Posted by: jsmcfadden | July 13, 2011

Spectacular drives, part 2

Vancouver, BC, to Whistler and back on the Sea-to-Sky highway.

Now, everybody knows that the 2010 Winter Olympics were held in Vancouver, except that many events were actually held in Whistler, a litle under 2 hours away, up in the Canadian Cascade Mountains — the same mountains that have given the US Mt. Shasta, Mt. Hood, Mt. Baker, Mt. Rainier, etc. Beautiful mountains, steep and deeply wooded and with volcanoes like large beads on a chain.

So. The Sea-to-Sky goes along the water up until Squamish, getting higher gradually, then goes a bit east-northeast toward the awesome skiing mountains. The view out the driver’s window on the way up to Whistler was water, steep hills rising, and islands, reminiscent of the landscape we saw on our cruise of the Inside Passage.

Out the windshield, even through the raindrops and the blink of the windshield wipers, the view was beautiful: mountains, water, trees. Plus the cool highway signs, names of towns in English and then the unfamiliar groupings of letters which was the First Nations’ names for those places.

The view out the passenger’s side window was  the mountainside: very steeply rising rock, feeling quite close off the shoulder. Later on, it was a broad valley that met the next high ridge, often snow-covered, even in June.

On the side I kept seeing announcements of some creek or other, and I’d stare intently, hoping to see the white falls as the water fell down toward the Bay, but I kept missing it, or my neck wouldn’t turn that far around.

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