From the Rockies to the Pacific Ranges, this is a drive full of flora, fauna and wonderful sights of nature.
Why It’s A Gem:
From Alberta the comforting continuity of the cathedral of nature, the Rockies, envelops me securely despite dizzying hairpin turns, precarious bridges and rock curtains.
With rivers as a constant companion, the provincial border is made indiscernibly irrelevant. Round every bend in the highway, a waterfall. Butterflies as big as hummingbirds flit beside the window and a family of black bears parade through the forest.
Slowly, lush, temperate rainforest greenery, redolent pines, and minute differences in topography begin to show. Then eventually misty rain and water everywhere – cascading down mountains, coursing through rivers, nearly placid in lakes. Yet, it is not until it appears in the form of the ocean that the city of Vancouver truly comes into being.
A little before there had been an indication that city life would end the mountains I’d been caught in the embrace of for so long, but it is an illusion. I am not so much driving in the mountains as before them, from the Rockies to the Pacific Ranges. New mountains to get to know. Clouds descend upon them and with trees covering them rather haphazardly, they look like bald spots in otherwise fabulous hair.
Into Vancouver via Chinatown – vibrant, busy and lively with loads of old buildings. From Grouse Mountain, to the Lions Gate Bridge, to the waterfront and Granville Island, towering skyscrapers and Capilano bridge, totem poles and Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden the thing I associate most with Vancouver are the trees. These ancient pines, deciduous canopies have tales to tell. No matter where I go, I am never far from them and it creates a sense of being in the forest always. I begin to sense them, imperceptible at first, but they will reveal their secrets to those who listen in awe.
This original article first appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.