The Boston Day Book requested a re-cap of my June trip to British Columbia in my "home and native land." They just published it which you can read here :) See below for the article + photos + quick compilation of some Go Pro clips (ft. Brandywine Falls, The Chief, and Joffre Lake).
I recently returned from a six-day adventure packed trip to British Columbia. Despite being Canadian, I had never ventured out West before. I was immediately smitten. With the sea-to-sky highway, turquoise waters and gorgeous mountains hugging the horizon at every turn, I felt as though I’d stepped into a summery snowglobe.
If you ever get the chance to visit Canada, British Columbia should be at the top of your list. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
I flew into Vancouver but the majority of my time was spent exploring Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton.
I was lucky in that I had a local guide to show me all of the best spots in a short amount of time. Every day was maximized to the fullest.
Camping in Keyhole
From Vancouver we drove along the sea-to-sky highway, stopping briefly in Whistler (about 1.5 hours away) before continuing onto Keyhole Hot Springs, near Pemberton (about 100km north of Whistler). I’m embarrassed to admit that this was my first-ever camping escapade.
Luckily, I was with some experienced woodsmen (Jesse & Shane), the cutest woodswoman (Emma) and the coolest woodsdog named Mo (who fiercely killed a mouse running loose in the tent)! They made me feel so welcomed and had organized everything down to the Kraken Rum covered marshmallows.
We camped near a magical hot spring in the middle of an (enchanted) forest. It was right out of a fairytale.
Brandywine Falls (20 minutes south of Whistler Village)
Brandywine Falls, that drop 66 metres into Daisy Lake, is a must-see (there was even a rainbow, I mean come on!). We hiked down to get a better view and ventured as close as possible until we were doused with the glacier-cold water (refreshing alright!) We also watched a drone drive a slack-line from one side of the Falls to the other and then in awe as a guy casually walked across. Pretty impressive.
Hiking Stawamus Chief (Squamish, B.C.)
Hiking to the top of Stawamus Chief, or “The Chief,” in Squamish was well worth the post gin-and-tonic tinged ascent for the breathtaking views alone (as well as a great bum workout ;). We re-hydrated and ate our lunch overlooking the emerald waters as kite-boarders zig-zagged across The Spit below. The little chipmunks up there were so friendly and definitely not shy about taking trail mix right from our hands.
Peak to Peak
Whistler Blackcomb’s PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola is the longest and highest lift in the world. My friend had a mountain bike park pass (really cool watching the riders from an aerial view) so he was nice enough to let me use his “bring a friend” voucher to explore B.C.’s rooftop vistas. While arguably the best time to visit Whistler Blackcomb is to ski/snowboard the mountains in the winter, it was still incredible to experience an alpine summer. There was snow when we got to the top so I felt like I got a (very small) taste of both seasons.
Whistler was also the Host Olympic Park for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, so of course I had to get an extreme(ly dorky) tourist photo on the podium.
Down in Whistler Village, I splurged on some gear at The Circle and enjoyed a Canadiano Latte (with maple syrup) at Mount Currie Coffee Co. Emma (pictured), is a coffee wizard and topped it with a cute foam bear cub. I have a weird obsession with librarys’ so I was happy that I got to see the Whistler Public Library, which just so happens to be an environmentally-friendly, award-winning building!
Last but not least, we did a mellow hike to Joffre Lake (make sure you go all the way to the third lake!) Nature’s creations never cease to amaze, and this place will forever be ingrained in my mind.
All in all, it was an adventurer’s dream. I can see how the lifestyle out there can become addicting. There is something about exploring the outdoors, embracing nature and living amongst the trees that silently feeds the soul.