SaltWire's Ask a Journalist: You have questions, let's find some ...
The latest weather columns and browse beautiful photos from Cindy Day
SaltWire's cartoonists bring heart and humour to the news.
NOW Atlantic: Smart thinking for a changing world
The latest on Nova Scotia's mass shooting
What you need to know about COVID-19: June 1
Visit SaltWire.com for more of the stories you want.
New book "Man and Dog" released on Saturday
Justin Barbour has always been all in.
Whether it was pursuing his love of hockey both off the island in the Maritime Hockey League or back at home in the Newfoundland senior cicruits, he gave it his all.
So it only made sense that after discovering the great outdoors and a love for canoeing while studying for a physical education degree at Memorial University in St. John’s, he would be all in on that too.
“I have always enjoyed the outdoors since my childhood running around in Bauline, Pouch Cove,’’ Barbour said.
“I played a lot of hockey, I was flat out in that. But after travelling around (to P.E.I. and N.B.), I took that canoe course while at MUN and it led me back to the things I enjoyed when I was younger,’’ he added.
After finishing his education degree, he went out on the road again, this time to Labrador, where he got to put his love of the outdoors and new canoeing skills to work.
Fast-forward more than five years, the recently engaged Barbour has gone on adventures that few people get to do and chronicled it on his You Tube channel “Newfoundland Explorer” for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy.
The channel, which has about 22,000 subscribers, features more than 50-videos, all of them shot in the last 30 months.
Video wasn’t enough so Barbour decided to sit down and chronicle a 700-kilometre trip he made with his dog Saku (named for the former Montreal Canadiens’ captain Saku Koivu) from the Long Range Mountains on Newfoundland’s west coast all the way back to Cape Broyle on the Avalon Peninsula.
And how many dogs get their own book? Saku was chronicled in “Saku’s Great Newfoundland Adventure” by Marie-Beth Wright
Barbour’s new book is aptly titled “Man and Dog” and was released on Oct. 5 by Flanker Press. According to those who have previewed it, it gives the reader a campfire view of the entire trip.
It has been shipped to locations around the globe that includes Australia, the United Kingdom and the Southern United States.
“It took me about six months to write the manuscript and get it to the publisher for editing.”
Barbour says his life is right where he wants it, getting the love support of his fiancé Heather, being able to take long times away to complete these projects with that support and setting out with Saku for multiple adventures.
Who could ask for more?
1. What is your full name?
Justin Wade Barbour.
2. Where and when were you born?
St. John’s, 1988.
3. Where do you live today?
Grand Falls-Windsor, NL with my fiancée Heather and our dogs Saku and Bear.
4. What is your favourite place in the world?
Anywhere in the outdoors of Newfoundland and Labrador. More specifically I have a soft spot for the woods and waters near my childhood home of Bauline, N.L.
5. Who do you follow on social media?
Other outdoors people and the likes. Though I try not to get caught up inhaling other content and posts because I find it hinders my ability to create.
6. What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I was always on outdoor adventures as a child growing up in Bauline, but my true passion was hockey. It quickly took over in my early teens and like most other young players I pursued a dream of playing in the NHL. This consumed my life for a long time after. I never truly camped, canoed, hunted, etc. until I was 23, after taking an outdoor education course at MUN. I still love the game of hockey but right now all I want is to be in the wilderness honing my skills, sharing my experiences and getting others excited about going out themselves. I also co-owned a successful lawn-care and landscaping business for three years in my early 20s with a good friend.
7. What’s been your favourite year and why?
2017 — It was the year I decided to chase a dream and cross the wilds of Newfoundland. Also this year, 2019. Heather and I got engaged and my first book was released.
8. What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Dragging, lining, portaging and paddling my canoe 150 kilometres up the Red Wine River system to the heights of land in Labrador in 2018.
9. Can you describe one experience that changed your life?
Accepting a position to teach K-12 physical education and science in Labrador during the 2015-2016 school year. It opened my eyes to the Big Land and bigger dreams of exploring and adventuring. Taking the outdoor education course in MUN during my P.E. degree was a prelude to this and reignited my childhood love of being outside. I haven’t looked back.
10. What is your greatest indulgence?
Spicy Doritos and IPAs.
11. What is your favourite movie or book?
Favourite book — “Lure of the Labrador Wild”. Favourite Movie — “Rudy”.
12. How do you like to relax?
Head to the woods — explore — than relax in peace by the fire over a hot coffee or cold beer. Heading to the shed is a close second when I’m short on time.
13. What are you reading or watching right now?
I’ve been reading “A Snow Walker's Companion” by Alexandra and Garrett Conover.
14. What is your greatest fear?
That I’m not working hard enough to live the life of my dreams.
15. How would you describe your personal fashion statement?
Plain and Simple. I don’t spend much time deciding outfits. As long as it’s clean and there's no holes I'm good to go.
16. What is your most treasured possession?
That’s a hard one. I love my canoes and Alpacka Raft.
17. What physical or personality trait are you most grateful to a parent for?
Hard work. My parents have always worked like dogs. It's one of the most important keys to succeeding in life.
18. What three people would join you for your dream dinner party?
Lars Monsen (Norwegian adventurer and journalist) , Mike Horn (South African-born Swiss professional explorer and adventurer) and Mattie Mitchell (Mi'kmaq Chieftain, guide, prospector and explorer who contributed to the development of the Newfoundland economy).
19. What are your best and worst qualities?
Best quality: Determined Worst: Obsessive with passions (of course that’s good but also bad because sometimes I have hard time taking a break).
20. What’s your biggest regret?
I have no regrets about anything. But I’ve made many mistakes. Instead of regretting I look at how I can improve upon my previous decisions and become better. Holding onto regrets too long is poisonous and can quickly become debilitating.