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Summer 2024: The Great Pivot

As the snow thawed and the long days of sunlight returned to the Yukon this spring, we busily plotted out our next family adventure – perhaps the last full summer as our two teenaged sons begin eyeing national ski team camps and Canada Summer Games road-bike tryouts.


If this would be our final hurrah, we would make it a beauty: seven weeks in seven countries cycling around the Baltic Sea plus Iceland. We would begin back in Copenhagen and southern Denmark before ferrying to Lithuania, pedaling northward through Latvia, Estonia and Finland, then a boat back to Sweden. Our week-long layover in Iceland was maybe our favourite part – snorkeling between continental shelves, gazing at geysers and hiking to hot springs, craters and waterfalls.


We’d been planning, reserving and dreaming for six months – refining every detail to maximize the awesome. Surfspots and kabelparks, seaside campsites, tours of charming old cities like Riga and Tallinn.


Then, a half-hour after the last day of school exams… A freak soccer accident. A broken teenaged arm bone. An eight-week cast.


No biking.


Less than two weeks later, we have un-reserved an entire two-month cycling odyssey, and plotted out the skeleton of an exciting Plan B.


The Great Pivot.


This Thursday, we will catch that darn plane to Copenhagen and get a whiff of the boys’ favourite city before moving on to Chamonix in the French Alps for a six-week hike around Mont Blanc and the Tour des Géants straddling the Italian border. We’ll try to skip over to watch a stage of the Tour de France in person (just to rub our bike-free summer in our own faces) and wrap up in Paris for a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse of the Summer Olympics.


We don’t have a map yet, or a day-by-day plan. We don’t know if there’s gluten-free food for Sitka in the mountain albergues, where to get x-rays and cast removal, or whether we’re for sure allowed to camp in Italy.


But we have wrapped up report cards and clinic days, packed up our home for summer house-sitters, and invested in man-sized hiking packs and boots for our man-sized teens. Ed even published his second book, Bike Touring With Kids: the Europe Epic – available on Amazon in a couple days.


As we’ve mentioned before, some of best life decisions have been the most spontaneous ones – like getting engaged on our third date, or launching into a parental-leave hiking trip in Europe and South America on a week’s notice.


So we’re a bit frazzled, but unfazed by the considerable amount of spontaneity coming our way.


And that’s why just a few days ago, when our second son slipped in the forest and broke the exact same bone as his brother (left radius), we just shrugged and laughed.


We can’t bike anyway, so why not have all the bad luck at once?


Time to leap into the Great Pivot!



Way to pivot! A great adventure begins

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