all up in the air.

I’ll also be attending the Oxford American Summit for Ambitious Writers in Arkansas in late June, which I’m unbelievably excited about. I’ll be a student in the nonfiction stream; faculty includes Pico Iyer and David Remnick, and a host of other fantastic long-form magazine writers.

More news to come soon. Meantime, here’s a photo from beautiful Muncho Lake, B.C., where I camped my first night out of Whitehorse.

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At long last I’m able to announce my work/travel plans for the summer: I’ll be driving across the States and blogging the trip for Gadling and AOL Travel.

The series is called This American Road, and it involves everything from tweets to videos, from personal dispatches at big-name tourist destinations to reported pieces on small towns in post-recession recovery.

Here’s my introductory post:

This American Road: introducing AOL Travel’s Road Trip Across America

If you want to keep up with the trip on Twitter, and maybe throw a suggestion or three my way, follow me @evaholland or check in with the trip hashtag, #americanroad. More to come soon!

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I’m flying back to Ontario tomorrow to visit friends and family, and then headed on to Barbados late next week. The Barbados visit will be bittersweet: It’s my last trip before my dad wraps up his work there and moves home to Canada, and while I’m sure I’ll get back to the island again even without a parental stronghold to stay in, it won’t be quite the same.

I’ll hope to get in a surf lesson or two while I’m there. And speaking of surfing (hey, segue!) here’s an interview I did for Matador Sports with big-name surf filmmaker Taylor Steele.

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My escape to a cabin just south of Atlin last week was a huge success. I read on the deck in the sun (in my sleeping bag – it’s not quite warm enough for sunbathing yet) by day, and wrote at night; I finished Jonathan Raban’s excellent Passage to Juneau and got a functional 4000-word story draft together. I don’t suppose I can burn half a tank of gas and spend two nights in tourist accommodation every time I have a story to write, but it’s certainly something I’ll plan to do again at some point.

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I just booked two nights in a little log cabin a couple of hours south of Whitehorse, complete with glacier views, a woodstove, and — crucially — an electrical outlet for my laptop. I’ve got a bunch of writing I’m aiming to get done in a short time span, so I figured I’d fashion my own little retreat.

Self-imposed writing seclusion is an experiment I’ve been meaning to try for awhile. I’m headed out later this week; here’s hoping I come back on the weekend a few thousand words richer.

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Barbados and its Beaches

This short piece I wrote about the best beaches in Barbados was just published in the Ottawa Citizen and the Vancouver Sun. I’m off to Barbados again in April — lucky me!

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I’ve got a few odds and ends to catch up on.

First of all, I’ve had a handful of stories published over on the Matador Network in the past couple weeks: an introduction to a serious local ultra race — The Yukon Arctic Ultra: The World’s Toughest Race? — and two stories about my Alaskan beer adventures. Check out The Beer Frontier: Binge Drinking in Alaska and the accompanying Guide to Beer Drinking in Alaska.

Next up, a photo from my time at Slaven’s Roadhouse.

On my first night, we had 7 mushers and more than 75 dogs pass through, in addition to the 8 volunteers, the race judge and the veterinarian already camped out there. As you can imagine, the result was an awful lot of parkas, mittens, dog booties and other wet winter gear hanging up above the wood stove:

It’s been a busy few weeks, with nearly 5000 new kilometers added to the odometer in my Jeep, and as always I’ve come back from my latest trip to Alaska with more ideas than I know what to do with. I think I’m ready to settle down for awhile and do some serious reading, pitching and writing.

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I arrived home in Whitehorse last night after a successful trip into Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve — I was a volunteer at Slaven’s Roadhouse, a remote dog drop location on the Yukon Quest trail. Photos and more coming soon, in the meantime I’ll just note that using an outhouse at -50 (a new experience for me) wasn’t nearly as painful as I’d expected.

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New Blog: Travelers North

A quick (but pretty major) update on my end: I launched a new blog this morning, Travelers North.

The aim is to offer a mixture of photos, links, personal notes and practical guidebook-style information about travel in Alaska, the Yukon and (eventually) NWT, Nunavut and beyond. I’m pretty excited about it.

The accompanying Twitter feed is here: @travnorth. Check it out!

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