We’re safely ensconsed in Squamish, BC, at the home of a friend. So far, we’re the only ones here. Our hosts will arrive tomorrow, and we’re told that “some others” will be here as well, perhaps as early as tonight. Last summer when we came here for a weekend, there ended up being 18 people in the house. Sharing one bathroom. Somehow, it all worked out very amiably, with no fistfights or “accidents”. Most of them weren’t nearly as old as we are, which probably helped.
The drive north started in sunshine and crystal-clear views of the Cascades and Mt. Baker (a volcano near the Canadian border). As we approached the border, however, clouds rolled in, and by the time we crossed the Lion’s Gate Bridge to North Vancouver, it was raining steadily, and the raindrops, like popcorn, were trying to become snowflakes.
The last two times we’ve come up, we’ve been intrigued by a French-language radio station playing an eclectic brew of world music. Mrs. Perils, who took four years of high-school French, has fun trying to catch some of the chatter and news-reading. At one point in a newscast, we were able to discern “Geor-jay Boosh”, and Mrs. Perils immediately cried, “le BOO! le HISSSSSS!” I’m thinking that whatever Francophonyism she retains has its origins in PePe LePew cartoons, and not in Mrs. Jollay’s salon at PHS.
Another amusing thing from the drive: there’s a lot of construction on Hwy 99 between Vancouver and the Whistler ski area in anticipation of the 2010 Winter Olympics, and we passed a banner sign that exhorted, “Never Pass By an Unsafe Act.” Immediately, I said, “Nope - we’ll join right in” and Mrs. Perils followed with, “Who’s got the Mazola?”. They’re not very picky about who they let in here, or we dissemble really well.
Otherwise, the drive was so different from the one in August, when Howe Sound sparkled its giddy welcome. Today, it was gray, brooding and barely distinguishable from the clouds that enveloped it and the shadowy islands in its midst.
Our son has spent the last 4 days at Whistler with a friend and his extended family, and was headed back to Seattle today because he has to work the weekend. We contacted him by phone as we got to Vancouver, hoping to catch him somewhere along the route we’d be travelling in opposite directions. Turned out that he had left early, and stopped in Squamish to hike up the Chief and do some bouldering (a form of rock climbing). We rendezvous’d at the Howe Sound Pub in Squamish and had a nice afternoon meal with him before parting company with the obligatory parental admonishments for safe driving, etc.
The kid told me not to bother going up to Whistler because it was super-crowded, the lift tickets were $80/day Canadian and parking was scarce, all due to the holiday weekend. He said he had a good time skiing and staying in the village, but that I’d probably regret doing it as a day trip. As you could probably tell from my prior post, it wouldn’t have taken much to dissuade me from skiing this weekend, and I think his comments were all I needed to demur. We’ll see what the others coming in want to do - they are rock climbers (in the summer) and very active types, so I’m sure we’ll be outdoors doing something.
I want to put together an album of my favorite photos of 2006, so watch this space.