in the mind of...marica

This week’s topic prompts us to look at our beautiful city and describe a wonderful day in Vancouver. It's a challenge to choose just one! My favourite days this summer were actually spent outside the city at Garibaldi Lake, just outside of Squamish. Just a two hour drive from the city the trip can be done in a day or over a weekend. The 10km hike from the parking lot to the lake is steep and challenging, but rewarding when you arrive at the amazing glacial lake. The light aqua color is breathtaking with the glacier in the background – an incredible view that makes me thankful everyday that I live here.

From the lake there are two options for additional hiking – the Black Tusk, or Panorama Ridge.

The Black Tusk is an extinct volcano with the chimney visible – hence the name Black Tusk. It’s another 7km or so to the look-out point – but you shouldn’t stop there. From the look-out you can head to the ridge. From there, those with a sense of adventure can scramble up the loose volcanic rock so that they are just below the chimney. The vertical climb up the chimney can be intimidating, but the rush of climbing the rock (with or without gear) is an incredible feeling, and the reward at the top is indescribable. The view from the top and the feeling of accomplishment is magnificent.

(the above photos are of the climb up the Tusk Chimney (my friend Teresa) and from the summit)

Panorama Ridge is less steep of a climb, but just as rewarding. The hike is much more scenic and the flora and fauna on the hike up is beautiful. The colors of the flowers and meadows are vibrant – you can’t help but stop to enjoy the view. Once at the top, the view is incredible – even more so than from the top of the Tusk. The view of Garibaldi Lake is, well, now I’m running out of adjectives to describe it.

It’s hard to describe the feeling from such an experience. I was fortunate enough to have first tackled the hike in high school and had the privilege of returning twice this summer.

I think that it’s easy to get caught up in life and the city. And our city is amazing, no doubt about that. But there is so much to explore outside the city as well. We are so fortunate to live where we do that I wish for everyone to explore the exquisite, natural beauty outside of the city. The experience is indescribable. You learn so much about yourself when you take time to step away from the rush and stresses of life. You learn to push your boundaries in a different and unfamiliar environment – not only your physical boundaries, but your emotional ones as well.

Take an adventure. Explore somewhere or something you’ve never done before and see what you learn about yourself when it’s just you and a mountain, or you and a beautiful lake.

Please contribute any other amazing spots that you know of – hikes, lakes, and adventures you’ve been on. I’d love to hear about them as I’m always looking for something new to explore.

Chat again next week!