PNW Dreamland: Part 2

December 17, 2017

PNW Road Trip: Vancouver

The second leg of our trip took us over the border and into Canada to explore the multicultural city of Vancouver and it's surrounding arctic escapes. The drive from Seattle to Vancouver is a quick and enjoyable 2 hours. Vancouver is  small city with the perfect blend of green spaces and urban hideouts, made to be explored by bike or foot. The surrounding mountains and lakes are otherworldly, join me on my journey through the capital of British Columbia.

Out of Seattle and into British Columbia

Our road-trip out of Seattle started with a stop at the impressive campus of the University of Washington, and the incredible Suzzallo Library - something out of Hogwarts. After taking some very insta-worthy snaps at the library we drove over to the neighborhood of Ballard for a diner breakfast from Skillet and roamed the Sunday Ballard Farmers Market. The 2 hour drive into Vancouver was quick and pleasant, once we dropped our stuff we headed out to the historic Gastown area. We strolled down Water street, and took in all the old buildings, vintage lampposts and steam clock.

A Day at Joffre Lakes

The next day was another early start, as we made our way north to Joffre Lakes, and what was anticipated to be our highlight of the trip. It did not disappoint. An early start meant most of the drive in the dark, but the light revealed itself at the perfect time as we found ourselves in a labyrinth of snow capped mountains that seemed to touch the sky. As we drove like wide eyed children on Christmas morning we found a stop off at a lake with a walking trail around it. We ran to the water, icy air clinching out lungs, and marveled at the autumn colors and mountains that surrounded us as the morning mist rose off the lake. We pinched ourselves and completed our drive to Joffre Lakes. We were the first car that pulled into the lot, which was a bit nerve-racking, but also fulfilling because we heard this park is very popular. Early starts and off-season visits were definitely paying dividends. We hit the trail and made our way to the first lake. The first lake was slightly underwhelming, but we continued with hope and after an hour of a difficult climb we sighted the emerald glacier lake in the distance. Our pace increased as we hurried to the lake and were overwhelmed with what was before us. Just the 2 of us and this magnificent glacial lake. We managed to make a few bird friends and continued our way around the lake taking in views from every angle. 

After we rested a bit, we made our way up to the final of 3 lakes. the climb was much more rugged and not for those that don't enjoy a physical challenge. But like everything the effort was worth the reward. This last lake was by far the most enchanting. Again we were alone with this tranquil emerald lake, with the glacial mountaintops within sight. We took our time at this spot and walked around the lake to enjoy all it had to offer. Looking back, this was certainly one of those moments you'll remember for life. The raw beauty that the world has to offer cannot be understated. We ascended the mountain and made our way into nearby Whistler for some much needed coffee at Camp Lifestyle and Coffee Co, the cutest little cabin coffee shop. Exhausted and inspired, we enjoyed the golden hour drive back to Vancouver. This was certainly a day to remember.







2 days in Vancouver

 Our next day was a little more leisurely as we spent the day exploring the city by bike. Our first destination was Stanley Park. On oasis on the edge of the city, Stanley Park reminds me of Central Park with the winding roads and balance between nature and urban space.After exploring most of the park we had our first hiccup as my bike got a flat tire. Luckily we made it through most of the park and had the bike rentals picked up and we carried on by foot. Ramen was our next stop and we indulged at Ramneman (highly recommend). We walked through the districts of Vancouver Island and eventually caught a ferry to Granville Island where we wandered the endless shops of the market stands.  It was great and relaxing day.

The next day, and our last of this incredible trip, we went to the Capilano Suspension bridge and the surrounding park. This was definitely a worthwhile stop and a cool sight to walk along this 450 ft bridge that was accompanied by walkways among the trees. Our last hours were spent wandering the last corners of Vancouver Island we had yet to see as we waited for our flight home.

PNW you were a dream, thank you for revealing your natural beauty to me I am forever humbled.

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