Friday, November 14, 2014

Never stop exploring: the Yukon Territory.

For years I’d heard the stories from close friends who’d lived in the Yukon, friends who described the place passionately with hands and arms flailing and eyes wide open and alive, “the views are like nothing you’ve ever seen with endless untouched forests, pristine rivers and lakes and big and inviting mountain ranges everywhere,” they’d tell me. “You can basically walk out your door to 1000 miles of nature all around you.” I listened with keen interest as I’ve always been into outdoor adventure. 

And then came the larger-than-life stories of characters that they’d met in the Yukon. “There’s this one guy that I became friends with who’s a total animal on skis,” recalled Anthony, who’s now back in Montreal. “Basically he was this unknown and unassuming guy who all but walked out of the woods and decided on a whim to compete in a national cross-country race and he destroyed the world-class field of competitors. And he did the same thing in a cross-country mountain bike race too. We climbed and skied all kinds of mountains together - you have to meet him!” The stories continued, the years passed and as it happens, these friends of mine no longer live in the Yukon.

Then I met Ray. Ray is one of the most passionate and warm-hearted people that I have ever crossed paths with. And guess what? He told me similar stories – the epic adventures to be had, the amazing people and the unreal natural landscape all around. And just like my friends before, when he described the Yukon he spoke with reckless passion – arms flailing and eyes glowing - he was practically dancing when he talked about the place. Then he invited me up, and I went. We mountain biked and our trip was magical.