If you ever have the chance to go on an epic road trip. DO IT! It is an incredible learning experience.
It is a time to learn about yourself and your environment, take some amazing pictures, make some equally amazing memories and most importantly have a blast doing so. I cannot wait to do again.
Canada is the second largest country in the world. You can fly to many other destinations in the world quicker than flying across the country.
I enjoy a challenge and so I gathered my belongings and a buddy and drove 6000 km across Canada, from Whistler, British Columbia to Toronto in Ontario. This was an incredible photographic adventure, made even more amazing by the variety of scenery that Canada has to offer.
The journey could be done in 58 hours, but I gave myself seven days. This would allow a lot of exploring and photographing. Once I was on my way, I began to realize that seven days is not enough and I could have taken months. With so many places to stop and see, you have to be disciplined to keep going.
My vehicle of choice was my 1991 Volkswagen Golf GTI. I love this car, it has so much character and had no problem completing the journey.
6000 km (depending upon which way you go) is a long way on any vehicle, especially one over 20 years old. I had my car checked by a specialist before leaving Whistler. I did require a few things be replaced and or repaired, but this gave me the confidence that my little car would make it.
I decided to keep my snow tires for this trip, and this was the best choice as we did drive in some adverse conditions.
For this trip, I had one of my best friends join me. We had a lot of banter, shared the driving and were able to see parts of the country that neither had experienced before.
We planned our trip roughly, and made many many detours. It was in these detours that we found Canada’s gems and made our trip even more memorable. We saw some amazing scenery, wild life and met some amazing people
Nick and I saw some crazy things on our journey. From goats meandering on the road to upturned road trains. It made for some funny and thoughtful moments.
We did not have any car rules, as such, but we made the following agreements:
- No driving in the dark, with all the wildlife and crazy drivers out there, this made it safer.
- At any point the driver felt a little tired, we would stop. We would then get a coffee or a bite to eat, rest, walk it out and change driver for a bit.
- If there was a photographic opportunity, we should take it (this did get a bit out of hand at points.)
The Ice fields Parkway, is the road between Banff and Jasper in Alberta. I would say that of all 6000km, this is THE BEST road in Canada ! Every turn is more incredible than the last. The photographic opportunities are incredible, to the point where you do not believe that it could be any more amazing, but it is.
This is potentially a once in a life time trip, so make sure you really do enjoy it and not let it become a chore. Photographing and documenting the journey allows me to reflect on the adventure again and again.
Sometimes the unpredictable happens. On day six, after a slight accident, my little car was no longer secure to the outside world and my journey had to come to an abrupt end. Fortunately enough, Sault Ste Marie was not that far from the final destination, in the grand scheme of things.
This was an incredible trip, that I want to do again and again. As I grow as a photographer and writer, I could approach from many different angles, at all times of the year.
Here is a video I put together, of images of our trip. This is a trip best shared with others (except the Prairies … There are roads there so straight, that nothing happens for hours at a time)
I hope you have enjoyed my journey, you can see more images on Instagram. My Instagram hashtag for this trip is #nickandpaulscanadaroadtrip.
Now, get out there, make make some images and share them 🙂
And remember to follow my journey 🙂
#paulies365 #explorewithpaul #paulkporterphotography