Nurturing the wild; celebrating cultures
I am happiest in the wild. Put me on a horse on a multi-day horseback expedition, riding in the backcountry and camping for days, well, there’s nothing better! But I’m also an avid paddler (who built her own cedar-strip canoe and carved her own paddle), swimmer, hiker, snowshoer and cross-country skier.
Indeed, I like nothing better than immersing myself in nature, from which I draw both peace and inspiration.
Unsurprisingly perhaps, I’m deeply interested in First Nations. Not only do I admire their incredible fortitude and knowledge which allowed them to survive an often brutal, unforgiving natural landscape. I also celebrate their continued survival and flourishingcultures which teach us so much.
Accordingly, I’ve explored such fascinating, spiritual places as Haida Gwaii on Canada’s Pacific coast. Here I followed the footsteps and paddlestrokesof Emily Carr, renowned Canadian artist who lived among the Haida, painting their totem poles and villages in 1912. In Australia, I’ve been amazed by Aboriginal people’s rock art, as well as the remains of settlements and canals in Gundidj, Victoria.
As a freelance writer I’ve promoted sustainable tourism, First Nations, cultural, as well as environmental and gardening destinations and issues since 1988. That year I self-published my first book, Historical Walks: The Gatineau Park Story. Its success (Canadian best seller) launched me as an author.
Now my books include Capital Walks: Walking Tours of Ottawa, and Capital Rambles: Exploring the National Capital Region. My husband, photographer Eric Fletcherand I co-authored Quebec Off the Beaten Path,.In addition, I write environmental, adventure and nature columnsplus features for many publications and websites.
Eric and I live in Quebec’s rural Pontiac region. Our 100-acre farm, Spiritwood, backs into Gatineau Park’s wilderness sector, so bear, deer, fishers and bobcats are our closest neighbours. Our large organic garden sustains us, while our two horses allow us to explore our woodland trails, year-round.
Truly, my passion for travel and curiosity about how other peoples live sustains me: it’s my life.
My life’s goal? To foster an understanding of and respect for our natural world and different cultures.
- Finalist: ALTO (Alberta Travel) award, 2014, “Experiencing Alberta’s Cowboy Trail,” Young@Heartnewspaper
- Finalist: ALTO (Alberta Travel) award, 2006 “Gazing at Grizzlies from the Saddle,” The Globe & Mail
- TMAC Award, 2004: Choice Hotels Award of Excellence in Travel Journalism: International Division: “The Spirit of Morocco”, Ottawa Life Magazine
- Ottawa Tourism Award: 2004 for my triptych of National Capital Region books: Historical Walks: The Gatineau Park Story, Capital Walks: Walking Tours of Ottawa, and Capital Rambles: Exploring the National Capital Region
Discover my writing, books, art and blog online at: www.katharinefletcher.com