ABOUT ME: Darren Cope
Where to start? I grew up on a hobby farm near Oxford Center, Ontario. When I was ten I moved to the nearby village of Sweaburg. I attended high school at College Avenue Secondary School in Woodstock. I then attended the University of Waterloo, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Environmental Studies, Honours Co-op Geography Degree, with a Geomatics Specialization and a Diploma of Excellence in GIS. I then spent a year and a half working as a GIS Specialist with Ducks Unlimited Canada before moving to Perth. I'm currently a GIS Technical Coordinator at CGIS Spatial Solutions. I love being outdoors, and enjoy all aspects of paddling, portaging and camping (yes, I did say "enjoy" and "portaging" in the same sentence!). When I'm not out canoeing, which unfortunately is all too often, I like to spend time outside cycling.
- wilderness canoe tripping
- I am obsessed with canoe tripping, but since the main focus of this website is wilderness canoe tripping, I guess you already knew that. I really don't get out as much as I'd like. In fact, I wish life could be one big canoe trip...but unfortunately that's not too realistic. :( Read about some of my adventures on my Canoe Trips page. Someday I hope to do some really long trips (measured in months, not days), and maybe even paddle across Canada.
- I've been "seriously" cycling since about the summer of 2003. I completed my first century (100 mile) ride in the summer of 2005. Check out my Bike Log page if you want to follow along with my cycling progress.
- cross-country skiing
- I've been skiing for as long as I can remember. When I was a little kid I would go out almost every day after school to ski through the snow drifts along the fence rows in our fields. However, I have zero training, and I'm well aware that my technique is terrible. Someday I'd like to take some lessons to improve my technique--it'd be nice to be able to kick and glide like those Olympic racers :) I'd also like to learn how to telemark ski, but that's probably not going to happen for a while. There really is nothing better than skiing when the snow conditions are perfect and you can fly with no effort. It's an amazing feeling!
- alternative energy
- I have this dream of someday living in a totally self-sufficient, off-the-grid house...preferably one that I build myself (although I have no experience building anything...) I am fascinated by things such as straw-bale construction, solar energy, etc. and think that more people should consider these types of alternatives when constructing new houses.
- listening to music
- Although I have absolutely no musical talent, I still very much enjoy listening to music. It's pretty safe to say that if my computer is on (which is way too often...), there will be music playing as well. I'd have to say that my favorite band is The Tragically Hip, although I really love a lot of other bands too. To see what I'm into, check out my Last.fm profile, or check out my most recently listened tracks:
- messing around with computers
- I spend way too much time messing around on my computer. I never really accomplish anything though...so I'm not sure why I do it. I guess I must enjoy it! I waste a lot of time online surfing some of my favourite websites, reading blogs (especially GIS/GPS/technology related) and reading about cycling and paddling. I also enjoy playing around with GIS software (especially web-based and open source stuff.) A large part of my computer background is compliments of my brother, who's very much into computers (understatement of the century maybe?). He has taught me a lot, starting way back in the VIC 20 days (not that I remember anything from back then...) See more about my brother's computer stuff on his webpage, at: http://dwcope.freeshell.org
My first canoe trip came on a short paddle down the Saugeen River with Camp Cherith. I returned the next summer to make the same trip again. This brief canoeing experience was all I had before highschool. However, I was fortunate to attend College Avenue Secondary School, which had a very active canoe club. The canoe club at CASS was led by two very competent paddlers, Mr. Brian Brown and Mr. Don Downing. Mr. L. Elliot and Mr. J. Thornton also helped to make this canoe club possible. I learned an awful lot about canoeing from these very experienced paddlers. During my time at CASS, I went on 9 canoe trips with the CASS Canoe Club to places like Algonquin Park, Killarney Park, The French River, Georgian Bay Islands, and Massassauga Park. Go to my Canoe Trips page to see some information on these trips. After my first trip into the wilds of Algonquin Park, I was hooked. I came to rely on the twice annual trip to get my "canoeing fix". I have since purchased my own canoe, a Swift Algonquin 16 in Goldenglass (click here for a review), so that I can paddle whenever I have free time. Thanks to the leaders of the College Avenue Secondary School Canoe Club, I also received my ORCA Basic A,B,C&D and Canoe Tripping Level I certification. I was also a member of the University of Waterloo Outers Club during my time at UW. I was the club secretary for most of my time there. Now all of my trips are with my friends, and we drag along some new paddlers every now and then...and if we're lucky, they sometimes come back!
I always say that my favourite trip is the next one, so right now my favourite trip is...well.. whatever the next one is!
My dream trip? Well, there's just to many great places to go.... Man I love Canada!
- ...in fact, just about anything involving pasta
- Indian Food
- mashed potatoes with gravy (or almost any kind of potatoes for that matter.)