Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sea To Sky Highway

The north/south highway along the westernmost banks of British Columbia mainland is known as the Sea To Sky Highway and it is a glorious ride.  Upon debarking the Queen of Cowichan ferry we took this route to Squamish where we'll spend a few days exploring this part of BC.

Horseshoe Bay, near Lions Bay.
Just can't beat this view, eh?

This is beautiful but wild territory as evidenced
 by the many "bear beware" signs along the highway.

At every stop we see brochures and posters advising visitors as to the proper behavior for bear encounters.

One of the tips is not to turn and run.  Right.
Another tip is not to make a loud noise at the bear.  Like a scream?

The slideshow below contains some pictures taken as we drove along the Sea-To-Sky Highway. The waterway is all part of Horseshoe Bay. Anvil Island is the large island in some of the pictures.

Facts about this area:

  • Ice once covered this area and glaciers gouged out the dramatic scenery that surrounds and inspires us. As the glacial ice receded, people came and aboriginal society existed on the salmon, cedar and shellfish here.
  • By 1858 European fortune seekers came here for the Cariboo gold rush -- taking the land for mining, timber extraction and agriculture.
  • In 1914 construction of a railroad began and 42 years later, that railroad would connect Squamish to Vancouver.
  • The most dramatic happening here was the completion of the Seaview Highway in 1958 affording visitors a relative easy visit to this once remote place.
  • These days, the stunning mountains, blue water and outdoor adventure bring people to this area. It is a land where the ocean meets the mountains and is world renowned for rock climbing, mountain biking and windsurfing. 

We reached Eagle Vista Campground in Squamish by mid-afternoon and settled into our campsite. The sun is warm but the campground has some really big and tall pine trees that provide a nice shade.

There is a great granite monolith near here and we have a clear view of it. It's known as Stawamus Chief and it towers impressively over the city of Squamish.
Stawamus Chief still has snow. 

Another mountaintop, very near Stawamus Chief, became enveloped in huge clouds of smoke on two different days while we were here.  It was reported that a wild fire was being extinguished.

Taken from our coach door. That's Stawamus Chief on the right.
The wildfire appears to be on the far side of the peak of the mountain to the left.

The city of Squamish, British Columbia sits directly beneath another gargantuan rock mountain. I'm not certain, but I think this might be Mount Garibaldi.  The day we toured the city, I took a few pictures.

Downtown Squamish

That is Stawamus Chief in the background.
Notice the city banners to the right -- eagles and bears.

These are the wild blackberries that finally did me in.  There's a long row of bushes growing within 2 feet of the coach.  I've been seeing blackberries since we were in Oregon in mid June. Someone told me they are a "nuisance" plant here.
Unable to resist, I picked a quart and ate half of them while washing them.  Now if I could only bake.

So that's what we saw in and on the way to Squamish.  We'll take a day trip to Whistler tomorrow.

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