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CANADA: REASONS TO LINGER IN THE PRAIRIES

CANADA: REASONS TO LINGER IN THE PRAIRIES

I guess you never know how you might react to a bear walking into your path … until the day a bear walks into your path. And they said it would be so boring out here in the prairies. The mountain folk back west had nothing good to say about the prairies, after...
IMAGES OF ALASKA

IMAGES OF ALASKA

It’s good to see the old pioneer spirit is alive and kicking here in Alaska. From the back of Valdez we take a walk up the track beside Mineral Creek. It draws us into a steep-sided valley, the sun that we have finally been blessed with sparkling on the...
HIGHWAY TO THE MIDNIGHT SUN

HIGHWAY TO THE MIDNIGHT SUN

Forget to buy your packet of cigarettes in Carmacks and it’s another 222 kilometres before the next opportunity, such are the vast distances up here. For days forests and lakes and mountains unfurl beyond our stone-shattered windshield, though we are gaining...
TELEGRAPH CREEK

TELEGRAPH CREEK

Why are we drawn along some roads and not others, especially this one,  a 112 kilometre dirt track petering out at an abandoned town, beside a fast, broad river running out of the Stikine Ranges? The writer Edward Hoagland came to Telegraph Creek in 1966, more or less...
CANADA: THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY

CANADA: THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY

The scream of the reel is electrifying. The rod bends double, the tip almost piercing the swell. ‘You got a strike,’ yells Ryan. Stumbling across the deck I wrestle the rod from the downrigger. Whatever’s on the end has already hit warp-speed. The...
FROM COAST TO COL

FROM COAST TO COL

My full article From Coast to Col features in the latest issue (issue 34) of Adventure Bike Rider magazine (www.adventurebikerider.com). The article recounts my thrilling ride through the southern Alpes Maritime, starting from Monte Carlo, ascending to the famous Col...
ROAD-COOK: TESTING THE WONDERBAG

ROAD-COOK: TESTING THE WONDERBAG

It was during the 2008 blackouts in the city of Johannesburg that Sarah Collins came up with the idea of the Wonderbag. Now whilst there’s nothing new in the idea of heat-retention cooking, this piece of kit does look a handy addition to an overlander’s...
BEING AN OVERLANDER

BEING AN OVERLANDER

I’d never heard the term overlanding prior to our journey through Africa; I hadn’t a clue what an overlander did. I’d heard of the flower power clambering on a double-decker bus in London and falling off it in Kathmandu, but they were all hippies and...
MALI: MEMORIES OF CHRISTMAS PAST

MALI: MEMORIES OF CHRISTMAS PAST

Christmas Eve in Bamako was disorientating; the heat and the dust, the call of the muezzin echoing over the city. Some places, the odd cafe, restaurant and shop, displayed strips of tinsel and garish-coloured balls. Out in the street Santa Claus appeared in the guise...
TRIBUTE TO THE DEFENDER

TRIBUTE TO THE DEFENDER

THE LAND ROVER 110 COUNTY, SOUTHERN ALGERIA (October 1988). TWO YEARS LATER THE MODEL BECAME THE LAND ROVER DEFENDER. We rise early to catch the dawn; volcanic plugs creep from the darkness, their distinctive forms deflecting the sunlight, casting long shadows over...
RAILWAY TO THE GODS

RAILWAY TO THE GODS

THE NORTH FACE OF THE EIGER. BERNESE OBERLAND, SWITZERLAND. Since the late 1600s, for the young elite of England and northern Europe, the Grand Tour had become something of a right of passage. Such a journey offered the traveller an opportunity to gibber in foreign...
THE AMULET’S PLACE

THE AMULET’S PLACE

SUNSET OVER THE PACIFIC. VANCOUVER, CANADA. When the explorer Mungo Park trudged into the African bush in the late 18th century he was fascinated by the Africans’ attachment to their amulets, or saphies, as they were called along the banks of the Gambia river...
CANADA: A LANDMARK IN OUR JOURNEY

CANADA: A LANDMARK IN OUR JOURNEY

THE LEGEND OF CHIEF MOUNTAIN Apparently the first white men clambered up Chief Mountain in 1892. When they reached the summit it’s said they stumbled across the bleached skull of a bison. Such a discovery undoubtedly intrigued them: just how did the skull of a...
THROUGH IDAHO TO MONTANA

THROUGH IDAHO TO MONTANA

THREE REASONS WHY TODAY IS JUST “ONE OF THOSE DAYS” A bowl of cornflakes and a fog of diesel exhaust never make for a great combination. The exhaust causes us to gag and choke and very soon, if we stay in here much longer, we’ll be completely dead....
WYOMING: BRONCOS AND BULLS

WYOMING: BRONCOS AND BULLS

How much would you need to be paid to ride an “X-Treme” bull? Whatever it is would never be enough. I’ve no doubt the dudes riding these wild bulls are some of the toughest sportsmen in the world. I reckon eight seconds on the back of an X-Treme bull...
ACROSS THE GREAT PLAINS

ACROSS THE GREAT PLAINS

‘THE PLAINS ARE LARGE AND WIDE. WE ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE PLAINS. IT IS OUR HOME AND THE BUFFALO HAS BEEN OUR FOOD ALWAYS.’ CROWFOOT, APATOHSI PIKUNI (BLACKFOOT) 1877. (THE PHOTO IS A DEPICTION OF A BISON HUNT AND SUNDANCE CEREMONY PAINTED ON ELK SKIN) My...
IMAGES OF THE CANYONLANDS

IMAGES OF THE CANYONLANDS

THE GRAND CANYON IS ONE OF THOSE PLACES THAT, NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU’VE SEEN THE PHOTOGRAPHS, THE REALITY NEVER FAILS TO OVERWHELM THE SENSES. HERE IS A LAND THAT HAS TORN ITSELF APART, REVEALING A SEQUENCE OF ROCK LAYERS THAT SERVE AS A WINDOW INTO TIME....