Monday, July 29, 2013

Vancouver — Grouse Mountain and Capilano Suspension Bridge

Hi there! I hope I didn't completely lose your attention after nearly a dozen posts about Seattle. I could have combined them into one massive post but my brain doesn't work like that. Fair warning — lots of travel posts ahead over the next few months. Lo siento.

Moving on to the next city we explored on that trip — Vancouver, British Columbia. Vancouver is comprised of three of my favorite things: the city, the water, and the mountains. I highly recommend that if you're doing Vancouver and Seattle in the same trip to take the four hour train ride for a scenic coastal view nearly the entire way.

The last time I was in Canada and I was eight years old and I biked 20-some miles from Vermont to get there. I'm pretty sure that my dad still claims this as one of my proudest life accomplishments.

I owe it all to that rad neon windbreaker.

While this Canadian bike ride may have been one of my greatest physical achievements as a youngster, I can now add two more memories from Canada that I'll never forget — one grueling and one thrilling.

Grouse Mountain

First of all, just so we are clear, we are completely inexperienced hikers.

We were supposed to be on a trail on Grouse Mountain called the Grouse Grind that was to lead us to the peak of the mountain but we ended up taking the Baden Powell Trail. I thought that it was just an easier trail that was going to lead us to the same spot. Wrong. It was a lush and peaceful hike for the first part of our journey, filled with babbling brooks and such, but as the incline became more challenging, I noticed less of the foliage and I only focused on not falling.

After about two hours into the hike, we still kept on forging ahead, although we knew we should have seen more signs of human life. At one point, the trail became super steep and scary. We knew we were on a trail but eventually decided that we were not on the right trail. It just kept going and going and going... and then it started raining... and then we decided to try dangerously hiking back down the trail. Did I mention that we only had half a bottle of water, no map, and not one family member or friend who knew where we were? Yep. As if my hiking in lululemon yoga pants didn't give it away, I'm a completely novice hiker.

After a few tears (from me), we safely managed to get down and we finally saw another hiker who led us to a road where we could walk down safely. Thank you Mr. Canadian guardian angel.

Sadly, we didn't end up making it to our intended destination but we still enjoyed most of our hike. I was so excited for a great view, some good beer, a lumberjack show, and taking the gondola back down, but sometimes you end up taking the road less traveled. I later learned that the trail we were on was 48 kilometers long. Thank goodness we stopped when we did.

Brian even said less than two minutes into our hike, "Shouldn't we be over on that trail with all of the other people?"

"No,  I think this is the one." -  me

Sometimes the husband knows best. Le sigh.

Capilano Suspension Bridge

The Capilano Suspension Bridge is not far from Grouse Mountain. A few people had told us that it was overpriced, and that the nearby Lynn Canyon Park (free) had a suspension bridge. With no interest in going on another arduous hike that day, we made the last minute decision to go ahead and walk across the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

Alongside hordes of Asian tourists, we walked across the bridge twice and lived to tell the tale. It is a bit of a pricey excursion ($40/person) but one of the greatest thrills I've experienced. It's pretty exhilarating being on a bridge thats wobbling like crazy more than 200 feet above a rocky river.

For further proof, see my Instagram video:


Jax said...


Allison said...

Brian could not have crossed that bridge any faster!