It’s not every day that you meet a genuine super-explorer, like Canadian Robin Esrock.
Robin has travelled around the world, and is the author of The Great Global Bucket List. This colourful guide highlights unique travel experiences around the world. I was thrilled by the invitation to meet Robin and learn of his curated custom bucket list challenge, in cooperation with Ford of Canada.
But was I ready to take the Ford Bucket List Challenge with the new 2017 Ford Escape SUV? Well, of course! Along with my family, I geared up to get an adventurous perspective on life, in the mountains of Whistler, British Columbia.
The Great Global Bucket List
Find the joy in your life. – Morgan Freeman, The Bucket List – Introduction to The Great Global Bucket List.
As proof that you don’t have to travel far sometimes to enjoy great experiences, my chance to meet Robin took place at Harambe’s Ethiopian Restaurant on the east side of Vancouver. We enjoyed a fabulous meal of stewed meats, vegetarian specialities and injera, finished with a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony. Robin shared his passion for travel, and pride in his latest book, The Great Global Bucket List
The Great Global Bucket List features one-of-a-kind travel experiences that often appear on travellers aspirational bucket lists. These include hiking the Inca Trail in Peru, camping in Antarctica, seeing gorillas in Rwanda, or ziplining off the Great Wall of China.
The book is packed with beautiful photographs and descriptions of incredible bucket list adventures around the world. They range from fairly non-intensive acts (except for that heat) like taking sauna in Finland, to avoiding the sharp teeth of crocodiles in South Africa, while caged. Robin’s enthusiasm for adventure comes through in each destination entry. This is a handy guide to unique experiences that should sit on your bedside table as inspiration for your next trip.
The New 2017 Ford Escape
The new Ford Escape 2017 is a family-sized SUV that seats five comfortably. Its size disguises a roomy interior with loads of trunk space for gear, luggage and groceries. Back seats fold down for extra room, including car camping for two people in a pinch. The Escape handles well, getting good acceleration when passing other cars along the windy Sea to Sky Highway. The heated seats are a personal favorite, and a big plus in cold weather. Syncing my phone to the entertainment system allowed for hands-free calls. The SAT-NAV system worked beautifully in helping us find our destinations.
Other favorite features:
- Panoramic Vista Roof – Lets the light in, especially for passengers. Great for stargazing on clear nights too.
- The SYNC 3 system – Hands-free, in-vehicle communications system that allows for phone calls, music controls, and other functions via voice commands.
- Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning with Brake Support – This is a great safety feature for drivers, especially for long drives and road-trips.
- BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) – The cross-traffic alert uses radar to identify a vehicle detected in your blind spot and alerts you with an indicator light in the appropriate exterior mirror. Cross-traffic alert also uses radar to watch for traffic behind you as you’re slowly backing out of a parking spot or driveway. This is a helpful feature, especially navigating city streets and bike lanes.
- Powerful 2.0L Twin-Scroll EcoBoost engine with Intelligent 4WD – A turbocharged induction system and electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) make it easy to drive in the city or on the windy and scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway.
How to Fly like a Super Hero in Whistler
As part of our Ford Bucket List Challenge, we chose to drive to Whistler and experience some of the longest and highest zip lines in the country. As luck would have it, recent snowfalls created a gorgeous winter landscape as we ascended Rainbow Mountain with our hosts Superfly Ziplines.
While we consider ourselves fairly experienced zip line aficionados, neither my son nor I had ziplined in winter before. Here’s the thing about ziplining in winter. It can get chilly up there. It’s really important to dress for the conditions in full winter gear. This includes wearing a toque under your helmet. You’ll be grateful for the warmth when you zip down those lines at 100 km per hour.
See what I mean?
Superfly offers the only backcountry, tandem zip lines in Whistler. During our three-hour tour (including safety demonstration), we zipped down four zip lines at speeds up to 100 km/hour. Face googles are a must against the cold and wind speed. You can bring your own or borrow a set from Superfly. The braking system for each line absorbs the speed and force of the rider, who arrives at full speed. No need to brake on your own!
The lines of the final zip line course are close enough to allow for hand-holding. This makes it possibly the most romantic and friendly zip line anywhere in Canada.
Families are encouraged to enjoy the zip lining experience. Children must be 7 years old and 60 lbs to participate. Max weight is 250 lbs.
Pin for Later
Create your own Bucket List Challenge in celebration of Canada 150! Check out Robin’s Great Canadian Bucket List.
Photo Credits: C. Laroye * Disclosure: The Travelling Mom thanks Ford Canada for hosting our Ford Escape and zip lining experience. As always, our opinions are honest and our own.