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.

This was last year on Seymour mtn.

Photo by Eyesplash, on Flickr

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!

The Forks Bridge at dusk (Winnipeg, MB)

Photo by AJ Batac, on Flickr

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.

Churchill

Photo by em_j_bishop, on Flickr

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.

Tundra vehicle under the northern lights

Photo by Travel Manitoba, on Flickr

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!

 

 

 

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45 Responses to I’m Headed to the Great White North

  1. Erik says:

    Looks like an awesome trip! I’ve heard really good things about Winnipeg, too!
    Erik recently posted..So, Yeah, I’m Going (back) to Europe…

  2. Laurie says:

    I’m not a Winnipeg expert but am one province over so have been there a few times. The Forks has a good choice of restaurants and yummy Cinnamon buns for a breakfast treat. The Winnipeg Legislative Buildings (like your state capitals) might be worth a visit as well if you have time. If it wasn’t winter I’d tell you to go to St. Boniface Winnipeg’s French quarter or The Exchange – the arts district. I’ve never been to Winnipeg in the winter – they call it Winterpeg if that gives you a clue but then I am from Saskatchewan and it’s just as cold here!!! I envy you Churchill – it’s on the bucket list but I want to go when the polar bears are out and about which is early November. It’s a destination for different seasons though – you can see beluga whales in the summer. And dogsledding….never done it. I tried to go for training runs on wheels when I was in the Yukon and NWT in the fall and got rained out!! I guess I have to bite the bullet and head further north in the winter…somehow heading south beckons more for some reason. Have fun – can’t wait to read all about it!!
    Laurie recently posted..Scotland here I come!

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Cinnamon buns for breakfast? I’m SOLD. ;)

      I think we will be eating one night in the French Quarter, so hopefully I’ll get a little taste (no pun intended) of it then.

      I’ve always wanted to go to Churchill for the polar bears, but I’m also looking forward to dogsledding and possibly seeing the Northern Lights!

  3. Ahh dogsledding and the lights?! You’re so lucky. :)
    Kieu ~ GQ trippin recently posted..Around the World in Mickey D’s

  4. Jaclyn says:

    i am SO jealous! This is an amazing trip! I’m from Boston so I hear with the brutal winters but that just means your going to be better prepared because you can handle the snow!

  5. Amanda this trip up north sounds amazeballs! I’m a big fan of snowboarding so anything snow, white, winter wonderland excites the hell out of me! The lights and dogsledding are an added bonus – a true delight if you ask me! Can’t wait to read all about it!
    Antoinette | love.antoinette recently posted..Exploring Barranco in Lima: A Bohemian Enclave

  6. Michayla says:

    I’ve been Dog Sledding in Winnipeg very fun. Just last week birds were a singing and snow was melting and everyone was thinking Spring was coming… Well last night (Sun) Huge snowstorm hit! Boo lol. I hear there’s good restaurants in Cordyn and Osborne in Winnipeg. Check our Urban Spoon. There’s Ballet, NHL Games, Dinisaur Museum , Best Mall is ( Polo Park) Not to scare you but be careful when walking in Winnipeg (Downtown and Sherbrooke areas) Alot of crime.

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks for the suggestions, Michayla (and for the word of warning). It does seem to be warming up in Winnipeg if the weather.com forecast is anything to go by, but I’m sure there will still be plenty of snow up in Churchill!

  7. Jamie says:

    Your itinerary sounds great! I hope you have good luck with the Northern Lights (that’s towards the top of my bucket list!) and an overall amazing trip :)
    Jamie recently posted..Scouts… dance!

    • DangerousBiz says:

      The Lights have been high up on my list for a long time, too! I’m trying not to get my hopes up TOO high, but it would definitely be amazing to see them!

  8. Jemma says:

    This sounds like a great vacation and I’m also excited for you. Please post photos of the Great White North here after your vacation. :)
    Jemma recently posted..Lantaw Floating Native Restaurant

  9. Adrian Qais says:

    I’m so envious of your trip! You are going to have an amazing time. BTW – love your website!

    AQ
    Adrian Qais recently posted..Japan in 3 weeks

  10. memographer says:

    That’s awesome! Can’t wait for your new posts, Amanda!
    Take more pics :)
    Good luck!
    Have fun!
    memographer recently posted..The Streets of Berlin

  11. Andrea says:

    Wow, have fun! And dress warm :)

  12. Lpeg says:

    I am Super jealous!! I have my phone on alerts, each time the aurora borealis acts up, in hope that it’s clear and strong enough for me to see in Maine! I’ve been wanting to see the lights, and even thought about going to Northern Quebec next winter to see them.
    Lpeg recently posted..Eurotrip

  13. Alouise says:

    This sounds awesome. Honestly whenever I mention wanting to visit Manitoba at home everyone asks me, “why?” I think every place has it’s good points – visiting Churchill is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, and I’ve heard Winnipeg is a pretty underrated city. Can’t wait to hear how your trip goes.

    Also not knowing anything about Fahrenheit I converted the -18F temperature on that screen shot to Celsius so I’d have an understanding of how cold that is, and yep that’s a pretty cold temperature. Don’t forget that the wind will make the temperature feel even colder than it is, so keep bundled up.
    Alouise recently posted..My Canada- It’s Fantastic

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I agree – I think just about every destination has something worthwhile to offer, as long as you’re willing to look for it.

      And don’t worry, I will keep very bundled up!

  14. Steve says:

    It looks like it’s going to be a great trip. Wrap up warm. I cannot to read about your adventure.
    Steve recently posted..Statistics – February 2013

  15. John says:

    Thats awesome. I lived in Canada for 2 years, im sure you will love it. I never made it to the parts you are going to though, as its so expensive to fly within Canada.

    • DangerousBiz says:

      It always baffles me how expensive it is to get around within Canada! I’m really glad to have the opportunity to see some parts of Canada that even many locals haven’t.

  16. Sammi says:

    i am sooo jealous of the dog sledding

  17. Jarmo says:

    Brrr! I’m getting cold just thinking about it! But it should be really cool (pun intended) ;) Make sure you dress warm!
    Jarmo recently posted..Driving to Arundel – the Sussex road trip

  18. That looks like an awesome trip. We spent some time in North Western Canada and Alaska last fall and it was mind blowing! The Northern Lights are indescribably beautiful. Have a wonderful time and enjoy!
    Kenin Bassart recently posted..Visiting The Flintstones Bedrock City AZ, A Road Trip Back in Time!

  19. Leigh says:

    This is a trip I’d love to do – and swim with teh beluga whales in summer.
    Leigh recently posted..Snowshoeing to Lake Agnes Teahouse Above Lake Louise

  20. Andrew says:

    Bundle up and stay warm. Best of luck getting a sight of the northern lights.
    Dogsledding looks so much fun. I hope I get a chance at some point.
    Andrew recently posted..Walking the Ihlara Valley in Cappadocia, Turkey

  21. hayley says:

    Getting caught up on emails and by now you’ll have finished your trip. I love Canada, spent seven weeks there in 2004 including visits to Winnipeg and Churchill. This was October and way up north I was able to see polar bears, which was so fantastic. Narrowly missed the Northern Lights so that’s still big on my to do list. Look forward to your posts.

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Yup, actually just got back last night! I have a bunch to write about though, and can’t wait to share everything soon!

      Jealous you were up in Churchill for the polar bear season. I’d love to go back for that sometime!

  22. Some of those photos above are just beautiful! Sounds like you’ve got an amazing time planned! Canada is such a gorgeous place too, you can’t go wrong :)
    Elle-Rose Williams recently posted..A few words about this beautiful place. Queenstown.

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