Where is Joel now?

Ah summer, those blissful few months where the days slowly fade into painted sunsets and warm nights. As a kid growing up in south eastern British Columbia, the summer meant an almost endless supply of sunny adventures, swimming in nearby lakes or hiking up into the Rocky Mountains. But for me, the best part of summer, were the road trips. My family would load up our mini-van and tent trailer and we would set out for the Okanogan, Alberta, or even as far as the great lakes in Ontario. Years later, I still find value in those summer road trips, spending the days stopping at beautiful vistas and surprising tourist attractions. World’s Largest Potato anyone?

Over the last few years I’ve been on several trips across North America, criss-crossing both the United States and Canada teaching photography workshops, but it has been a few summers since I hit the highway with friends. Recently, two friends and I decided what we needed most was a nice trek through the east coast of Canada and, with little planning aside from a few destinations, we met in Vermont and set out on the open road.

Our first day was driving upward through Vermont, Maine and then, into New Brunswick before crossing the Confederation Bridge to our first destination, Prince Edward Island. Canada’s smallest province, its beaches awash with red sandy and framed with lush green fields. The island is small but filled with treasures along the way, which we tried to see many of them in our short two-day visit including a surprise, cameo appearance at the Land and Sea Photography Workshop. Afterwards, we had a short visit in the barn of Canadian photo legend Dave Brosha, then ventured up the island to visit the magical and inspiring location of Anne of Green Gables.

What makes road trips so much fun are the unplanned moments, the spontaneous interactions and people that suddenly infuse themselves into your summer story. After we had explored Green Gables and taken our requisite selfies for good measure, we suddenly found ourselves in a makeshift village, faces full of baked potatoes and poutine laughing as the owner barked out one liners to the kitchen staff. With our bellies full of some of the Island’s best food, we walked it off on the nearby shoreline. What I love about PEI is that walking on the beach feels both calming but exciting as you don’t quite know what the next bend in the rocks will bring. After a solid walk, we ventured back down to the photographers group to catch some music under the stars.

With precious little time in PEI, we tried to make the most of it, spending our next morning enjoying the Island’s oldest lighthouse at Point Prim. Our final evening was with the growing group of some of Canada’s greatest photographers to capture the sunset. It was a beautiful moment, just to stand and watch the 30 plus photographers scrambling among the red rocks and softly crashing waves. The perfect ending to a short and sweet trip to the island.

The next day we packed and piled into our road trip wagon and head over the bridge once again, this time our destination was Kenauk Nature Reserve in Quebec. We spent the 13 hour car ride, listening to music and laughing at stories told about our other adventures. Even though the hours seemed daunting with the right company, a road trip quite literally flies by.

And now I find myself, enjoying the best of Canada. A quiet lakeside cabin tucked in the heart of a nature preserve, the herons and loons making their haunting appearances. We’ve been spending the days on paddleboards and small islands, napping in hammocks and enjoying coffees while the sun slowly wakes up over the water. It is the perfect destination for this short summer adventure on the road, a haven secluded away from the noise of the every day life. Sometimes as Canadians we joke about our lack of summer months, that winter takes all the glory of our seasons, but to me Canadian summers are perfect, a concentrated and deeply special few weeks of the year that bring out our nation’s best, both in its natural wonder and its incredible people.



  1. Je ne sais pas où c’est, mais c’est certainement “beautiful” et “relaxing”.

    • PHOTONews says:

      Plusieurs endroits à l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard et à la réserve naturelle de Kenauk au Québec

  2. Ah, road trips. I feel Cranbrook calling.