Monday, September 19, 2011

long time no update ... :)

all smiles for having finally reached Glacier Lake, phew!

Hello my dear family & friends,

It's been quite awhile since my last post from the Bow Valley where I was tramping about the Canadian Rockies with my new partner Pam. It's been great having such a kindred spirit to connect with at home & out in the "wilds" & "not-so-wilds" wherever our feet have taken us. We've been enjoying our time together so much that last year we decided to head up to the "Great White North" together.

As many of you know, Pam got hired on as one of the new Heritage Presenters (aka Backcountry Interpreters) for Nahanni National Park Reserve up in the Northwest Territories and I was happy to join in on whatever adventures would come our way with such a move :)

It was unfortunate that I would no longer be available to offer Nature Reconnecting hikes & activities for Gaia Collaborative Medicine out of Canmore, but I was comfortable with trusting that opportunities would arise for me to offer my skills & energy to seek out some rewarding activities for me to get involved in as well.

I've been sharing more of my stories & pic's through my Facebook page, which has meant less time for keeping my blog up-to-date :( So, if you'd like to catch up on these stories & pic's since we left the Bow Valley, please check out my photos on Facebook if you are already plugged in to FB, or, you can visit my albums at:

Given Pam's long-standing connection with Parks Canada (~24 years of Summer seasonal work & ~7 years since she first got on with Winter seasonal work as a snowplough driver :) & the fact that this Nahanni postion was only for this past Summer, we are not yet certain of how things will unfold for us this Winter.

Pam & Teresa enjoying a sandbar stop along our paddle to Liidlii Kue (Fort Simpson) fr. the ferry landing 14 km upstream

There are a few prospects on the horizon that could enable both of us to be gainfully employed here in Liidlii Kue (Fort Simpson) for a longer period of time. I recently had an interview with the Arctic Energy Alliance ... to be posted in a new position they created for the community here as a Regional Energy Pathfinder. Pam is waiting for her interview with Parks for a Resource Conservation Technician position here for Nahanni NPR.

So, we'll see what shakes out for us. Pam has also been successful with the request to have her seasonal Winter position transferred to Jasper National Park fr. Lake Louise. So, if the Res. Con. position doesn't happen up here for Pam, she can at least have the opportunity to have a fresh start in Jasper driving the snowploughs again.

Little Miss Yukon ... the gorgeous Husky/German Shepherd that we've been helping take care of ... we also hope to work things out this Autumn so that Yukon can come live with us :)

I'll try to add more pic's into this post real soon, I've uploaded a few pic's for now, but in the meantime, hopefully the link to my Facebook albums will work for you.

Hugs 'n' Bugs, love,

Teresa ... & Pam (aka TiPi) ... & Yukon too

p.s. here's a bit more of the story behind the picture at the beginning of my blog ... I was very pleased the group I was with (as a "canoe-filler" for the 1st 11 days of a 22 day canoe/hiking trip), ... when we finally reached Glacier Lake. We were all absolutely knackered after the 7 and a half hour hike to get to this wonderful spot in Nahanni NPR before heading up the next day for another 7.5 hour hike to get to the Cirque of the Unclimbables, phew!
Quite reminiscent of my tramping adventures Down Unda with the heavy packs & all kings of bushwhacking. The big difference was the more forgiving soil/moss ground that we were hiking on in Nahanni vs. the hard granite underfoot pretty much everywhere I went in Australia (except for the beaches of course)!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Teresa's Summer of '09 (pt. 2)

black wolf & 5 black pups along the Bow Valley Parkway ... what a treat to see these gorgeous black buddies bouncing along in the tall grasses! (20 July 2009)

Hello Dear Friends & Family,

Hoping all is well for each of you wherever you are these days, here's an update I've been meaning to share for quite awhile ... go figure, I had drafted this update last year & never finalized it so that I could post it on my blog until now ... still fun stories & some neat pic's to share nonetheless ... had trouble getting some of the remaining photos uploaded (with my limited highspeed Internet access), last year & even now, so I'll have to try to add those in the next time I am on a solid cyber connection ... ENJOY!!!

JULY 2009

How fortunate & blessed I've been this Summer, with the encounters I've had with my neighbours ... I had the great pleasure of spotting a black wolf two mornings in a row ... through the trees along the Bow Valley Parkway ... & totally loving being on alert for such wildlife viewing opportunities!!!

02 July 2009 - I got totally excited about this morning's encounter with another black wolf ... this one walked right across the Bow Valley Parkway as I came along in my car, our eyes met for a shared gaze after I stopped ... THEN, I found myself looking into the face of another gorgeous wolf, this one, a big grey wolf, stalking its way toward me on the road. Then the two wolves walked slowly along the roadside ditch before they moved into the pine forest nearby.

The more common Columbia ground squirrels, ravens, fresh mountain air have been quite marvelous as well :)


we had front rows seats to the most spectacular encounter btwn. a wapiti (elk) & a grizzly bear ... out on the meadow in front of our staff cabin ...

... eventhough the bear initially scared off the wapiti when it clamoured across the road into the meadow, the wapiti returned & opted to continue eating grass for awhile longer before the disturbance from the many cars that had stopped along the road became too much of a threat for the wapiti to stay around the meadow.

We watched this great show for at least 15 or 20 minutes before the bear eventually did move on ... to get away from the many cars that were stopping & watching/taking pictures & as the daylight was fading.

A couple of the guys saw the bear about half an hour later in the campground beside our cabin!


here's one of my favourite pic's from this Summer ...

20 July - I was very honoured & excited to see another one of my black wolf neighbours ... this one was also close to the road as I returned back home to the cabin ... BUT this time, ... the black wolf I saw ... was accompanied by FIVE little pups, were truly a delight to see on my way home from only half a shift since I was not feeling very well that day :) :) :) The lovely little pack of wolves was absolutely gorgeous!!!

one of my black wolf neighbours from this Summer ... just up the Bow Valley Parkway from where I was living ... & the 5 new cubs that were added to the pack :)

25 July - I got out to Paradise Valley & the Giant Steps yesterday ... HOW GORGEOUS!!! Thanks for the recommend on this hike Kim Wallace :) I was able to join a few of the campers from our campground who needed a fourth hiker to comply with the 4 person minimum for this trail due to the bear activity in the area.

Saw a couple of marmots on the way down to the Giant Steps & even a nice little toad along the trail. The waterfall at the Giant Steps was absolutely awesome, can't wait to go back with other friends in the near future ...

(pic's fr. Trish)

Summer fun out at Island Lake not far from the cabin at Protection Mountain :)
(paddling with my driftwood paddle + Island Lake wide & zoom shots)


I had to finally say "goodbye" to my trusty travelling companion ... my Canon Powershot camera ... it helped me capture many, many, many splendid critters & gorgeous places ... plus so many wonderful & dear friends, family, & their furry friends ... after ~18,000 pic's & a couple trips Down Unda ...
(young bear near BVP on the way to work)

07 August - here's one of my little buddies from the Bow Valley Parkway ... filling its belly with buffalo berries & not interested one bit that we were just on the other side of the road in my little car.

I am sure going to miss these gorgeous neighbours out near the cabin ... will just have to get out there often & rejuvenate my spirit :)

By far, the pic's I took that morning on the way work were the most fun I'd had with my new camera up to that point ... a few more bear (& wolf) pic's will follow in the next little while now that I am able to tap into a solid cyber link more readily ...

M-F & her boys out for a visit ... brunch, canoeing on Moraine Lake, hiking to Island Lake, cookout at the firepit by my cabin at Protection Mountain. Great food including banana boats for dessert YUM!

Lake O'Hara at the end of the month - Pam got us in on a cancellation at the Parks Canada "back country" campground. We took the shuttle bus 11 km to the campground & enjoyed tramping about the trails & taking in the totally gorgeous views from high over Lake O'Hara.


Pam & I enjoyed a GREAT week-end at Waterfowl Lakes ... got out on the Upper Lake in a canoe ... saw a moose in the water, saw an osprey overhead, & heard a couple of loons after one of them called us from the other side of the lake :)

Wrapped up my Parks job at the Lake Louise campground after the 1st week of September & enjoyed 3 great days of hiking in the Rockies with Pam, my new nature nut of a girlfriend :) ... totally gorgeous, sunny, blue sky days & the cold, clear, star-filled nights at the Little Yoho warden cabin :)

Now that I have wrapped up my campground attendant season with Parks Canada, I'll be getting into the swing of things with the healing folks at Gaia Collaborative Medicine ... this dynamic group of health & wellness practitioners in Canmore.


Enneagram workshop in Calgary this week-end with Eileen Head ... ... also, here's a link to do a free online Enneagram quiz ... ... which unconscious pattern/type do you resonate with?


Victoria, British Columbia - Chilkowich clan gathering for my folks anniversary & my step-mother Cecilia's 60th birthday ... more on this & a few pic's in my next posting ... :)

I led my first Nature Reconnecting walk for a woman who brought along her lovely little dog ... this is the first such walk that I have offered through Gaia Collaborative Medicine ... all went well & the client/patient really appreciated the reconnecting time with nature and the activities we did along the way :)

Hope your 2009 was as blessed as mine has been with the spectacular wilderness experiences and reconnecting with family & friends!

Big hugs, Teresa

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Teresa's Summer of '09 Adventures (pt.1)

Cougar Creek hike with Judy Stevens (April 2009)

G'daye my dear Friends & Family,

It's been quite a Summer of great adventures up near Lake Louise for me & somehow, we are already into November & I've not updated my blog to share any of my stories or pictures with you.

I am sure I'll need a couple of postings to fit everything in, so I'll recap the amazing hiking fun & wildlife encounters that I enjoyed as each month unfolded + a few of the other great things I was able to do along the way ...


In early May, Katrina, my little sister on the east coast in Maryland, got married to her beau Ronnie. It was quite the family gathering ... filled with many smiles, hugs, heaps of pictures captured by everyone, great food, and much love amid the rainy weather on their big day.

Katrina & Ronnie ... the newlyweds

Here's a few pic's from the wedding of my east coast family + a few of us from the western part of Turtle Island ...

Ronnie & Katrina's special day (May 14, 2009)

my new brother-in-law Ronnie & my brother Andrew, one of the groomsmen

Mom & Doug & their little girl ... all grown up & ready for a special horse-drawn carriage ride

Katrina Rose ... the radiant one

Katrina & all her siblings along with Mom & Doug ... what a mob :)

Ronnie with Roo, Loo, & Boo
Tammie, Jeffrey, & the girls ... Alexis, Bailey, & Carissa

dancing time ... great fun for everyone!

Katrina & Ronnie, the happy couple on their sunshiney day :)

me & my Mom ... so glad I didn't have to wear pink!!!

In the middle of May, Alberta had the tremendous pleasure & honour to host my teacher Dr. Joanna Macy for the first time ever to lead a few workshops around our fair province. The one day workshop at the U of C engaged ~100 participants who gathered for Joanna's teachings.

May 7-9, 2009 - EcoConference on Professional Helping (U of C)

panel session with Karsten Hauer, , Dr. Joanna Macy, & Dr. David Orr

beeswax sculptures that Nicholas & I made during one of the workshops ... note how uncannily similar Nick's green "koru" (fern frond) with the whale fluke looks next to my jade necklace ... that's my purple red cedar/great blue heron beside Nicholas' jade fish hook pendant

Nick had no idea of the similarity until I showed him my pendant that was hiding under my kayak shirt!!!

Mishka Lysack (U of C Faculty of Social Work) & Joanna Macy at the U of C

May 9, 2009 - Joanna then shared her teachings up in Edmonton on the evening of the 9th, along with the amazing Jennifer Berezan and her beautiful music. ~300-350 people gathered for this wonderful evening of inspiration & song :)

Jennifer, Anne, & Joanna (May 15, 2009) along the Marsh Lake trail

Joanna, Anne, & Jennifer enjoying a gorgeous day in Banff National Park (May 15, 2009)

May 15-17, 2009 - "Leading for the Great Turning" workshop - with Joanna Macy & Jennifer Berezan (with Leanne Allison & Joel Kroeker on May 15th)

How very wonderful to have Joanna sharing her teachings with folks in Alberta and to have Jennifer Berezan & Joel Kroeker share their musical gifts was truly a terrific comination! The Friday evening event at the Banff Centre brought a crowd of over 300 people out, who received the whole evening with much interest and gratitude. The workshop that carried forward on Sat./Sun. with Joanna & Jennifer
included folks from around Alberta (30 of which received scholarships to attend through the "ECO Healing & Rediscovery in the Rockies" project I was doing in Canmore) & a few other from outside the province.

Julian Norris (Outward Bound Canada), Kerry Longprè (The Calgary Foundation), Julia Lynx (Loving the Land), Mike Lickers (Ghost River Rediscovery), & Joanna Macy ... acknowledging the support from TCF for the 30 bursaries offered through the ECO Healing & Rediscovery project that I coordinated

Joanna Macy, Leanne Allison, Jennifer Berezan, & Joel Kroeker ... "Leading for the Great Turning" finale singing "Praises for the World"

What a treat to have both Joel & Jennifer share their music during the week-end workshop ... nap time with Jennifer singing her River Lullaby was one of the highlights as was Joel's acapella version of Hallelujah that he dedicated to Joanna before he left earlier on the Sunday. Here's a link to the website for this event for you to hear some of their great music ... ... also you can listen to clips of Jennifer's music at: & you can hear Hallelujah on Joel's myspace page at: ... ENJOY!


Here's one of my Facebook status updates from my trip down to Waterton with Margaret ...

"Teresa is grateful for the way things turned out after this evening's incredible encounter with a couple members of the charismatic mega-fauna in SW Alberta!!!"

TRANSLATION: I am truly grateful that Margaret & I were able to complete our evening hike last Monday (June 1st), when we first arrived into Waterton National Park ... we encountered a mama bear & her cub on the Wishbone Trail ... & upon finally seeing us, the mama bear decided we were a threat & she clamoured our way & "bluff charged" us 3 times ... huffing & snorting with teeth bared, ... before finally heading off into the trees!!!

(picture to be posted soon)
Margaret holding the big aspen tree trunk that helped her/us look bigger during our unforgettable bear encounter

I am very grateful to all my relations & the ancestors for helping us walk out from that trail fully intact & totally charged up with adrenaline, wonder, amazement, & GRATITUDE :) I continue to be totally amazed by overwhelming feelings of WONDER, AWE, RESPECT, & GRATITUDE for this mama bear and the close encounter we had with her!

(picture to be posted soon)
Margaret & I ... totally amazed & grateful for the experience we just had with our bear friends on the Wishbone trail in Waterton.

Nadia's U of A graduation - B.A. Linguistics

10 June - My youngest sister Nadia returned from her European adventures from Scotland to Greece in time to participate in her commencement ceremonies at the University of Alberta.
I was really happy to be there on her big day, to see her looking so grown up, very wise, and totally tanned!!!

Nadia hangin' out after all the pomp & circumstance was over :)

Nadia & the very proud parentals ... Cecilia & Tony

Nadia & Baba Rasko

Summer of '69 b-day party

I had a very wonderful time with a bunch of my family & friends in the river valley of Edmonton to celebrate my 40th b-day :) Ross brought party favours by sharing his Natural Dawn lip balm with everyone ... yummy lime & also mandarin! Maureen helped retrieve frisbees from trees, what a talent!

I had great fun with the little people who came along for the party too ...

(pic's to follow when I have my ext. hard drive with me & I am on the Internet)

Sonja & Violet ... Sophie, Tom, Evan, & Olivia ... Mary-Frances, Gerard, Alisdair, & Finley ... plus my folks & my Aunt's family ... & of course what's a party without a few hard-core "band geeks" ... so glad that Laurelie (in spirit) & Colleen were able to join in on the fun too!

13-14 June - great 2 days at the Pachamama Alliance AtD facilitator training ... even with the sleepy, early morning start on my birthday (add link to AtD stuff)

"Wild Rose Dreamers" - the name of our lovely little group of AtD Facilitators

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Teresa's "Summer of '69" dress-up birthday party - potluck picnic with friends & family at Victoria Park (Edmonton)

Hello my dear friends & family,

The wonderful month of June is coming up
... & on the 13th, ... you know what happens ...?
... I will be entering my 40th year!


1. to wind down my 39th year, surrounded by dear friends & family & HEAPS of laughter, love, & yummy food

2. to have you join me & the wonderful mob who gather to help me celebrate my 40th birthday

3. sunshine & blue skies (well, at least no precipitation, tornadoes, or freezing temperatures!)

4. to hear a favourite story or see a memorable picture (or more than one) about an adventure or special moment that we've shared over the past 4 decades

5. to give everyone a chance to have some fun remembering the Summer of '69 ... come dressed as someone/something from 1969 or the '60's who has inspired you ... PEACE ... LOVE ... & RAINBOWS :)

6. to reconnect with as many of you as I can before I begin my next adventure ... with Parks Canada at the Lake Louise campground

WHEN: Sunday, June 7th

WHERE: Victoria Park - River Valley Road - 115 Street
(look for a little silver Honda Fit & likely a few signs)

WHO: all my lovely "peeps" & their families & canine friends too

WHAT WE'LL DO: potluck picnic in the park

THINGS TO BRING: your favourite potluck/picnic grub
... foods that you also may know are favourites of mine ...
... mmm potatoe salad ... fruit salad (organic strawberries, YUM) ... 7 layer salad?
...dill pickle chips ... deviled eggs
homemade anything ... that doesn't have mushrooms, olives, capers, or major garlic/onions (you know why!!!) ...
... home-canned pickles & pickled beets ...
corn on the cob YUM (not sure how that can work for a picnic but hey, it's my party!)
... hummus ... spinach dip ... white wine
raspberry anything ... banana bread (without walnuts)
... fair trade organic chocolate treats ... ICE CREAM :)

+ lawn chairs, plates, utensils ... beverages of your choice, etc.
games to play out in the park with kids & dogs & big kids like ME
(frisbee, soccer, baseball gear?)!

I am not wishing for any gifts, only your PRESENCE.
With that said, I know some of you may still beinclined to bring something.
Please know that I am trying not to collect more STUFF
... so please consider only consumables that are locally produced, eco-friendly, etc.

TIME: 2:30 p.m. into the evening
(until at least 8 p.m. or longer if it's nice out)

Here's the link to the Facebook event page I created for my party:

In true Teresa style ... I'm living on the edge & requesting lovely weather from the universe. At this point, I don't have a back-up plan ... perhaps gathering at somebody's house ... not sure whose though ... or perhaps a restaurant ...

If you are joining us later on, or if the weather looks less inviting, then give a call to my mobile: (403) 690-0504 or my folks - Tony & Ceclia at: (780) 998-7154 - to see how things are going & where we are ...

Looking forward to reconnecting with you on the 7th of JUNE :)

Hugs 'n' Bugs & heaps of love,


p.s. I've also got plans to do a camping celebration (big birthday celebration part 2) sometime over the Summer, out near the staff cabin I'll be living in south of Lake Louise ... stay tuned ... ;)


(403) 678-2397 (Canmore until the end of May)
(403) 690-0504 (mobile)
(831) 440-8678 (SkypeIn phone #)

Global Sunlight Map

Lunar Phase

"Awakening the Dreamer ... Changing the Dream"

Joanna Macy & David Korten Dialogue on the Great Turning ("For the Grandchildren" event)

Money as Debt video - Paul Grignon

The History of Oil - Robert Newman


The Story of Cap & Trade (Annie Leonard)


How It All Ends -

Oh, the Places You'll Go! - Dr. Seuss