Radius Retreat: A Hidden Treasure
Are you an adventure pirate, like me?
OK. I hear you asking “what the heck is an adventure pirate Amy?”
Well (apart from a term that I just made up) an adventure pirate is someone who seeks out “hidden gems” while they travel: things that no one has seen before or brand new experiences that not many people know about - tearing away from the usual tourist attractions to find deeper and more authentic experiences. However an adventure pirate does not rob or steal like a regular pirate. Rather, they respect the land they have explored and left nothing but footprints (… ok maybe I’m just renaming “explorer” now?). There is a treasure chest to be opened everywhere you go and Radius Retreat has been just that for me.
My first time at Radius was, simply put, magical. The company I work for in Canada, Calgary Heritage Roasting Company, surprised us with the trip. They piled us all in a car one weekend and drove us into the mountains until we reached the thousand acres in the Kootenay National Park, scattered with hike-in yurts. One of the owners met us at the car park where we gave them any extra luggage that we couldn’t carry ourselves and we left our own means of transport behind before trekking into the forest and up into the unknown. Along the hike we stopped, tracked and spotted wildlife and learnt about nature’s own fire starters literally dripping from every tree (“witches hair” and “wizards beard”). Once we reached our destination, we were greeted by the warm sun, breaking through the trees and presenting us with a breathtaking view of valley and mountains. The afternoon was spent drinking, laughing and sharing stories which went long into the night. The glows of Aurora Borealis joined us in the early hours of the morning while we told ghost stories around the fire. Legends say that it is summoned by the sharing of stories. We all contemplated this concept and embraced the magic of the night.
It was a difficult experience to top, but behold, 5 months later we returned again with friends and again another trip in the middle of a bitter cold Canadian winter; each visit adding to the last and revealing more of the secrets of an off-grid life in the mountains. I feel so incredibly lucky to have been able to see the place in so many different forms and seasons. The Canadian landscape is a true chameleon: shifting and adapting to the many extreme challenges it faces: a land like no other.
If ever you get the chance to visit this part of the world, do not pass through without having this raw experience for yourself. Wherever you go, learn about the land: learn the past and how you can contribute to its future through mindful travel and experiences, just like Radius Retreat.