health & fitness, travel

Skiing March 2021

Pandemic seemed a perfect time to get on to the slopes.

Staying in Banff for 5 nights, I enjoyed 1 day at Louise, 2 at Sunshine.

Loving my new Shady Ray ski goggles.

It was ALL great. But my favourite run is the (easiest line) on Eagle Creek coming off Goatseye.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

health & fitness, product endorsements, travel

Switching to Shoppers Drug Mart

Shoppers Drug Mart is Canada’s largest pharmacy chain with over 1000 stores.

As I hope to become — yet again — a traveller, I’m thinking it might be better (in future) to have in-person access to all these stores.

Since I went on blood pressure medications a few years ago, I’ve been dealing with local, independent pharmacies. Good service, but they rarely have what I need in stock.

So … I’ve made a second trip back in person to pick up my DRUGS.

That’s been a hassle a few times over the years, as I travel so much.

The independents and Shoppers both now ship for free — but I have more faith in the big company.

Actually, I would have gone with Amazon Canada Pharmacy — but they haven’t launched that service yet.

ethics, health & fitness, travel

ESSENTIAL Travel to Banff

I flew for the first time in a year — Vancouver Island to Calgary.

Essential travel to get my first vaccine March 18th.

Essential Doctor’s appointment next day. I hadn’t had an annual medical in over 15 months.

LAB TESTS Calgary are run by a monopoly ~ Alberta Precision Laboratories. Not enough capacity — obviously — as my first available slot was April 12th.

Happily, I could get lab tests in Banff March 23rd.

Travel out of Banff is non-essential, … so I better stay until my vaccine starts to kick in. 😀

Lounging-in-place in my US $60+ / night private hostel room. Only departing for essential food and drink.

And EXERCISE, of course. That’s essential too.

McCharles family, travel

My Year of Living Safely

I’ve been a year (mostly) sheltering in place on Vancouver Island.

Off the island only twice.

Three times if you count my first flight — to Calgary for my 1st jab: Thursday, March 18th.

I did have one helicopter ride last July.

In small town Parksville, most of the year we had zero COVID cases. In fact, right now is worst, so far. I’m double masking.

Highlights have been spending time with my parents. Mom and Dad get their first vaccine dose next week.

15 multi-day cycling trips along with plenty of local hiking. I’ll do more of that in 2021, for sure.

My main new hobby with all that COVID time is video editing.

I’m building up a new hiking YouTube channel. Subscribe.

Waterfront Walkway, Parksville

cycling, hiking, product endorsements, travel

My 1st SERIOUS Tripod

The MeFOTO RoadTrip Air. Weight 2.5 lbs (1.1 kg)

It get’s well deserved GREAT REVIEWS.

I got the RoadTrip rather than the Backpacker — even though it’s a half pound heavier — mainly for the superior ballhead.


I’ll use this day-to-day at home. And on bikepacking trips.

Won’t likely carry it on long hikes because of weight, though the detachable selfie stick is an option.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Looks great. But — in reality — I use my Fotopro uFO 2 tripod 90% of the time.

I like it better than the GorillaPods I’ve used. You can attach to things more reliably.

And it’s only .5 lbs (227 gm)

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

best bike rides, cycling, travel

I want to cycle the Tuscany Trail, Italy

I’ve been researching the best bike rides worldwide. This one appeals.

The Tuscany Trail.

Mountain biking 336 mile (541km) independently … but with many others.

The event starts 30th MAY 2021, but I won’t be there due to the pandemic.  Perhaps 2022.

Click PLAY or watch the 2020 COVID edition on YouTube.

NOTE – video editor is clearly in COVID denial.

Click PLAY or watch it on Vimeo.