3D Floor at Christina Lake Welcome Center

Livin’ the #ChristinaLakeBC Life 

Submitted by ~ Sadie Sweete (Christina Lake, B.C.)

When my husband and I were coasting through life in a metropolis we knew this was not where we wanted our son to grow up. We both grew up in a small town and loved it. My husband had relatives at Christina Lake and after a few visits we decided to settle here; we loved the lake and the wilderness of the area. It is not fully developed but still has character and history, some of which was built on the lives of generational vacationers. The area has many amazing frontier stories that are only a generation away, not hundreds of years; and we found this exciting. People in this area still get fire wood and canning remains a big summer event. There are quilting, sewing and knitting groups; not the ones started by a fad like in the city, but are what have always been. Healthy living is more of a way of life and not just a craze; hunting is a very normal way to get meat. A winter staple? Deer and Elk steaks! The Elders of the area, ever resourceful and ingenious, are accustomed to getting things done without having everything at their fingertips. They share stories like, “We didn’t have a bulldozer so we ordered a kit and build it!” The outdoor life here rocks! Our favorite things include hunting for old abandoned mines, water skiing, biking and swimming, fishing, geocaching, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, skating on the lake and snow shoeing. We never get bored and most of these things are free or dirt cheap. There are of course some down sides to the lake, like no sidewalks and, because the community runs along a highway it can be a problem. The highway can be loud and the speed is 60km/h which we think is too fast for a small town – oh and it’s not a town per se, it’s in the Regional District. It would be nice if it could be ‘a town’ as it has issues and challenges that only pertain to un-incorporation. But all smaller places face these same challenges and as it grows, as long as we all work together, changes will happen.

Christina Lake BC

CNC Cover jpeg

Crows Nest Corridor Magazine – Life in Boundary Country

“In 2003 I relocated to the Boundary Country from Northern British Columbia. The Crow’s Nest Corridor became a little piece of heaven and I’m proud to call it home.  The area is rife with history, secrets and a natural beauty that rivals the greatest B.C. Destinations; but it wouldn’t be what it is today if it wasn’t for the ‘Locals’. Their knowledge, lore, history, ideals and personal accounts of the region will likely enchant you, as they have me. What better way to understand the dynamics of this Destination, “The Crow’s Nest Corridor” than through the voices of the people. Please enjoy this magazine I created for the area.”

Kelly Little, Publisher

Crows Nest Corridor Magazine (click link to read – don’t worry it won’t clog up your computer)

*All stories and images are copyrighted – image credits Kelly Little




#ChristinaLakeBC – Trails Upgrades


View of Christina Lake BC from one of our trails!

Any local person or seasoned visitor to Christina Lake B.C. Canada will tell you the same thing, “It’s not just a place, but a lifestyle on your door-step!” Whether your passion rests in Soft Sport Recreation or you take it to the extreme, this is the place to do it all – in, on and out of the water! You may have noticed a number of changes over this past year that support active living and progressive initiatives geared toward community development; one of which focuses on the myriad of trails that meander throughout the region.

We are home to some of the most picturesque sections of the Trans Canada Trail and many others that are not as publicized or meticulously developed but, equally exciting. Our trails are utilized by a diverse demographic with special interests such as, mountain bikers, hikers, birders, snow-shoe enthusiasts, cross country skiers, horse-back riders, photographers, naturalists and adrenaline junkies alike.

Like the residents and stay-cationers of ‘the Lake’, the Christina Gateway Community Development Association (CGCDA) and the Christina Lake Tourism Society (CLTS) are proud of the outdoor space we all play in, share and enjoy. In an effort to promote and increase activity on the trails we are undertaking a project that will create a well-known, well documented, user-friendly trail environment.

Some of the things you will notice in the near future will be the installation of 250 signs along the trails that are branded with QR Codes so smart-phone users can access interesting information on our website, and the installation of numerous bike racks at regular community gathering spots. Along with the hard-copy maps we are producing we are also creating and geo-tagging some very exciting interactive maps online.

Our mission is to digitally document, using still photography and video, all of the trails in Area C; promote them regionally, nationally and internationally and continue with further trail development. This summer you will likely see myself, Kelly Little, Vice President of the Christina Lake Tourism Society, Dylan Fontaine and Pierce LeClair out and about documenting the trails and its current users; give us a big smile if we snap your picture and don’t hesitate to stop for a chat – we’d like to share your trail stories, kudos or concerns.

Happy Trails! Kelly Little, on behalf of the CGCDA & CLTS



Bear UNAWARE in British Columbia

In the rugged, pristine mountains of British Columbia walks the Black Bear and its bigger brother the Grizzly. In sharing our habitat with these magnificent creatures, we must remember to be respectful of their presence as we are their guests, in their native lands. Every year hundreds of black and grizzly bears are killed due to human negligence, a result of habituation. Below my Co-worker Pierce LeClair describes how you too can help kill the bears!


When camping

  • Leave your garbage strewn all over the place in a very slovenly way
  • Cook lots of bacon and eggs and rub your hands on your clothing
  • Keep your food and coolers inside or near your tent

When Hiking

  • Preferably, hike alone
  • Do not make any loud noises as to spook the bears, walk against the wind
  • Apply a liberal dose of bear repellant to you and your family members as deterrent, especially around the face area
  • Pick the prolific edible berries in their vast patches not caring to look up from time to time
  • Let your dog roam freely to antagonize any bear that may be in the area

If you encounter a bear

  • Shout at the bear to get its attention
  • Run away as fast as you can
  • Climb a tree frantically
  • If a mother bear displays aggressiveness towards you immediately try to hold one of her cubs hostage to negotiate terms of mutual agreement
  • If attack is imminent from a black bear, play dead

* In case you haven’t figured out the absurdity of this post – Please do the exact opposite of what is suggested!*

Columbia and Western Rail Trail in Christina Lake, BC

The Trans Canada Trail offers an abundance and variety of scenery to observe while in the Christina Lake area.  The part of the trail known to locals as the, Columbia and Western Rail Trail provides outdoor enthusiasts with views of ‘The Lake’; full views of the quaint town of Christina Lake and the vein of Hwy 3 that connects the area to the rest of the Kootenay Boundary and BC areas.  There are also interesting land forms and historical sights to be seen as well.  This part of the Trans Canada Trail starts from Santa Rosa Road ending at Fife Road, completely staying within the Christina Lake area.

As you enter Christina Lake from Grand Forks, go over the bridge and turn right onto Santa Rosa Road across the street from The Welcome Center.  There isn’t a Trail Marker from Hwy 3 or up Santa Rosa Road at the trail head so keep your eyes open for both the turnoff onto Santa Rosa Rd and for the small gravelled, ten car parking lot which will be on the left hand side up Santa Rosa Road.

At the trail head which starts from the parking lot, there is a nice map board with information about the trail and the Christina Lake area.  I always take a picture of on-site maps provided , with my camera phone.  It serves as a convenient guide and tool that I can use to get a better sense of direction while I explore the trail.  If you’re not one to naturally relieve yourself in the bush, the small but cozy, single red wood outhouse washroom for public use should provide the in-home privacy one misses from the city.  A picnic table is also parked here if you’d like to sit and enjoy a meal or rest the legs for a moment.

The trail itself is a part of history, previously housing the Canadian Pacific Railway, now covered with dirt for easier transport on foot.  Many portions of the trail have had improvements to reinforce the ground with added substrate; decking and railings installed where old trestles still exist.  Some portions still have the old stone laid retaining walls, built by Italians years ago, securing the terrain in place as railway cars rumbled by, now keeping erosion to a minimum. DSC_0036


As one enters the trail, they are welcomed by a long stretch of tree-lined pathway which is double-wide and gravelled.  Depending on what time of day you are hiking the trees offer a tiny retreat to shady areas away from the heat.  Easy to hike and bike, the trail stays fairly flat most of the way with only a slight degree in elevation. I nicknamed the left side of the trail, ‘The Human side’, where one can take in a full town view of Christina Lake.  Obtain a town map with buildings, one could easily play a game of ‘I Spy’ or become a Geographer and locate things from the map to the view insight.  Views of the south end of ‘The Lake’ including the marina can also be observed.

If you look at the lake’s shoreline, the part between the Welcome Center and the main strip, you will spot a light green covering in the water separated by a rope buoy.  This green cover is known as Eurasian Water – Milfoil, an invading water plant that is trying to take over the lake.  Attempts are in place with Christina Lake Stewardship and ….. to remove and flush out the water weed in hopes to keep its population in check.

The right side of the trail I call, ‘The Nature side’ adorned with unique rocky cliff sides reaching for the skies in a myriad of varying colors thanks in part to lichen, mosses and different minerals that call these rocky edges home.   Even more interesting are the small caves dotted along the way which sit at the base of the natural rock walls.  Some are just dents barely providing cover to the elements, while others seem more precisely dug out and can fit multiple people inside, an interesting hide-out if a sudden storm were to prevail without notice.  When and why these caves exist is a mystery but for now offer interesting habitats for wildlife or just a cool spot to experience as a human.  The trail is also great for bird enthusiasts as various species flutter and tweet about overhead and in front of you.  Eagle and Hawk sightings are daily phenomenon here.DSC_0096

Pierce Kissing an Inukshuk!

So take a stroll or bike ride along the historic Trans Canada Trail; on the Columbia and Western Rail Trail, where one can certainly enjoy an assortment of scenery to feast the eyes from man-made buildings and landscape to natures wild and beautiful.


Submitted by Melissa Shim

Christina Lake, BC Trail System

DSC_0044-001 2014-06-09 11.08.59


Santa Rosa Trail (Part of The Trans Canada Trail) Experience.

It’s Monday morning, the sun is shining and a light breeze blows gently over my face as I walk my way into the office.  The current weather  forecasted for the day is nothing less of sunshine at Christina Lake, but my moving weekend from Vancouver over the weekend didn’t go quite as planned, leaving me with dark circle and bags under my eyes having had only two hours of sleep the night before.  Work duties call and the thought of staying awake is a challenge that I know I must conquer as my work day slowly unfolds itself.

Around mid-morning, Bob Dupee, from Wild Ways takes me by surprise and invites me to join the rest of the Christina Lakes Trail team, on our first trail bike-riding adventure.  Despite my unrested self, I couldn’t say no to such a beautiful day with an adventure that was sure to entice & entertain my feast for wilderness and wildlife.

Wild Ways is where the adventure begins!  Upon arriving, a bike sits in the stand awaiting my frame to load on and ride around.  After a quick test drive and one change to another bike, I am now fitted with wheels that can take me anywhere, so long as my legs can keep up.  With a nicely fitted helmet, “Safety First,” as Bob says, I’m ready to ride!  There are four of us plus Bob, who has now become our designated tour guide.  After a brief huddle we begin the ride.

Our ride begins going West along Hwy 3 for a short distance before heading through a small trail back towards the Christina Lake Gateway building.  We cross the street here, and head up Santa Rosa Road with a 2% incline.  Five minutes in, I start to feel my heart rate elevate, my breathing starts to increase, and it is at this time that the bike and I become best friends.  I fiddle with the gears and find the perfect ratio of tension and my human power, making it to the top of the hill at the headway of the trail, slightly out of breathe and flushed pinked.  We have two trail choices to choose from here; the older, thinner, forested, original Dewdney Trail or the more open, wider Santa Rosa Trail.  With Bobs pre-designated route, we officially begin our first Trail ride.

The Santa Rosa Trail is an old rail system, now covered with dirt and fill, previously used by the mining industry to transport resources in and out of the area.  To the left hillsides galore, with towering trees and newly budding shrubs peer at us.  To the right the valley below, still used today to farm cattle, green with long grasses and the Kettle River flowing in a harmonious song and dance of water.  As we ride along, feelings of peace and serenity immerse my emotions, just us, the bikes, sunshine and the scenery.

Up ahead I can see a bridge, upon closer inspection, and with Bob’s interpretational story, I realize, like the trail, the bridge too, is a piece of history.  Made up of wood lattices, posts and beams, the old bridge used to house the track used by CPR.  Attached to the bridge are a couple of platforms about 10ft x10ft.  As Bob explains, these were used as water stations to douse the fires out from the train engines as they passed by.  Below on either side you can view the river churning and flowing.

As we wind our way across the pebbly trail, we suddenly start to hear a roar.  It is no lion but instead the noise of rushing water being tunneled and forced through a small narrowing of the river flowing into what locals call Cascade Falls.  Bob tells us to hide the bikes and we all make our way through some brush and emerge on a rock face cliff, below the water is twirling and roaring in a frenzy to spew down the falls and out into the river, carrying with it minerals and natures debris, that will one day give more soil to grow food.

Past another trestle bridge, we are greeted by a paved road, Hwy 365 and all I can think about is how much I don’t want this adventure to end.  We have a short debrief and hydration session before moving off again.  Bob advises us that we can go left along Hwy 365 for 10 minutes and we’d hit the US, Canadian border.  The thought of cheaper groceries and booze is very motivating but we continue along, crossing the street, bike a small distance before parking the bikes.  Now on foot, we cross the highway and make our way up a bank.

At the top, stones stare at us.  These are not just any stones, they are tomb stones, sitting in small rows, most of them cross-shaped and without inscription.  We are at the site of an old cemetery dating back to as early as the 1800’s, proofed by a date inscribed on one of the only original square tomb stones still intact.  The newer cross shaped stones are a result of a revitalization project, enacted when the site was found a few years earlier, entangled in flora, untouched and unseen for years, and have become the markers for those laid to rest over a century ago.  The site is peaceful and just beyond the line of trees you can hear the soft hum of traffic on the highway.   It’s hard for me to imagine how a resting place could be so forgotten and lost in time, but in the same thought, I am graciously awed by the fact that the living could care so much for the dead.

We head back down the bank across the highway, pick up our bikes that have been hiding in the bush and continue riding along Hwy 3, towards Wild Ways, past the office.  The highway is, “the most unsafe part of the ride,” according to Bob because you never know how well our humans can drive their motorized vehicles.  We all attempt to stay in a single line behind each other and on as much of the pebbled shoulder as possible, while small pebbles fly past us as they leave cars wheel wells.

After 3 hours of Biking the trail we arrive back at Wild Ways, all eyes and facial structures in-tact, with slightly jello feeling muscles, we are all reluctant to return our wheels and safety helmets for we know that the adventure is ending.  A big thank-you to Bob, who provided us trail interpretation the entire way.  I know my colleagues will attest that this is one of the best work days we’ve ever experienced.  My sleepless night has become a thing of my morning and I feel invigorated from not from the exercise, but the historical scenery I’ve experienced through the ride.

I feel more connected to the natural surroundings in and around my workplace and I am more familiar and comfortable with yet another trail.  I have now officially become part of the history of travelers who have traveled the same path for decades and feel grateful that I live in such a beautiful place.  I know that the summer promises to be full of scenery, wildlife and historical places and I have a better understanding of how important it is to promote such beautiful places so that we can share with the world our little piece of Canadian Paradise, to protect and preserve, Christina Lake.


Submitted by Melissa Shim



Three Safe Places for Women to Travel Solo

“Exploring the world out of harm’s way”

While the privilege of exploring the world is usually a soul-enriching experience, travelers must never lose sight of the potential dangers that could be lurking in exotic locales. Indeed, anyone heading to a new city should maintain a sense of alert vigilance in the midst of taking in different sights, sounds, and tastes. The following cities aren’t just interesting places on their own merits, they’re also widely regarded as some of the safest cities in the world, especially for lone female travelers.

Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark, officially the happiest country on Earth, according to the UN’s 2013 World Happiness Report. Copenhagen can be accessed in the United Kingdom from the Heathrow Airport which is located to the west of London. According to the designated Heathrow airport page on parking4less, the Long Stay and Short Stay car parks are often patrolled and monitored by CCTV cameras to ensure maximum security. In addition to stunning architecture and renowned designer-goods shopping, Copenhagen was recently awarded the 2014 European Green Capital award that recognizes cities with consistently high environmental standards. Moreover, Copenhagen is home to Bakken, the world’s oldest (426 years old, to be exact) amusement park.


Bakken, the world’s oldest (426 years old, to be exact) amusement park

Ottawa is a diverse multicultural haven that is home to several charming attractions like the Canadian War Museum, Parliament Hill, and the ByWard Market – a world-famous farmer’s market and shopping district with a mind-boggling abundance of local produce, artisanal breads and cheeses, handmade clothing and jewelry, and other specialty items can be had for reasonable prices. Pork enthusiasts can head over to Murray Street, a charcuterie bar where a whole pig’s head (preferably ordered 48 hours in advance) is smoked and roasted for a group of eight or nine people.


ByWard Market – Ottawa Canada

Oslo is another city brimming with enchanting attractions that can be admired and enjoyed for free. Whether it’s the collection of iron and bronze pieces at the Vigelandsparken Sculpture Park or the massive murals of the Oslo City Hall,  the 7,500 species of plants in the Botanical Garden in Tøyen or the waterfalls and iron bridges of Akerselva River, all of these places (and more) can be explored just by going for a long walk within the city.

Oslo City HallMurals inside Oslo City Hall


Travel Bloggers: Deconstructing the Work of Ancient Explorers

“The Red Queen Theory states that ‘in order for things to stay the same, they must change.’  Today’s Travel Bloggers are that change.”

Human history started with the record of the written word; “wedge-shaped” writing, Cuneiform, in which symbols were silently pressed into wet clay tablets using a triangular-tipped stylus in Mesopotamia.


The craft soon evolved into the chinking sounds of words being carved on stone tablets. Eventually, whispering scratches could be heard as humans began inking on papyrus.

Today the ancient sound of written words has a new vibration, a quiet tap, tap, tap on our keyboards. The purpose of these words is the same; but the new sound we hear resonates very loudly in our universal consciousness and tells us an entirely different story than those we have heard for millenniums.

“Travel writing is nothing new; it is as old as the history of man-kind.”

The stories are still the result of global exploration and the words still heard (read) among the restless murmurs of slaves seeking stewardship, truth, peace, freedom and spirituality.

Those slaves are today’s Conscious Travelers and you, the Bloggers, are the explorers who are leading and changing the way.

Historically words from the explorers were used to divide, conquer, rape, pillage, extract and capitalize on the earth’s resources to gain power and riches, we now use them to repair the selfish endeavors of the likes of Christopher Columbus; to sustain and restore that which we have nearly lost in the name of progression.

“Where once the ancient travel writer wrote with selfish disregard in an attempt to colonize or de-humanize, the New Age Explorer uses words to re-humanize

“Travel Writers, more specifically Bloggers who practice and promote Responsible Tourism are revolutionizing the art of travel and deconstructing the works of Ancient Explorers.”

Through our explorations and shared words we have become time-travelers on a mission to liberate our planet.

“We are turning the spool counter-clockwise and re-wrapping the yarns that have unraveled civilization.”


A Professional Traveler + Freelance Journalist + Photographer = A Valuable International Location Scout!

As Professional Travelers, Freelance Journalists/Writers and Photographers we are skilled at ‘seeing’ a place, scene or destination through the eyes of an audience.
This job is not only about discovering and sharing breathtaking or unusual landscapes, cultures or backdrops; it’s about atmosphere and character.

“It’s about turning a visual setting into a tangible feeling.”


About seeing a place for what it was, what it is and what it could become.
Ours is the art of persuasion, seeing the world as the artist/researchers we are, understanding the subtle nuances of audience expectation and, effectively conveying that message.
As Professional Travelers our minds are like photo-albums over-flowing with images of all the things we’ve discovered on our journeys.
It’s not unusual for someone in the trade to simply see an image and know exactly what part of world it was captured.

“We are known for choosing a destination or location based on the message we want to convey at any given time.”


We regularly associate a place with its Geography, Topography and Geology, as much as it’s Culture.
In essence, Professional Travelers are libraries, untapped resources when it comes to scouting out locations for print, commercials, t.v. and film.
We are well versed in obtaining permits, clearances and permissions, negotiating deals and co-coordinating  and managing the logistics of the final-shoot and interview for our story.

“We manage our time, travel, finances, people and our foot-print.”

We are organized and professional. We are visual and technical. We are talented artists.

“By mere virtues of our trade, we have become International Location Scouts.”

3 Valley Gap

Top 2 Ways to Become a Trusted Travel Writer: Loyalty and Truth

Do you ever write stories that have negative connotations or do you gloss over them and only focus on the positive?

As Travel Writers our loyalties lie with the Traveler NOT the Destination or service provider.

“Your job is to evaluate and test the service or Destination such as the store owner who hires ‘secret shoppers’ to evaluate the staff.”

The reason for this is two-fold:

1. It sheds light on the hows and whys of improvement.

2. It shows you respect your audience; the reason we write in the first place!

“Your job as a Travel Writer is to be truthful. Although you might not be employed by a media outlet that mandates how you practice your craft you are still bound by writers ethics.”

Leave the fabrications to the powers that be.

As a Travel Writer the most important thing for you to remember is you are not selling a Destination but sharing an experience; based on that alone your audience will decide if they want to buy and, the company or Destination will appreciate your honesty and decide what changes, if any, need made based on your review.

If you hone your words respectfully and honestly, you will become a trusted and valued writer.

Please share our world truthfully – don’t sell it out for a buck – that’s someone else’s job.

Welcome To 1Life196Countries

Welcome to 1LIfe196Countries.com
Welcome to 1Life196Countries.com

 I don’t travel conventionally, so I don’t write for this site that way either. You’ll find some of my proper writing under the headings My Destination Network, Examiner.com and Reviews.

The stories you’ll find here are my musings and, how I unwind after a contract or a sponsored press trip.

You’ll find some interesting narratives and the odd diatribe such as  Tasteless Tourism on the Racist Train!

In the mood for some brain-jarring? Check out the Little Outspoken heading – I hope you’re hungry because there is some serious food for thought hiding in there!

Get comfy, grab a drink – poke around and enjoy yourself!

Maybe, even save a horse or three!

OH! And leave a comment or two – good, bad or indifferent!