Trans Can HWY #11: Whistling banana slugs

Two years ago this past August, my mother and I ventured on a cross country trek in my brother’s Jeep across Canada. We drove west from southwestern Ontario to Vancouver, BC over the course of two weeks, and then down to northern California to meet up with the men in our family. The following are taken from emails I wrote to family and friends.

Day 11: Friday, August 10, 2012

IMG_3267Left Clearwater at a somewhat reasonable hour – I feel we’re getting later and later starts to the day, but I am okay with this. I have spent much of the day feeling ill, I blame it on the winding roads we choose to take – HWY 24, 97 and 99 are not my friends… Although, we have seen a lot of white tail deer, so being carsick has its advantages I guess.

HWY 99 was the worst of them all. Incredibly snakey, but with beautiful cliffs and views of the IMG_3308rugged terrain. Went through a town called Lillooet and then on to Whistler! Again, a gorgeous town and cool knowing that this is where the most recent winter Olympics were (partially) held, but basically a beautiful Disney-esque ski town. EVERYONE that works here is from abroad. Banff seemed to be made up of a lot of Aussies. Here? They’re from all over the world. We actually met a guy, Alam, from Indonesia back at the Icefields Centre. He has worked there for the past two years in six month stints (that’s how long the season is) and then goes home to hang IMG_3317out in Bali or visit his fam on the mainland. I like his lifestyle. He gave me his email address in case I ever want to join him and his lifestyle. Ha. Anyway, Whistler be cool. Saw the ski jump up the road a bit…. And that was Whistler in an hour and a half. OH and we discovered that the ice-cream parlour I very much enjoyed, Cows, is a chain. So round two was in order. Yum.

From Whistler we made it to Vancouver quite quickly, however, just in time for rush hour. Got a bit lost, but good ol’ Google maps helped us out and we ended up in North Shore Vancouver on Capilano Road. We decided to do the Capilano Suspension Bridge. C’est magnifique and quite educational. Learned about the flora and fauna that make up the Vancouver area. Got to see some of the IMG_3415fauna, namely banana slugs. I love me some slime! Interesting tidbit: the slime they produce numbs predator’s mouths, so racoons, being as smart as they are, figured out by rolling them in dirt first, they would bypass that whole horrid bit of having numb-mouth. Anyway we were there to see a bridge and not slugs. Not the largest in Canada (been there done that back in good ol’ Ontario) but definitely pretty cool. This bridge can hold two 747’s, which is a bit much in my estimation, but you never know when that’ll come in handy (like the time a Douglas Fir snapped and landed on it, shifting the anchors two metres under its impact). It was first built in 1889 and is 450 ft long and 230 ft high (the height, in their words, of four stacked T-Rexes. Good lord).

IMG_3441What I found to be really cool, was the Cliff Walk. A 60-cm IMG_3462wide bridge that hugs some of the rock face of the place, this actually made me a bit queasy. Odd. Swinging suspension bridge? Not so much. Sturdy cliff hugging platform? Yes.

After filling our brains with knowledge, we headed towards Grouse Mt. and stopped at Cleveland Dam, which controlled the Capilano River water (which the Suspension Bridge was built over). Purdy.


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