Tuesday, April 14, 2015

BC Part 2: Garibaldi Provincial Park.

All photographs courtesy of Jeanette Carioto

After emerging from the sacred land of the Stein River Valley, we continued on north then west through the towns of Lillooet and Pemberton on our way to Squamish. The scenery was breath-taking and I think in some ways this was one of the highlights of the trip. Seeing this part of the countryside. It was as quiet and remote in this mountainous region as I could want. The views grew increasingly dramatic. The terrain changed from the dry interior mountains to the lush and snow-capped coastal mountain ranges that British Columbia is famous for. In Squamish, we stayed at a brew pub. Super awesome experience. Who doesn't want to walk down from their hotel room and have a cold beer and a hamburger? Especially after several nights in the woods. We ate, relaxed and got ready for our hike in Garibaldi Provincial Park.
Our new buddy. Rte 99 outside Pemberton
Amazing scenery along the way
View of the Chief from our Hotel Room in Squamish
Jeanette was feeling a bit under the weather (we often both spend parts of our big trips sick from the travel) and had a hard time with the start of the hike. Considering we had several miles of switchbacks ahead of us, I could certainly understand the lack of stoke. The forest was certainly gorgeous, with towering pines dotting the slope. The pitch was impressive as was the engineering that went into the trail. They don't build em like that in New York.
The morning climb

 As we got up onto the plateau, the impressive scenery helped Jeanette forget her illness for a little while. This place was as stunning as all the literature suggested it would be. The weather was perfect too. It was crowded though! You could tell this area had a similar use pattern to the Eastern High Peaks. Whereas the Stein Valley hike was maybe more like the Cold River Valley of the Western High Peaks, more of an off the beaten path part of the parks. It was worth braving the crowds though. This is the British Columbia I'd heard so much about. We started out in a mountain meadow full of flowers and pine trees before making our way down to the lake shore.

Wild flowers of every color

Black Tusk is the name of the rock formation
Once on the shore of Garibaldi Lake we were even more blown away by the other worldly scenery. As we crossed the outlet of the lake, trout swam and rose in the crystal blue-green water. I of course thought of my dad, the famous trout fisherman and figured this would have been his favorite part of the trip.

see the trout rise?         

We hung out on the Lake shore and took pictures. I couldn't resist taking a swim in the unreal waters with the glacial back drop. It was as cold as it looks. After making our way back down, passing some smaller lakes and a stunning overlook at the volcanic dam that created the lake we return to town and spent the night in a place called the Hotel Squamish. It turns out this was the upstairs of a bar and liquor store. The room was small, hot and kind of crappy hahaha. As it got dark, the bar downstairs got bumping. Really bumping. There was a DJ spinning and the bass was shaking the room! We were pretty pissed. If we knew there was going to be a bumpin bar downstairs we never would've booked the room. I went down and tried to get the DJ to drop the volume just a little. It got so bad I even tried to find another room in town so we could get even a little sleep. We must've gotten some but it wasn't very good. Looking back the situation is almost comical. At the time, laughter was not a part of our evening. So a weird end to a pretty amazing day. From there we'd be starting the next leg of our trip: the drive across Vancouver Island to the village of Tofino and sveral nights camping in Pacific Rim National Park.

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