I was still sore from a grueling fat tire bike ride up to a mountaintop backcountry cabin with Discover Banff Tours as I strapped on my crampons and prepared for my next wintry adventure. I had come to Banff while the roads were still powdered with freshly fallen snow, determined to transform myself from a summertime beach bum into a full-fledged winter lover. Timely encouragement from experienced guides helped warm my hesitations during activities like winter hiking and ice climbing, and it wasn’t long before I found myself smiling ear to ear, ice axes in hand, as I made my way up a frozen canyon wall to discover my newfound love of chilly elements.
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A trip along California's Central Coast stirs up memories of the simple things we once treasured. Remember running barefoot through the sand and splashing in the sea, long drives along the ocean, belting favorite songs into the wind? Think now of sipping wine in your flip-flops across from Avila Beach Pier, its planks stretching endlessly over shades of jade and sapphire. Picture seagulls resting on chiseled rocks in Morro Bay while sea lions bark nearby. Smell wildflowers, chaparral and pines lining the wooden boardwalk across the bluffs of Cambria.