Highway 99 in British Columbia, which connects Vancouver to Squamish to Whistler and to many other towns and provincial parks. I rented a car and some camping equipments and started with a very simple itinerary. I have 10 days and wanted to drive all the way down to Lillooet and see as much nature as I could. However, I changed my itinerary when I arrived in Lillooet and went as far as Kamloops and came back through highway 5 as a loop. Unfortunately the last two days I encountered crazy down pour as the wet season was upon us and I didn’t get to do much except driving.
The drive itself was pretty exhilarating, I got to see how the landscape changed from forest to lake to mountain to rock and back again. I’m the latter part of the highway 99 drive, I drove through canyons and mountain pass and through hairpins, which was a really fan drive. I didn’t like the rental car at first until I noticed it has gear paddles and I can actually change gears, which made the drive a lot of fun.
I went to many places: Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton, Lillooet, Kamloops, Abbotsford and all the parks in between.
My first stop is Squamish, situated an hour north of Vancouver. The town is small and quint, situated next to the Stawamus Chief, a giant granite monolith and the Howe Sound, a beautiful reservoir. I first arrived in the town in the afternoon after having to wait for my rental car. The weather was fantastic and the town overlooks many mountain ridges. I got some food at a place my friend suggested and stocked on water and food. Of course after a short stroll around town, I went off to the Chief. The camping is walk in only during winter so I wasn’t sure where I can park my car, so I asked a bunch of people and the answers seem to vary and uncertain. So I said fuck it and decided to hike up the first peak of the Chief, there is no reason to worry about where to camp when the weather is so nice.
The hike isn’t very difficult but there are a lot of steep steps. It’s a more fun hike than the grouse grind and have a lot of variation and a lot of granite. After I got on the top, the view was great and I saw a dude ran off the peak with his paraglide and landed across the Howe Sound.
After bullshitting a bit on the peak, I went down and chill near the water fall for a bit since the weather was so good. Then I decided to get dinner and gave a hitchhiker a ride where he told me I can park in the climbers parking lot. That’s exactly what I did, but the cars parked there all left by the time night fell that I decided to camp in the car just so it won’t get towed. Car was spacious enough but camping in the car sucked.
I woke up early the next morning feeling pretty shitty and cold, but no one towed me.
I went to Shannon falls, and the second peak that morning because I needed a warm up. The hike up to second peak is way more fun than the first peak with ladders and a lot more granites. The view was better too, but Shannon fall is just meh. I tried to get to the third peak but the trail isn’t marked and I didn’t want to hike too much so I just left half way.
After I got down, I bouldered a bit at a rock across the stream with some people. I fucked up my foot on a dino, but I didn’t notice how bad until a lot later. Then I also went to Apron Trail to check out the sports climb route even thou I couldn’t do any of that.
That afternoon, I drove to check out Alice lake. It is a park consists of 4 lakes and a pretty popular bike trail. It was a good hike, but lakes weren’t too impressive and you have to pay to camp there. I went back to the Chief and got ready to drive to Whistler the next day and that was my time spent in Squamish.
The next morning I packed my shit quickly and left for Whistler. I didn’t camp that day because I was going to watch football that day.
The town of Whistler is compromised of many villages off the highway with Whistler village being the most popular. Whistler is a really popular ski/snowboarding resort and many European/Australians go there to work so they can snowboard during winter. Whistler is also extremely expensive for the same reason, a strange craving for mickeydee chicken nuggets cost me 13 Canadian dollars.
However, Whistler is a beautiful town, with lakes, and mountains everywhere, not to mention shops and restaurants too. I arrived in Whistler looking for a sports bar. The first one is filled with people watching the rugby world cup, every TV has that sorry ass shit on. I left and found a second bar, all 60/inch TVs playing football. The bar tender and regulars all play fantasy too, so it was a dope environment. Watch the Chargers lose to the Raiders, then I went to sleep. I didn’t do anything on Sunday and won’t be doing anything on Sundays.
The next day the weather was shit and sun refused to show its face. Small drizzles follow here and there and thwarted my plan to check out Garibaldi lake. Instead, I went around Whistler, checking out all the towns and lakes and the Chekamus River. The Chekamus River is beautiful with a torquiose color and I could have done some rafting if it wasn’t so cold. At one of the lakes, I met a lady that swim in it everyday for health reasons.
The next day the sky gave us Sun and I set out to see Garibaldi lake. The map didn’t show me that the hike from the parking lot to the lake is 10km long. I don’t really like long walks, but it was totally worth it.
The Garibaldi lake is a glacier lake created from the melted glaciers of the Sphinx Glacier and there are two more lakes leading up to the main lake. The color of the lake is blue/turquoise because glaciers contains tiny rocks called glacier flour that reflects blue and green lights. It was snowing a little that morning, so there are snow on the trail. The lake and the glacier are beautiful but it seems like going in the summer is a better idea, then you can kayak or possibly swim in the lake. There is an island in the middle full of cairn rocks, so people definitely crossed the water.
I was going to camp by the lake but decided to move to another location nearby because I had reception there and can check the basketball scores since its the first game of the season. The view is awesome too, but I should have went to Panorama Ridge because it has the best view there. However I have to walk another 7km, which makes the return trip 17km the next day. I got lazy and I shouldn’t have because I wanted to go to Panorama Ridge the next day, but rain started falling like crazy that night.
I had no choice but to pack my stuff and not hike the marathon to see a bunch of fogs. I went down the mountain and drove to Pemberton and checked out Mount Currie and had food. It was still raining, and you can barely see the mountain so I moved on.
My next destination is Joffre Lake park and fortunately the rain stopped for a bit when I got there. Joffre lake is set between Pemberton and Lillooet, it is another 3 sets of glacier lakes fed by the Matier Glaciers. It was a really good trail and I’m really impressed by how Canada takes care of their trails. The first lake is at the trail head, but the last two are at the end. The lake is right by the glaciers and gave you a really close up look of the glaciers. The water is the purest tone of turquoise and beautiful. The fog just showed enough of the glacier for pictures before it rained again. I didn’t camp there because I wanted to go to Lillooet to watch Lakers first game.
One of the people I met in Ecuador suggested that I go to Lillooet, so I did. I drove there that night, the drive there boosts some of the best views as well an enjoyable drive even thou the rain made it tricky.
Lillooet is by the Fraser river tugged between the Fraser canyons. Being a away from the coast, the mountain ecosystem changed that the trees are gone and there are just rugged rocks. I saw a sign on the way that markets Lillooet as rugged and it fits.
Lillooet is beautiful, but it is also a ghost town, you don’t see a lot of people around and things are definitely not popping. Took me a while to find a bar with TV to watch the Lakers game. Lakers lost Lakers fashion, blew lead and all that. The next morning I walked around and went to the gym to shoot some hoops because I haven’t touched a basketball for a long time since then. It felt great to chill and just shoot around. Because there weren’t much to do in Lillooet, I decided to drive the BC loop to Kamloops and return to Vancouver via the 5 freeway. That way I get to see more places than just go back the same way.
I drove to Kamloops and the drive was amazing now that it wasn’t raining and the road wasn’t wet. Drove like a maniac alone on the road. I passes by canyons, mountains, lakes and forests. However, Kamloops isn’t that exciting. It is a kind of a big city with malls everywhere, even a Costco. I drove around the city a bit and car camped outside of Walmart.
The next day it started raining crazier than ever. The visibility is about 2 meters and I don’t why Canadians don’t drive with their headlights when its raining like that. However, I already moved on to the 5 highway and its a 3 lane road most of the time not the narrow road on 99. The scenery degraded too, but you can’t see shit so it didn’t matter. I planned on driving to Bridal Veil falls, but unfortunately it was closed in the winter because ice falls from the fall. I was rather disappointed about that so I ended up chilling in a bar in Abbotsford. It is a pretty cool small city and I did some Halloween shopping since everything is really cheap.
Halloween in Vancouver
Spent Halloween in Van, I drank so much the headache next day was unbearable. Did the Devin, finished 2/3 of a fifth by myself for pregame. For the first time ever, I didn’t make my own Halloween costume, I just wore a snowman overall because I didn’t have time since I was traveling. Therefore I didn’t post a picture. It was pretty wild but I think the good old ucsb Halloween is much more crazy. From Granville to gas town. Although everyone is dressed up I didn’t see anyone particularly blew my mind. I thought there would be more hotline bling Drake lmao to be honest, but I only saw two. I would have totally done that but I couldn’t find a cheap enough boot to go with the sweatpants and turtle neck sweater.
I also went to the library that morning, it was a really cool library even thou a good part of it is a restaurant and stores.
Reading a Proverbs book in Portuguese, says do to others like you would do to ourselves.