I think I must be crazy.
After suffering through the typical Ohio winter (read: cold, wet, icy, snowy), there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel. March has arrived. The sun is actually shining this week. And the promise of warmer temperatures is on the horizon.
And yet, next week, I'll be subjecting myself to even COLDER winter weather.
Because I'm going to Canada.
Not just Canada, though, but northern Canada — the true Great White North.
I've been invited by Travel Manitoba and Frontiers North to spend a week discovering Manitoba. The objective of the trip is to chase the illusive Northern Lights up near Hudson Bay, but I'll also be getting a taste of local and indigenous culture while I'm there.
To say I'm excited would be an understatement.
Over the past few years, I've made it a point to explore a bit more of my own continent, as well as venturing abroad. There's so much to see and do in North America, but it makes me sad that many people aren't aware of all the amazing options. This chance to discover a Canadian province that most travelers don't know much about, therefore, is right up my alley — THIS is what I love to use my blog to do.
In order to get you just as excited and pumped as I am about this trip, here's a brief look at what I'll be up to during my week in Manitoba:
Sunday, March 10
I'll be flying to Winnipeg today, and will basically have the afternoon to myself to do a bit of exploring. I'll be staying near The Forks, where the Red and Assiniboine rivers meet. I'll admit to knowing very little about Winnipeg, so if anyone has any suggestions for ways to occupy myself, please do share them!
Monday, March 11
Today will be dedicated almost entirely to the Manitoba Museum. We'll be starting out the day with a visit to the Planetarium for a show all about the Aurora Borealis, followed by a photography workshop on how to best capture the dancing lights. The science (and photography) nerd in me is really looking forward to this. Afterwards we'll be giving the “People of the North” program a try, where we'll learn all about the traditional lives of the Inuit people.
Tuesday, March 12
We'll be bidding Winnipeg farewell today and heading north to Churchill, a little town up on the Hudson Bay. Churchill is known for its beluga whales in the summer, polar bears in the fall, and Northern Lights in the winter. In fact, it's supposed to be one of the top three places to see the Aurora in the world! The Lights will have to wait, though, because as soon as we arrive, we'll be doing an activity that I've been wanting to do properly for years — dogsledding! (SO EXCITED.) At night, assuming the weather cooperates, we'll be headed out in a Tundra Buggy to hopefully catch sight of the Lights.
Wednesday, March 13
I'll need my warm thermal layers today, because the activity on tap is snowshoeing! Definitely not an activity I ever expected to partake in, but one that I'm certainly interested to experience. At night, once again, we'll head out in the Tundra Buggy.
Thursday, March 14
Our last full day in Churchill will include a tour of the town and surrounding area, a visit to the Eskimo Museum, and one more shot at spotting the lights in our Tundra Buggy.
Friday, March 15
We're headed back to Winnipeg today after one last outing in Churchill. Anyone have any great suggestions for a Friday night in Winnipeg?
Saturday, March 16
It'll be back to Ohio today. Hopefully I will still have all my fingers and toes in tact after the cold of Churchill.
So yes, call me crazy for heading to temperatures that look like this:
But I'm excited. Really, really excited. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that the stars (or solar activity) will align and the conditions will be right at least one night for the Northern Lights!
If you'd like to follow along with me on this trip, I'll be doing my best to post updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also follow the #MBlights hashtag on Twitter, and follow both @TravelMBMedia and @FrontiersNorth to see what I'm up to.
Also, if there's anything you REALLY want to see/hear/read about during this trip, be sure to let me know!