A Playground Right In Your Backyard

COM0011 – Blog #4

As an avid hiker, I’m always looking for new places to explore near me. In Ottawa, I believe that there’s a misconception of the city; many claim that the area is “boring”, and that there isn’t much to do around here. News flash: that’s not true. I’ve recently discovered a new application, AllTrails, and it totally changed my perception of this government town.

Image by Rido Alwarno via Pexels.

So, What’s It All About?

AllTrails is a free network that allows people to discover new trails, beach spots, on/off road driving, and so much more. It was officially launched to the public in 2010, and has since then grown immensely in popularity. On this platform, people can create a profile, follow others from the same city as their own, post their reviews and pictures of their experiences on the trails they’ve completed, and even comment on each other’s postings. It’s kind of like the Instagram and Facebook of ardent outdoorsy folks.

When searching for a desired type of activity to do on the application, AllTrails has made it extremely easy for people to do so, thanks to their detailed list of filters. You can choose the difficulty of a trail you’d like to take on, its length, attractions found on the trail, the suitability of it, and even its elevation gain. You can find the full list of filters here.

Image by Dkenned5 via Creative Commons.

My Personal Experience

I’ve been using the platform for about a week and a half now, and I don’t think that I’ll be shying away from it any time soon. It’s user friendly, can be used on a computer or a mobile device, and really gives you an in-depth description of each trail. Having a dog can make it difficult to find paths that we can both enjoy, as I’ve noticed that many treks won’t allow your canine to tag along with you. In that span of time, I’ve already visited 4 new hiking grounds, and none of them have let me down so far. It’s incredible to think that this whole time I thought that Ottawa was so limited in terms of nature and paths. AllTrails has clearly proven me wrong, and has allowed me to get a taste of how great and beautiful my city really is.

Have you ever heard of AllTrails before? If so, which track have you been on, and how was your experience using the application and/or website?


  1. (No Attributed Author). AllTrails. https://www.alltrails.com/
  2. (No Attributed Author). Wikipedia. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/AllTrails


FACEBOOK – Passing the TIME!

TWITTER – Catching up on the NEWS?



The list goes on and on, so many social media platforms to choose from and share ideas, thoughts, feelings, photos, frustrations, recipes, sayings and more.

An article by the Canadian Press published in March of this year stated “on average, anglophone Canadians who were surveyed spent 24.5 hours online per week in 2016, up about two hours from the previous year. Canadians between the ages of 18 to 34 spent even more time on the Internet — an average of 34 hours per week in 2016, or nearly five hours per day (Thomson, A, 2017).” The article goes on to say that use of the internet is up among seniors stating “74 per cent of people aged 65 and older were using the Internet regularly in 2016, up from about 54 per cent 10 years ago. That made it the highest growth in any age category (Thomson, A. 2017).”  Click here to read the full article.

Social media use is fine, if a limit is set and individuals remember that human interaction is of utmost importance and that we humans can’t survive without it. Having said that I think internet use among seniors is great, it allows them to travel the world virtually if they so desire and are unable to do so physically. My own mother, well into her 70’s learned how to use a computer and surf the news sites, she loved it and loved to read, she also mastered the use of Skype and was able to chat with grandchildren whom did not live close by. Social media and internet use among seniors is a great way to fend off loneliness and isolation; it can keep them connected to family and friends who may have moved away. BUT, we still need to reach out to our elders and each other.

The article states some individuals spend 34 hours per week on line; I am hoping this is work related and not use of their spare time. I spend this much time in a work week at my computer and /or online, but ensure on a daily basis that I get some form of physical activity. Whether it be walking my dog, or a trip to the gym. Getting out in nature and socializing are very important for all.

Mom_Anne small

Me & my dog Shadow! (Keeshond)

Social media is fun, informative, current, instant and the opportunity to learn new things is endless, for this reason I embrace it. From this course I hope to learn how to expand on my current social media knowledge. I do work in the field, but learning and expanding our minds is a life long journey to be embraced, just remember to get outside and enjoy nature.




Thomson, A. (March 21, 2017). Canadians spend more time online at expense of face-to-face time. Retrieved from http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/canadians-spend-more-time-online-at-expense-of-face-to-face-time-1.3333902


COM0011 – Introduction to Social Media-Blog #2-Smile, I’m finally on Instagram.

A picture is worth a thousand words.


That is what I have always loved about photos.  They communicate in an instant.  So it is only natural that my latest social media profile would be an Instagram account. Laurie Lancaster Instagram

I’ve been an avid photographer for years. I like to capture natural landscapes and urban street art. Especially political or subversive art. Instagram appealed to my photographer side so I figured I would try to get into the action. I kept trying to download it to my laptop.  I didn’t even realize it was a phone app until I finally downloaded to my phone the other day.  I was embarrassed I didn’t know.  The learning curve of social media for me is still uphill.

I decided to document my latest trip. Feeling compelled to be current and communicate it live. I am not real good at that.  Being a writer, I usually like to experience something first and document it later.  The lack of a reliable internet connection in the woods made the experience much less fun.  Instead of relaxing and enjoying the view of the lake or soaking in the outdoor hot tub, I was in the hotel room on my cell phone, trying to get an internet connection to upload my experience and make it current.  Totally missing the point I felt.

I was looking for “pictures” instead of just taking all the beauty in visually.  Would this view look nice?  Does this really capture the essence of the place?  What do I want to show people?  What was I trying to communicate? Half the time I was scanning with the internet view in mind.  A strange way to take in the world visually.

The Instagram demo is young and mainly female.  Most of my followers/friends online fit that profile.  The app is idiot proof.  Just upload the picture from your phone, add a filter and post to Twitter or Facebook.  I loved how simple it is to share my view of  the world.  Instagramming the photo to the world is pretty quick. And they do look pretty.

Why post photos? Why did I feel compelled to have this photo sharing account? To show where I was. Share my experience of it. Show others the beauty of the place.  My good intention set with the first Instagram photo I posted.