Monday, June 11, 2018

A Late Spring Trip to Whistler

Alec asked Bruce to sort out a small problem they were having at the Earls location in Whistler;  naturally, I asked if I could ride along. Bruce was happy for the company, and I was more than happy to provide it. Although Bruce has been there multiple times, he had never driven there himself. A confidant driver, after all, he drove us all the way here, but the Sea to Sky drive takes some getting used to for both the driver, and passenger. At least for me, the winding roads make me more than a little anxious, especially going there. Heading home, for some reason, seems easier. The scenery, though, is totally worth the experience.
We left plenty early in order to arrive in time for his 9AM meeting, and as there was very little traffic, that was fairly easy to do. The distance is 75 miles, however, when none of road is straight, it takes a good deal longer than you might think. There's just something about a wall of chicken wire fencing to keep falling rocks at bay that is a little nerve wracking. All of a sudden it became foggy, which truth be told, was very cool to see.
We stopped in Squamish, where I have been two times now, for egg mcmuffins. There is one helluva wall of rock there.
Once past Squamish, you leave the sea portion of the road, heading inland to the sky portion.
There is but one road leading to Whistler, where we arrived about 45 minutes later. There, the fog shrouded much of the mountains.
At least the sun was shining and it was not too chilly, unlike the last time I was there while Matt and Tom were with us when we saw many of the same sights, however, it was so darn cold, I can't say we enjoyed it all that much. You may also recall that we went on the Peak2Peak gondola which was pretty scary for flatlanders such as us. I tried to photograph the scene during this visit for some perspective on the distance we traveled between the mountaintops, however, the fog didn't help, but here it is nonetheless.
My lens wasn't quite wide enough to capture the peaks, but you get the idea, right? Bruce went to work and I went to moseying around.
Because it was still early, the town had not yet come to life, allowing me to wander at will. I noticed a sign for a park, so I went that way, coming across a lovely water feature, and you know how much I appreciate a good water feature.
My wandering led me to this lovely spot at the entrance to the park.
Before long though, the park ended, so retracing my steps, I headed to the main plaza where the Olympic rings proudly anchor the area. I feel as if I did not notice the  inside ring details before.
Where before there were ice skaters, on this day, instead the grass was still in recovery mode, undoubtedly being preserved for the onslaught of summer visitors. On this side stands the memorial for the ParaOlympic Winter games.
From there I walked over to Audain Art Museum which we also saw before. In fact, as I recall, we took refuge from the cold inside.
The piece in the entryway is called, well, here is the information, better explained by the experts. I have learned that the museum was built to house the art collection of Michael Audain, and that the architecture has won multiple awards for both the building design, and how it fits into the landscape.
Because of the extreme temperatures, we did not wander around the building, however, this visit had no such limitations, allowing me to advantage of the fact that I had the area all to myself.
Some museum information for you and some fantastic night shots here. By the way, the above shots are taken behind the museum, should you be wondering.

Further roaming led me to wonderful park with a covered bridge and this fantastic sculpture.
Water rushed loud and fast below the pedestrian bridge which leads to the Upper Village in Whistler on Blackcomb Mountain.
It doesn't get much prettier than this.
Because I am in need of nothing, the shops hold little interest, so I was delighted to come across this area to visit before meeting back up with Bruce. Following lunch, we headed back the way we came, and what a different look we had on the return trip!
David called during the drive ,and all the while I kept practically squealing with delight, as behind every curve in the road, something more beautiful appeared.
I'm not sure whether to be scared, or excited about our upcoming journey through the Canadian Rockies on our way home. There is no doubt Bruce will probably tire of me asking if we can please STOP!
We did stop in Squamish on our way home because I wanted to see what it looked like in the same spot I photographed back in October. Sadly, by that time of the day the lighting was not great, so you won't be seeing that photo, however, this one didn't turn out half bad.
As you may recall, well that's probably asking too much of anyone to remember something we did in April, but this may jar your memory about our trip to the Sea to Sky gondola. The view from the mountaintop overlooks the water pictured above. While we have seen Shannon Falls before, this was the first time I noticed it from afar.
Then it was back to winding our way home, passing many of the islands which, in just two days, we will be alongside on our way to Nanimo on Vancouver Island, before heading to Nootka Island (ignore the cocaine seizure story and just look at the map!) the following day.
As there will be no internet connection during our absence, and so much has happened since we went to Whistler, look for me in this space again tomorrow. If not for a blog post, I'm likely to forget some awesome activities!

yours truly,

Gail

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