1. Riding bikes in Stanley Park and walking through Gastown
2. Driving Sea-to-Sky highway
3. Brittania Mine Museum – underground train tour and BOOM! Exhibit
4. Beautiful hikes to Shannon Falls and Chief Stawamus Peak
5. Burst upon the Mount Robson view, utterly spectacular snow covered mountain peaks
1. Missing Gassy Jack
2. Grueling Super steep hike on Chief Stawamus
3. Hauling camping gear in wheelbarrows in Riverside camping area
(Click below-right to read more)
Tuesday - We got off the ship in the late morning and left our luggage in storage at the cruise terminal. We rented bikes and took the Stanley Park bike trail (2-3 hours), then turned in the bikes and walked over into Gastown to see the tourist shops and the steam-powered clock (1 hr). We returned to the terminal to collect the luggage, and walked to the subway to take the train to the airport. At the airport we disembarked and waited for the Best Western Airport Plus ($200/night) shuttle to take us to the motel, and we called it a study evening.
Wednesday - We checked out and drove north along the sea-to-sky highway (2 hrs of driving in total). We stopped at the Brittania Mining Museum to take the underground train tour and Boom! experience (2 hours) Thereafter, we stopped to hike to Shannon Falls (1 hr, <1 mile) and then parked in the adjacent parking lot to hike the Chief Stawamus first peak trail (3 hours, 2.3 miles 1526 ft/mile). We continued north to Whistler and stayed in the Riverside Campground ($35/night).
Thursday - We packed up from camping and drove northeast to Jasper National park (8.5 hrs), checked in at the Whistlers campground (3 nights @ $30/night)
1. Riding bikes in Stanley Park and walking through Gastown - This was one of Tera's must-do activities. Vancouver is a great biking town, with lots of dedicated bike paths, and Stanley park with a path all the way around, with great views of the city abounding. We rented a two single bikes and a tandem, because every kid needs to learn how to ride a tandem at some point in their lives.
2. Driving Sea-to-Sky Highway - This was a beautiful drive along the Canada coastline with islands off to the west, and mountains to the east.
3. Brittania Mine Museum – Underground train tour and BOOM! Exhibit - A very worthwhile tour of the old copper mine, full of history of the area and history of mining. We went underground on the train to witness some examples of how mining is done, and then saw the massive hillside factory, now converted into a multi-media exhibit, quite impressive and very LOUD! like the factory used to be.
4. Beautiful hikes to Shannon Falls and Chief Stawamus Peak - The Shannon falls hike was an easy stroll to a beautiful waterfall. Then the Chief Stawamus Peak trail was a grueling climb up the mountain, most of it stairs, the steepest thing we've every hiked to date at 1500 ft elevation gain per mile. The view from the top was glorious, but more than a mile of steep stairs was enough to make the most agreeable kids tired and ornery.
5. Burst upon the Mount Robson view, utterly spectacular snow covered mountain peaks - the drive to Jackson was mostly forest on either side, but the vision came when we approached Mt. Robson, and a turn in the road revealed some mountains climbing up from right to left until the peak burst into view. It was one of the most stunning views I've ever seen while driving, quite impressive.
1. Missing Gassy Jack - not really a low-light, but kind of a funny experience. Many of the tourist maps of downtown note a "gassy jack statue" which we went to go find on our walk. When we got to the square where it was supposed to be, we couldn't find it. We finally asked a local tour guide, and she looked surprised. "Oh, that was taken down months ago." Turns out Gassy Jack was a despicable character, who locals refused to celebrate any more, and they removed his statue in a February protest. Good for them. Why celebrate bad behavior?
2. Grueling super steep hike on Chief Stawamus - lowlight for the kids, it really was a steep hike. But it's actually nice to have a hike like this to compare to. We can almost always say, "This isn't as bad as Chief Stawamus!"
3.Hauling camping gear in wheelbarrows in Riverside camping area - The campsite was really beautiful, but really inconvenient not to be able to park next to the campsite. They did fortunately provide wheelbarrows, but I would stay somewhere else next time.
Fall Semester 2022
Here we go again! Our 8 Suitcases have been whittled down to 4 suitcases as we take a four month world trip with our two youngest kids, Megan and Jacob. From Canada to Europe to islands in the Indian Ocean and finally to South Africa, from Sep to Dec 2022, here are our travels and experiences.