Sunday, June 3, 2012

Memorial Day travels ,(6 was my lucky number), and Bears oh my!

I will admit that traveling on a US National holiday (Memorial Day) did not make me a happy camper starting out on Monday. I had to travel to Vancouver and it’s a very long 4 hour flight not including airport time arriving and departing.  Luckily my gypsy spirit kicked in and I decided to explore. I have always wanted to travel to Whistler, Canada and it’s not too far for a day’s adventure.  As soon as I got my rental car at the airport, I headed towards the mountains. The journey was around 2 hrs plus to get there and it was such an incredible drive.  When I started out the ocean was to my left for miles and miles and you could see the water and the little islands scattered around.  After an hour or so I reached the woods/forest and I drove through some of the cutest little towns like Furry River and Brackendale (claims they’re the winter home of the bald eagle). I was so tempted to pull over in these towns but I stayed focus on my destination of Whistler. The rain was a constant presence  throughout the day. Sometimes pretty hard and most times a consistent sprinkle.  I even saw 6 deers on side of road and i pulled over to take a quick picture. Once I arrived into Whistler Village I had no idea what I was going to do. I paid for a 2 hr parking spot and I walked into the Visitor Canter. Just then the rain had no mercy and it came down a gully washer. This was funny because it was suggested to walk around all the scenic trails that circled a long path around the village and the mountain. I didn’t have an umbrella with me this time ( not sure why , I usually do) nor did I have a hoodie or hat to wear.  I walked around the Village shops for a few minutes but everything was crazy expensive and remember the taxes are insane too.  Believe it or not I was not in the mood for shopping and there isn’t a thing I need that I don’t have plenty of at home (I guess I could have picked up a hat or umbrella though).  I took some pictures of the gondola and the ski lift when the rain eased up. It was cool watching the mountain bikers around there. They were all ages and covered in mud from head to toe.
Olympic Village Inukchuk

Whistler Village Inukchuk

Gondola in Whistler Village

Cute town on way to Whistler

Olympic village rings

I really wanted to go up on the ski lift but it was kinda getting late in the afternoon and plus it was super cloudy and still rainy. No use in paying money to come there to take a few crappy pictures.
After only walking around for 40 minutes I was ready to start my drive back into Vancouver. I was in no hurry to head back but I needed to check in to the hotel and get there before too dark.
I had left Whistler Village and was maybe 3 miles down the road when the sign for the Olympic Village with arrow stating 9 miles came up. I went back and forth in my mind for a few seconds and thought –what the heck, just DO IT!!   I turned on the road and was heading up that part of mountain maybe 5 minutes into my drive when I saw a black bear. NOW let me ‘splain something to y’all real quick. You see my mom moved to Wyoming 24 years ago, then she lived in Colorado for a few years and now y’all know she’s lived in Montana for almost 12 years now and the ONLY time I have EVER seen a bear was 10 years ago in Yellowstone Park. I would have never seen that one but people were pulled over on side of road with frickin telescope out and it was the black moving spot on the top of mountain. It almost doesn’t really count.  Did I mention that I don’t have my camera with me and was only using my Blackberry for all the pictures I was taking. I was so excited when I saw this bear, the picture was so fuzzy from my hand shaking from the fear and excitement.  Heck, i was excited from the start just seeing the deer ar beginning of trip.  Once the shock of seeing the bear set in, I said  “OK you’ve seen a bear you can go now” . I kept driving towards the Olympic Village. I didn’t get maybe a mile away when I saw another black bear. This one was a little farther from the road near a little stream of water coming down the road.  I still spoke out loud “ stay there Mr Bear- Be still there Mr Bear”.  Of course I have no idea of these bears were boys or girls and I wasn’t getting out of the car!!  I continued my drive and maybe 200 yards away was  YES-another bear. This bear was pretty darn big and was just walking around looking for food. This picture is blurry because I took it while he was moving.  When I reached the area for high ski jump there was a bear out there in the field. It was too far away for my blackberry to zoom in to notice this one.  I arrived at the location where the Olympic rings are and area for Olympic sports of some sort. I took quick picture and headed back. That’s when I saw a bear rustling around some bushes. It was pretty busy with the bush and I’m not sure why I took the picture. I know he’s there but you would never pick him out from the picture.  I was not very far from that one when I saw what looked like a baby bear VERY close to the road.  You always hear that if there’s a baby bear the momma bear aint too far behind. I drove past him and rolled the back passenger window down to take his picture. I wanted to be able to put car in gear and go fast if I had to.  SO, if you’re keeping up that is a total of 6 bears that I saw in a total of 30 minutes.  I hit the MOTHERLOAD!! None of them were together and they were all on same road. Y’all-can you even imagine my excitement?!!   To think that i almost didnt go up that road and it was a split second decision that paid off. I drove back to Vancouver with the biggest smile on my face and danced in my seat all the way. Ironically, I was listening to a classic rock station and Steppenwolf’s song “Born to be Wild” was playing.  Some of the lines fit me perfect and to the “T”:  Get your motor runnin, head out on the highway. Looking for adventure, in whatever comes our way.
Grazing bear

Thirsty bear at water

larger bear too close to road

baby bear - my car window not rolled down all the way

I actually blogged about this last Tuesday night but when I was adding the pics, my laptop froze completely and I lost everything. That sucked so bad because I was so busy the rest of the week.
Vancouver was good to me even though it rained EVERY SINGLE DAY. There were times that it would let up though and I would get out. I had the best Thai food I’ve ever had in White Rock.  I can’t remember the name of the restaurant but I will find my receipts this week. All in all, I had the most memorable Memorial Day and I am not disappointed at all that I had to travel on that day while my friends and fam had BBQ and enjoyed the sun. I am sooo blessed!
I’m heading to Montreal tomorrow…

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like fun! The names of some of those towns make me smile, though I'm not sure why exactly. Glad you were able to have some fun on your work trip :)

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