Travel Classics Writers Contests

Jill Robinson Writers Contest Winner
Best Travel Story Alberta

Jill K. Robinson
for "The Other Day, I Met a Bear"

"'You are in bear country,' warned the trail map. 'Make plenty of noise when approaching blind corners, dense shrubs, or when moving into the wind.' I tried to think of something I wouldn't mind singing while out on the trail, and settled on Lyle Lovett's 'Bears.'

The map showed endless combinations for linking trails together: wide dirt roads for leisurely rides to scenic lookouts, narrow cross-country trails on rolling terrain, and single-track tight turns winding through fragrant spruce forest. As I zipped along the Bow trail, which dips in and out of the forest's edge and offers occasional glimpses of the breadth of the park, I tried to recall the lyrics to my bear song.

'So meet a bear and take him on out to lunch with you,' I sang above the humming of the bike's tires. 'Even though your friends may stop and stare...'

I turned a blind corner, still singing. Ahead of me was a car of a bear--big like a Volkswagen beetle. Either my singing or the gravel spray from my speedy braking caught its attention, and it swung its huge head around to gaze at me.

A phonograph needle scraped across the soundtrack in my mind, like the work of a beginning DJ. Next on the play list, the song from my childhood.

The other day, I met a bear, out in the woods, a-way out there."

About the Author:
Jill K. Robinson writes about travel, adventure, food and drink for the San Francisco Chronicle, AFAR, National Geographic Traveler, Every Day With Rachael Ray, Saturday Evening Post, Robb Report, Islands, Coastal Living, American Way, Let's Go With Ryanair, Organic Gardening, Westways, Journey, and more. She's a 2012 Athleta featured athlete, specializing in kayaking and stand-up paddling. She is a tequila expert, runs a kayak business, and surfs near Maverick's big waves.

The contest prize is provided by Travel Alberta and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
Past Contests:

TC Alberta 2013
TC Ireland 2013
TC Arizona 2012
TC Wales 2012
TC Vancouver 2011
TC Dublin 2011
TC Arizona 2010
TC Quebec 2010
TC West 2009
TC Ireland 2009
TC West 2008
TC West 2007
TC Europe 2007
TC West 2005
TC Ireland 2005
TC West 2004
Past Contest Winners:

2013 - Jill K. Robinson
2013 - Kimberley Lovato
2012 - Rachel Dickinson
2012 - Michael Shapiro
2011 - Margie Goldsmith
2011 - Sally Shivnan
2010 - Michael Shapiro
2010 - Rachel Dickinson
2009 - Michael Shapiro
2009 - Laura Read/Gayle Keck
2008 - Michael Shapiro
2008 - Echo Garrett
2007 - Kathleen Mangan
2007 - Paul Ross
2006 - Wayne Curtis
2006 - Margie Goldsmith
2005 - Allan Lynch
2005 - Ed Readicker-Henderson
2004 - Barbara Wysocki
2003 - Ed Readicker-Henderson
2002 - Margie Goldsmith
2001 - Melanie McManus
2000 - Judy Kirkwood
1999 - Melanie McManus
1998 - Yvonne Jeffery
1997 - Laura Byrne Paquet

Current Contest:

Best Travel Story on Arizona
Deadline: April 1, 2015. Find out more. Previous Contests:

Best Travel Story on Alberta
Find out more.
Best Travel Story Ireland 2013
Luxury 18-day vacation for two in Ireland offered by Adams and Butler Tours.
Find out more.

Best Travel Story Arizona 2012
3-night vacation for two at the new Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe.
Find out more.

Best Travel Story Wales 2012
4-night trip for two in Wales
sponsored by Visit Wles, American Airlines and Welsh Rarebits.
Find out more.

Best Travel Story Vancouver 2011
5-day vacation in Kelowna, BC
sponsored by Tourism Kelowna.
Find out more.

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