Had a brief holiday after attended the Educational Technology User Group conference at Simon Fraser University in June. Since I was already on the mainland, Brittany jumped on the ferry and met me for a little exploration around Whistler and Squamish. We camped in Whistler and explored the village. The following day we hiked up Mount Brew, which was a bit more of a climb then we anticipated. Mount Brew offers camping near a small lake at the summit and wonderful views of Garabaldi across the valley. We then explored Brandywine Falls Provincial Park before heading back down to Squamish.
In Squamish we had dinner and some lovely craft brews at the Howe Sound Brew Pub. The following day we took the Sea to Sky Gondola up the Stawamus Chief mountain to explore the views and trails at the top. I would love to get back to actually do the climb up this mountain. The area is popular with rock climbers as well so we saw some cliff hangers from the gondola on the journey up.
With a few extra days off, I dropped Brittany back at the ferry for passage back to Vancouver Island and set off on a new adventure. I have quite little experience in mainland British Columbia so decided to drive out across the Okanagan Valley to Osoyoos. It was a long drive, which only started at 3pm, so I ended up in Osoyoos around 8pm. The terrain here is remarkable, a desert like environment with low brush, high mountains and canyons a plenty. I was pleasantly reminded of the area south of Windhoek in Namibia. I am a fan of wide open spaces like this, where you can see for kilometres around you and imagine your journey hours before you might reach the spot you are viewing.
From Osoyoos I crossed into Washington State with intent to drive the I-20 highway crossing the North Cascade Mountains. From Osoyoos to the North Cascades I went from extreme heat to snow capped peaks. I passed through the little mountain towns of Tonasket, Twish and Winthrop as I gainged elevation towards the cascades. The North Cascades are beautiful and there is much to explore there. I did a quick hike at the Ross Dam, exploring the dam on the Skagit River. I then ended up camping at the Goodel Creek Campground, which served me well for a quiet night of rest.
The following day I drove back up to Vancouver, through Bellingham, Washington. I crossed the Georgia Straight from Tsawwassen to Duke point and found myself at home.