Canadian Adventures…Eh? Part 1- The Sea to Sky Highway and Shannon Falls

As a quick weekend getaway from the Seattle area, no place is more beautiful or scenic than British Columbia. Roger and I love to travel to new places and see the world and it was a pretty short drive of about 4 hours from our home in Burien, Washington. So I made the reservations at the Crystal Lodge in the center of Whistler Village and we planned our trip from there. Everything was packed to go, our passports and Charlies travel permit were secured and the plan was to leave at 5AM on Friday  so that we could leisurely drive up and see the sights along the way. We did not plan on the activities of the night before the trip however.  When Roger got home from work on Thursday, he found Charlie whimpering in pain and curled up in a corner. So off to the vet they went. The poor pup could hardly walk and definitely had something wrong with him.  After hours of tests and an examination, it was concluded that he had injured his neck. Being a not very graceful dog, we surmised that he was jumping up on the bed or sofa and missed, landing on his head. The X-rays didn’t show anything broken and we were given the all clear for our trip the following morning. He was however on a strong painkiller that they gave him at the vets and muscle relaxers that we had to administer every 8 hours.

The next morning we loaded the car with our luggage and our stoned dog and headed for the great white north.

The border crossing in Blaine, Washington

The border traffic was surprisingly light and we zipped right through. We skirted around West Vancouver and headed north along the Sea to Sky Highway towards Whistler. What a beautiful and scenic route!

Heading North
Driving along the Coast of British Columbia

The beauty of British Columbia was amazing.The first stop was at Shannon Falls which is a provincial park 36 miles north of Vancouver and the third highest falls in B.C. There was a lovely park and an easy hike to the falls through a verdant and lush forest. All you can hear is the wind rustling through the trees and the sound of the water lapping over the rocks in the creeks and rivers.

A small creek the we crossed on the way to the falls.

The tumbling waters of Shannon Falls originate from Mount Habrich and Mount Sky Pilot, dropping 335 meters over a granite mountain face in spectacular fashion.  Shannon Falls is easy to get to, right off of Highway 99, the Sea to Sky Highway and a short hike from the road.

In 1792 Captain George Vancouver set up camp just west of the falls. The falls were named after Shannon who in 1890-1900 owned the falls and surrounding area and used the clay deposits to make bricks. He then sold the land to Brittania Copper Mines in 1900. In the 1930’s, the area was used as a relief camp for the workers building Highway 99. In 1976 the area was purchased by Carling O’Keefe Brewery, who used the pure mountain water to brew their beer, and made the area a logging show park. In 1982 O’Keefe donated the land to BC Parks. Throughout the park area there is evidence of logging activity that occurred here roughly 90 years ago. A number of excellent spring board notches on old stumps are scattered throughout the forested area and much of the deadfall also exhibits evidence of the logging techniques of this period.

This park holds significant spiritual value to the Squamish First Nation, the first people to live in this area. They told of a two headed sea serpent, Say-noth-ka who lived in and around Howe Sound. According to legend this beast travelled both on land and in water. Some versions say it was Say-noth-ka who formed Shannon Falls by slithering and twisting his powerful body up the mountainside on repeated expeditions, Say-noth-ka gradually wore down a spillway for those cascading waters.


One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: