22 August 2018

Oh Canada!

After Whistler, Kat, Brookes and Stephanie all had to go back to that annoying thing called work.  Doug, James, Patrick, Pete and I made our way down to Squamish, B.C., which is a lot less touristy - but no less beautiful - than Whistler.  We rented a nice townhouse that was walking distance to the main street and had air conditioning (very important during Canada's epic heatwave).

Our condo was on the mountain end of the row on the left.  Not a terrible view!

The first day, we took the motorcycles over to Gibson's Island.  My bike was still in Washington, so I occupied the Princess Seat that day.  Getting there required a ferry ride, which certainly did not suck.

Looking back at Horseshoe Bay from the ferry to Gibsons Island.

Pete, Pat, Doug chillin on the ferry.

The mountains literally melt right into the water.

Again, I ask, why can't I live here??

We spent a good part of the day riding around the island, from the coast to the interior.  It reminded me a lot of the little towns on the Coast of Maine.  Before we got back on the ferry, we visited the local brewery (at this point, if you are still surprised by this, you haven't been reading very carefully).

View from the brewery.  They are building an elevated patio that will have an even better view.  Guess we'll have to go back!

After the ferry ride back to Squamish, we connected with James (who doesn't ride motorcycles so he ventured up the Sea to Sky Gondola while we were out riding).  We all went for dinner at Howe Sound Brewing, which was so awesome that we neglected to take a picture.  That was a great way to wrap up another successful Canada trip!

Whistler, B.C.

Oh Canada!

Anyone who's known me for any amount of time knows that I'd move to Western Canada in a heart beat.  Half a heart beat.  Love the terrain, love the people, love the vibe.  Alas, apparently one cannot (yet) make a valid claim for asylum there, so I'll either have to wait until Americans qualify or just keep visiting as a tourist.  😆 

I mean seriously, does it get better than this?  Click on the photo and look around.

I left Doug and the pups in Lynden, WA and drove up to Whistler, BC with Kat and Brookes (adopted daughter and step-daughter-in-law).  We had been planning this (man-free) trip to the Whistler Wanderlust Yoga Festival since last September!!  We arrived several days before the festival started, so we did our best to eat & drink our way through Whistler Village (a marathoner would justify that as carb-load; we just call it living!).   

Brookes, me and Kat on top of Whistler Mountain at the Farm to Table dinner.

I did one long hike along the High Note Trail before all the yoga started, and it was absolutely f-ing amazing!

The lakes are really that color - the silt from the melting glaciers turn them bright blue.

Wildflowers everywhere!

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one that led to the mountains.

Seriously, this is what it looks like.  No filters, no photoshop.  Just natural beauty.

Imagine no sounds other than this babbling mountain creek.

This is a marmot.  He sat and chomped down his breakfast about 20 feet from the trail. 
(He may have given me the finger when I took his picture, but he obliged nonetheless.)
At the end, there was beer.  Good beer. (Oh stop ... I'm sure Doug was drinking his very own beer somewhere that didn't require him to hike 8 miles.)

While we are on the subject of Marmots, did you know that Whistler was named after the whistling sound they make?  I hope someday you win a trivia contest because of that fun fact. 

The yoga festival started on Thursday and was so much more than I had ever imagined.  I took some amazing yoga classes, attended meditation workshops, chanted with a Tibetan monk, learned about fascia release and attended some more amazing yoga classes.  I even met the yogi I want to be when I grow up, Seane Corn, who made me think about yoga as a way of living, not just some movement on a mat a few times a week.  This may sound corny, but I absolutely experienced the awakening I had hoped to experience.  Long story short, I'm already locked in to go next year.

Some of the classes were out here on the plaza -- right outside our rental condo.

One of the "experiences" was walking out into the woods to hear this guy play the cello.

I was also so fortunate to have my longtime friend Stephanie join us for the last two days of the festival.  I hadn't seen Steph in 4 years and it was so good to catch up, meditate together, do some yoga, and yes, drink some wine together.  

Steph and me at the Farm to Table dinner.

After all those days of yoga, meditation and wine, the boys crashed our zen met us in Whistler on Sunday after their motorcycle trip.  We took them to our favorite tapas restaurant, where we all ate way too much and experienced some amazing Spanish wine.  Reluctant to let the experience slip away too early, we (foolishly) followed that with more exploration of the Whistler tourist traps watering holes.

Pete (Kat's husband) bonding with an oilman from Edmonton.  

19 August 2018

Motorcycle Ride US to CA to US

Someone Is Behind In Their Blogging!!!! This is a "guest" post! I will let the primary blogger explain her absence from this blog for over 3 weeks.

The week that Jen was gone the Pups/Cat and I stayed in Lynden, WA trying to stay cool in the heat.  At the end of the week I took the pups to a kennel for their stay while we were away in CA, and Mookie prepared and setup for our local cat watcher.  We had one of the young women from the campground go to the RV everyday and love and pet Mookie so that she would not cut our throats for leaving her alone for 5 days.

On Saturday Patrick and Peter came up from Seattle area on their motorcycles and picked me up for our adventure up into CA.  Pete took us into town to one of the local Dutch restaurants in Lynden (Dutch heritage).  We then took off for the border, immigration and then into CA, east of Vancouver.  It just so happened that it was British Columbia Day weekend and the major road was packed.  We finally got off and headed North toward the mountains and had a good ride up to Lillooet.  Pete found us a fine outstanding 1 star hotel in the town, who apparently could only give us one room (for 3 of us) although 2 were reserved.  They had a rush of people staying overnight due to one of the major roads was shut down for fire and smoke. Luckily I had earplugs!

Next day was off to Whistler to the South and into the tourist areas.  We got into town and linked up with Jen, parked our bikes, settled into the condo and off to quench our thirst at a brewery.

We stayed one night, and left for Squamish BC (south of Whistler toward Vancouver).  Had a great Condo, just me Jen, Patrick, James and Peter.  All others had to go back to Seattle / work.  The next day we left for the ferry docks to catch a ferry across the bay to one of the peninsulas on the Straits of Georgia.  Good riding there, albeit some traffic, and ended at a brewery prior to heading back across the water on the ferry that afternoon.  Then back to Squamish.
Peter left the next day, as did James and Patrick, I and Jen just hung out at the condo all day.  The next day we left on bikes through Vancouver to the border crossing near Lynden, WA.  Got back home, made up with Mookie and Pat and Jen went and sprung the pups from the kennel.  Pat stayed the night with us and took off the next day back home.

Great ride, even if we could not get the intercoms to work so that we could all enjoy Peter while riding, but it was still great views and roads.  Hard to believe that it was 3 years prior that we did the Banff / Kamloops ride in Alberta.



Longer YouTube video