We left the campsite at 9:30. Before we left the park we decided to go on a few of the short nature walks which sounded interesting. The first was the Hemlock Trail, which was a short jaunt through an old hemlock stand. The next was the Cedar Boardwalk, which was a walk through an old cedar forest. We managed to go through the wrong way, likely disturbing the busload of British tourists who also happened to be there. Huge trees though…we were both very impressed. In the trailbook we called it an ‘Ecological Triumph.’
The last trail we went on was the Skunk Cabbage Trail. Now, what might not be immediately obvious is that the most abundant plant on this trail has leaves which vaguely resemble baby spinach, except they are about as long (or longer than) your arm from base to tip. Second, they smell like skunk. Not strongly, but you can definitely see where the name comes from. It was a marsh, so we saw a pile of interesting plants and wildlife. On the way out, Brianna caught something moving in the brush and we stopped awhile to look. It ended up being a litter of baby weasel-like rodents who were about as curious as we were. They were a bit shy and played a game of peek-a-boo with Chris and were fast as anything but we managed to get a good pic. So cute.
We stopped for food in Revelstoke, just outside Revelstoke National Park. Soon after, the scenery turned very arid. We were both surprised how dry everything appeared. Kamloops was a city sunk into a valley, with brush-covered slopes on either side. What trees were there were half brown. We stopped at Crazy Creek, a tourist attraction with a large suspension bridge. Not much to see, really. We got more food in Lillooet, high above the Fraser River. Chris was driving at this point so he didn’t get to see too much of it but it was so far down there wasn’t much to see anyway as the river valley was quite deep.
We drove through the mountains again, although it was mostly downhill by this point. We stopped a few kilometers outside Pennington to let the brakes cool a bit (they were extremely hot and worryingly smelly). We didn’t stay long though, as we still had quite a bit to go. Pemberton itself was pretty ritzy. It’s not far from Whistler and the success of that mountain as a tourist hotspot is leaching over onto the surrounding area. We didn’t complain much since the highway got really good. Whistler itself was very picturesque. Bus service suddenly appeared on the highway, and the houses/resorts/chateaus were stunning. I’d hate to imagine how much they rent for. We took a few stunned photos and went on our way.
The sun began setting. The rain started raining. The highway became congested with heavy construction and people drove at top speed. Chris’ knuckles were white on the wheel. The last hour alone was more draining than the rest of the day had been and we were both exhausted. As we approached Vancouver in the dark we really didn’t get a good view of the city but we weren’t bothered. We both just really wanted a place to stay. The first provincial park we went to didn’t have camping (the map said it did). Nor did the second. We ended up settling for another hotel campsite.
-4 road horses (Just outside Pemberton. Right on the road. Probably escaped.)
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