Latest Blog Posts

Exploring is Never Boring – Mount Washington

“The best journeys answer questions that in the beginning you didn’t even think to ask.” – Jeff Johnson

My explorations on Tuesday led me to a place I know very, very well. A place I’ve been venturing to since I was a young lad growing up in Nanaimo: Mount Washington Alpine Resort, one of two ski resorts here on Vancouver Island.

As soon as I turn off the island highway onto the Strathcona Parkway, I feel like a kid again. It doesn’t matter that I’m 28 years old now and no longer that kid and I’m sure it still won’t matter when I’m 60 years old. The feeling I get while snowboarding or “charging” as I like to say is one of pure ecstasy… particularly on powder days!

I love Mount Washington because it offers me the easy-going island vibe along with some incredible terrain and deep snow. Although it wasn’t a famous “Washy powder day”, I couldn’t keep the smile off my face and I definitely couldn’t stop the “woooo’s” from coming out of my mouth! Finding fun lines and fresh tracks always keeps me returning year after year.

Mount Washington also offers some fantastic accommodation, but on Tuesday I chose to stay in “Rhonda”, my mobile chalet that sits in my truck bed. It may not have a 5-star rating, but it’s everything I need and the perfect mountain machine!

It was yet another awesome day spent on the mountain.
Pray for Snow.

My Place – Brendan Muehlenberg

Everyone has a special place, a place where you have memories, where you can find peace and harmony. A place where you know you are just happy being there. For some it’s a quiet place, for others it’s a noisy place. But all of these places have one thing in common; they are places where you think of first when asked “Where is Your Place?”.

1. Who are you and how long have you lived on Vancouver Island?

My name is Brendan Muehlenberg and I was born and raised in Port Alberni, BC… well, Sproat Lake to be more specific. My dad bought 4 lakefront properties back in the late 70’s when lakefront property was the same price as a 2018 Toyota Prius. Growing up in a family with 3 brothers and 1 sister, no TV and an endless natural playground outside our front door made me into the nature enthusiast I am today. I grew up hiking, exploring and camping on the trails and mountains near Sproat Lake and Strathcona Provincial Park. We also had a 28ft Bayliner which we’d take up the Alberni Inlet into Barkley Sound, specifically the Broken Group National Park. We spent the entire time camping, fishing and exploring, which I think has translated into my love for the West Coast which is where I reside today here in Ucluelet, BC. I made the outdoors my best friend at an early age and I thank my parents every day for their decision to raise us in such an epic place (Vancouver Island).
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Exploring Is Never Boring – North Island

“The best journeys answer questions that in the beginning you didn’t even think to ask.” – Jeff Johnson

Having grown up in Nanaimo, like most from this area, I have only ventured north of Campbell River a handful of times. It is common to meet local Vancouver Islanders who haven’t even been that far. If you are in search of desolation, wanting to get in touch with nature or just looking to unwind, there is no better place to be then amongst the trees in the rugged landscape of the north island. Read More

Wine of the Month – August 2016

Unsworth 2015 Rose

We started a beer of the month post in July, but then all the great local Vancouver Island wine got jealous. So here we go with Wine of the Month! We have so much wonderful wine here on Vancouver Island that many people don’t even realize we have. Hopefully we can help bring to light some of the delicious, approachable wine that we have to offer so that next time you’re in the liquor store or wine shop you feel confident to branch out and try something new.

Our first wine of the month just happens to be perfect for summer patio sipping on a beautiful August afternoon or even for pairing with a nice barbecue dinner. It also happens to be a rosé. Now don’t worry, I know that years of sweet, syrupy white zinfandels have scarred many human beings along the way. This should not be a reason for you to stay away from rosés! Most Vancouver Island rosés are crisp and dry wines that have amazing notes of strawberries or cranberries. Very easy drinking and approachable, yet all sorts of complex flavours coming through.

Unsworth Vineyards produces one of my favourite rosés anywhere and to me is a perfect expression of the wines we can consistently create right here on Vancouver Island. Theirs is a provencal style rosé that has a beautiful colour created by leaving the wine on the skins for just enough time to extract a bit of colour from the pinot noir grapes they use to make it. Pairs beautifully with cheese, grilled fish, or just good friends on the patio. Enjoy!

Beer of the Month – August 2016

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When at the liquor store trying to figure out which craft beer to buy, sometimes you need a little help. Lucky for you, we’re committed to trying lots of craft beer so that we can help you choose a solid beer that you will hopefully find just as enjoyable as we did.

This month’s choice is a seasonal beer from Longwood Brewery. The One That Got Away is a red wheat ale that I find both delicious and refreshing. This unique style was originally created for a tuna fishing derby out on the west coast of BC and has continued to be produced each summer due to its popularity. Its copper colour, rich flavour and surprising lightness make this a nice beer for boating or just sitting on the shore yet also pairs nicely with seafood.

This summer the folks at Longwood decided to use this beer as the base beer for their limited release beer creation for Longwoodstock Music Festival. Combining the red wheat ale with grapefruit juice to create Pulp Friction, their radler was the perfect drink for a scorching hot summer day listening to some great artists such as Daniel Wesley, Dope Soda and Wil.

It’s definitely a beer I look forward to each year and will be savouring the last few I have sitting in my fridge as summer begins to wind down.

Soren – Harvest Time at Chateau Wolff

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Vancouver Island is a place to visit for people of all ages. Join Soren as he tells us about some of his amazing adventures right here on Vancouver Island!

 

Papa knows that I love grapes.  All summer he brought me grapes from his house.  They are so sweet and yummy.  So when daddy asked if I’d go with him to pick some grapes at Chateau Wolff Estate Winery I thought I’d spend the whole day eating grapes!  I was excited to see soooo many grapes on the bushes. BUT we weren’t allowed to eat them, I tried one, and spit it out because it had seeds in it!  Papa makes nicer grapes to eat.  I guess these ones are for wine.  I don’t drink wine as I’m not tall enough.  Maybe when I’m taller I can go on one of daddy’s tours!

IMG_8316Daddy picked a lot of grapes and threw them into a big bin.  Where are they taking all those grapes?  Read More

Beer of the Month – July 2016

Beer of the Month - Driftwood Gose

We’ve decided to start a beer of the month blog post here at Vancouver Island Expeditions. When at the liquor store trying to figure out which beer to buy, sometimes you need a little help. Lucky for you, we’re committed to trying lots of beers for you so that we can help you choose a solid beer that you will hopefully find just as enjoyable as we found it. Our hope is that it can satisfy both the people just starting to navigate their way into craft beer all the way up to the craziest of craft beer nerds.

For our first beer of the month we have chosen a style that has become the style of the summer. Lots of breweries have decided to brew this once forgotten style of beer. Driftwood Brewery was the first in BC to release a Gose (pronounced Goz-uh), and it is brewed in the tradition of the artisan brewers of Leipzig where it originated.

Cry Me a River has a slight dry, priceofcialis.com tartness to it that is pleasantly refreshing on a warm, summer day.  The really interesting part to me is that it has a pinch of Vancouver Island Sea Salt in it to give it a bit of saltiness. I know it sounds weird, but trust me on this one. Grabbing a bottle of this to sip on in your backyard this summer will leave you feeling happy that Driftwood helped bring this style back from extinction. Cheers!

Soren – Exploring the West Coast

Vancouver Island is a place to visit for people of all ages. Join Soren as he tells us about some of his amazing adventures right here on Vancouver Island!

IMG_6501In the summer my family went for a long, windy car ride to BIG beaches on the west coast!  We saw lots of things on the way, BIG trees, birds, cows, lakes, nice people, more trees and then the OCEAN.  When we got out of the car I headed straight for the water.  Waves crashing, big waves, little waves and sand everywhere. We climbed on rocks, we dug big holes, and found funny little animals scurrying across the sand.  I love the sand in my toes, no shoes here just soft sand and LOTS of space to run. I didn’t want to go but mommy said I had to have a nap. I’m a big boy now so I don’t think I need I naps, but mommy disagrees.IMG_6612  I would like to live at the beach, I think that would be a good idea.

The next day we went on walks.  I can walk really far, daddy only had to carry me a couple of times to keep up with mommy and baby.   Everywhere we go there’s new things to see and touch.  My favourite Read More

Favourite Vancouver Island Wine Releases – 2015

Spring time to some means flowers blooming, trees waking up from their long winter naps, and the return of warmer weather. To me, it means one very exciting thing: New wines to try!

Now that we are just getting our first taste of this year’s wines, I wanted to do a quick post about some of my favourite releases from 2015. In no way am I a professional at judging wines nor do I have a broad knowledge of all there is to know about wine. With that said, I do know more than the average person about British Columbia wines, and more than most about Vancouver Island wines.

You see, to make sure that everybody I take on a tour gets a chance to taste the best that Vancouver Island has to offer, I have to do a lot of painstaking research. I have to drive up and down the island Read More

Get to know Brendan Milholm

Thanks to all the wonderful people that we’ve had a chance to take on tours ranging from food and wine to hiking and kayaking, Vancouver Island Expeditions has had to add a new guide! Brendan Milholm is our newest team member looking to show you around our wonderful island. Here’s a little intro from him so you can get to know him better.

Hey Everyone,

I’m Brendan, the newest member of Vancouver Island Expeditions and self-proclaimed “exploration expert”. I have been travelling up and down this beautiful island my entire life. Countless road trips, surf getaways, camping excursions and seaplane tours have allowed me to see some of the most breathtaking places in the entire world. I truly enjoy showing off these gems to people for the first time…. so to say I’m stoked to be doing this for a living now would be a definite understatement!

brendan2You can describe me as an easygoing guy, who’s always up for the next adventure Read More