We saw many beautiful sights on the ninety minute drive between Vancouver and Whistler. So much so, that it took us twice as long each way, because we kept pulling off the highway to explore.
On the way to Whistler, we were told to pull off to see Shannon Falls. I've been to Hawaii and I've seen giant waterfalls, so I wasn't expecting much. Wow. It was enormous and you hear the rushing water before you see it. The waterfall is not visible from the highway, it is a ten minute walk from the parking lot over a mix of paved and dirt trails, everything is well maintained and there are lots of people around. Despite the warnings of car break-ins, the area feels very safe. The entire area is a well worn tourist stop. It may be hard to navigate for someone with a severe handicap, but I think most people can manage the walk and it's worth the effort.
The landscape in British Columbia reminded me very much of Hawaii, lots of rocks worn smooth from water and moss covered hills.
Next, we stopped at the Squamish Adventure Centre for a light lunch. This is a great place for a clean restroom and a grab and go meal. They have lots of brochures for local attractions and a play area for children. It looks like this may be a meeting place for tour groups, as there were many buses in the parking lot, but nobody in the center.
On the way home from Whistler, we went to check out the Olympic Center. located about twenty minutes from the center of town. We encountered the perils of traveling off season, when we discovered that the Olympic Center was closed.
The drive was so beautiful along the water, that we kept pulling off to take pictures. The low clouds and dark sky made the landscape look extra dramatic.
My favorite town name in Canada was "Furry Creek". It was just a little master planned community with a golf course in the middle of nowhere. It didn't even look like the town had a grocery store, gas station or Starbucks (the west coast doesn't seem to embrace Tim Horton's quite like the east coast).
Our best discovery on drive back was Porteau Cove, the most southerly fjord in North America. The clouds were really low and with the exception of a group of scuba divers and a few travelers walking their dogs, we were alone. It was so quiet and peaceful.
Normally, cityscapes leave me in awe, but it was impossible for Downtown Vancouver to compete with nature.