Back to the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary

I haven’t been posting a lot on here over the last couple of weeks, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been doing anything, it is quite the opposite! I have been super busy so I am just now getting through some of the photos that I have taken in the last bit.

Last week found me back at the Yamnuska wolfdog sanctuary: This is a place that I seriously cannot get enough of; anytime I am lacking inspiration, I can find it here, in these incredible and beautiful animals.

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Jasper and The Icefields Parkway

Last week, a very good friend from Ontario came out to visit. I have been friends with Bri since I was 16 and I was super excited to have her come out and visit me here in Kananaskis. This was Bri’s second trip out to the mountains, so we had kind of narrowed down where we wanted to visit. As you saw in a previous post, we went out to the Lussier hot springs near Invermere, BC but we also took a couple days and went up to Jasper. We were incredibly lucky with the weather, and all the lakes are still open (pretty weird for this time of year) which made for some awesome photos. Here are some of the highlights of our time in Jasper:

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Drumheller in a Day

 

Now, while I highly recommend spending more than a single day in Drumheller, sometimes busy schedules get in the way and one day is all you have to spare. If one day is all you have, then these are the things you absolutely must do:

Royal Tyrell Museum:

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The Royal Tyrell Museum is a place I have loved ever since I was a little kid. I first visited this museum at the age of 4 and have been back several times since. Plan on spending a couple of hours here, exploring and reading through the incredible displays.

 

Horse Thief Canyon:

Horse Thief Canyon is a beautiful showcase of the badlands, and is definitely worth the short drive, followed by a little on-foot exploration.

The Giant Dinosaur:

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This giant fellow is pretty easy to find, since its massive 😉

No trip to Drumheller is complete without a photo with the giant dino.

 

A Brief History Of Flannel

 

I love flannel. If you look in my closet, you will find way more flannel than any person who isn’t a lumberjack should own. There is just something so incredibly cozy about a good flannel shirt, or soft flannel sheets. But I bet you don’t realize the incredible history behind flannel, or why it was developed in the first place. Lets dive into this a little…

According to the Wikipedia entry on flannel (yes, there is a Wikipedia entry on flannel…) :

Flannel is a soft woven fabric, of various fineness. Flannel was originally made from carded wool or worsted yarn, but is now often made from wool, cotton, or synthetic fiber. Vegetable flannel is made from Scots pine fiber. Flannel may be brushed to create extra softness or remain un-brushed.

Historically, flannel, or flannel like material, can be traced back to 16th century Wales. While flannel now comes in a huge array of colours thanks to modern synthetic dyes, the colour of flannel use to be correlated to the colour of wool used to make it. If you wanted black flannel, better go find yourself a black sheep.

Flannel has not always been a fashion statement: originally, flannel was developed for its capacity to keep people warm. Being made from wool, it was a great insulator, warm when wet and densely woven to keep the wind out. The large quantity of sheep in Wales (and Europe in general) made production of this fabric affordable. While it was originally made from hand-carded wool, the Industrial Revolution made this woven fabric more accessible to people of all economic standings.

Flannel came to be manufactured in North America in 1889, starting in Detroit, when Hamilton Carhartt (I bet you recognize that last name!) wanted to make better work clothes for men. Prior to this, flannel was being imported from Europe. Loved by railway workers, frontiersmen, construction workers, and of course loggers, flannel came to be known as a shirt for ‘rugged men.’ Flannel was also used for uniforms, undergarments and patches for soldiers during World War I & II.

In the 1950’s, the grey flannel suit became a staple for businessmen, making flannel stylish, as opposed to just practical. After the 50’s, the popularity of flannel seemed to die off for a bit, before the grunge look of the 1990’s brought it back, but now flannel was mostly being made out of a cotton blend. Flannel has been mainstream for quite awhile now, but with the rise of the Lumbersexual movement, flannel is now more popular than ever.

It seems like every store in the mall now has flannel of some sort. But not all flannel is created equal. Things to consider when buying flannel:

Quality stitching: look at the seams. Will this shirt hold up for how you are going to wear it? I wouldn’t go to the Gap to buy a flannel shirt that I planned to wear hiking.

Thickness: Men rarely have a problem finding nice, thick flannel. But most women’s flannel is (excuse my language) bullshit. It’s thin and doesn’t hold up for more than a season.

Softness: You can find thick flannel that is still soft. You don’t want a shirt so stiff that it can stand up on its own, and you don’t want a shirt that’s going to make your skin itch (more of a concern with wool flannels).

So now that you have an idea of what to look for in good flannel, lets take a look at some of the best (in my humble opinion) flannel shirts on the market right now:

Pendleton – Hawthorne Flannel Shirt

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This one is for the guys. This thick, luxurious flannel comes in a variety of traditional patterns. Fits a tad on the slim side, so women can get away with wearing it as well.

 

 

 

Pendleton – Canyon Wool Flannel Shirt

This shirt is perfect for the flannel purist. It is made out of wool, but is still soft enough to wear next-to-skin.

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Patagonia – Fjord Flannel Shirt

Patagonia has really nailed it with this shirt. Both the mens and ladies shirts have a great cut, traditional but still flattering. This cotton flannel is super soft and thick, making it the shirt you want to pull on when the mornings are chilly.

Roots – Algonquin Shirt

Inspired by the rugged wilderness of Algonquin park and the incredible history of logging and bushcraft, this shirt pays homage to its namesake. This flannel is thick, but soft and the twill and faux suede details set it apart.

 

Eddie Bauer – Stine’s Favourite Flannel

Christine, or ‘Stine’, was Eddie’s wife and an incredible woman all on her own. As a sporting woman, she helped influence the women’s’ line of clothing at Eddie Bauer. Much like the woman it’s named after, these flannel shirts are classy, yet adventurous. I personally own the heathered grey with white polka dots, because not all flannel needs to be plaid 😉

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Eddie Bauer – Expedition Flannel

Technical flannel? You bet. Say hello to Flannel 3.0. This material is a blend of synthetics that feel almost as soft as cotton flannel, but the choice of material helps this shirt to give extra insulation, and wick moisture away from the body. This is available for both men and women. I gave this flannel a try back in the fall and was pleasantly surprised by how much I love it, despite it being a synthetic.

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American Eagle – Ahh-mazingly Soft Flannel Shirt Jacket

Seriously, that’s what it’s called. Ladies only for this shirt! The fact that I fell in love with a shirt at American Eagle was a bit of a surprise, but this is seriously my favorite flannel shirt of 2016. The material is the softest I have ever felt, it is as smooth as butter on your skin.

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So now that you know a bit more about flannel, and some of the amazing flannels out on the market right now, I want to share with you the best way to take care of your flannel:

Flannel shrinks. Badly. You can lose up to an inch in length and ½ an inch in width on a flannel shirt if you wash it wrong. Wash your flannel with gentle detergent in cool water (my washer has a ‘tap cold’ setting that I use) and hang it up to dry. I will toss my shirts in the dryer for a few minutes on tumble dry – low to fluff them up before wearing them, but if you dry your flannel on high heat, you are going to find your shirt significantly smaller than when you put it in the wash.

 

Do you love flannel as much as I do? Get your flannel selfies ready and stay tuned for a contest coming up in a few weeks.

The New & Improved Banff Gondola

You might have heard that the Banff Gondola recently did a renovation…a 26 million dollar renovation. Having not been up the Gondola in a couple of years, I wanted to check it out.  I was quite impressed with the new facility; it has a modern look and is brightly lit with natural light.

The new interpretive displays are fantastic, and perfect for visitors of all ages. The new restaurant and lounge up top is also incredible. Definitely the best view in Banff to enjoy a glass of wine or a beer.

I highly recommend checking out the renovations for yourself, but until then, I will tide you over with some photos:

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