Wednesday, September 14, 2011


If a summer past without a road-trip I would argue
that it never actually began. This September two trips
happened, one planned and the other on a whim, both
brought the real summer feeling with them.
The first break from the everyday routine was an
expedition into uncharted territory- Vancouver, B.C.
It makes me happy that cities are like books in that
you can never expect to know them all.

Yeah yeah new city to explore! Whoop whoop!!

The first night in Van we found our Air B-N-B
House and walked around the old part of town
turned into a party district that everyplace
seems to have.

The center of the touristy old town was a square
with sketchy street names, an afro bank(!) and
a flat iron style building.

They must not have many flat irons in Canada.
My inner New Yorker made it hard to be
impressed, but it is a cool building.

The next day we rode around town (did
I mention we brought our bikes?!); found
the DIY/CO-OPy neightborhood for breakfast,
traveled via a bike route that let you get around
the city by linking all the parks, found the
beaches and basically just took it all in.
Wish there were more pictures...
this super awesome 100 ft totem pole
will have to do.

I had been dreaming about skating the plaza style
park in the center of the city since it was built in
the mid 00's. Really really fun and the layout was
sweet for lines without any pushing.

After exploring the city we took some nature days!

The first was a park in North Vancouver that
boasted a suspension bridge and some
crazy rock jumps.

We found our own tiny jumps along the river.

"You are in a position unsuitable to give orders Dr. Jones."
Actually, the crowd made it hard to really
appreciate walking across the sketchy bridge.

The next day we decided to skip town and
head north to Whistler for three days.

On the way out of town:
Skate stop #2: This park is bad ass.
I got served.

The sea to sky highway. (Better pics later on.)

Whistler was pretty rad. It seemed funny to be
at a ski resort in the summer, but there was tons
of cool stuff to do and on the cheep!

We stayed in a hostel that had been built
for the olympics last year. Everything was new
and felt luxurious after the Air B-N-B place.
We cooked our own food, did some sweet
hiking and checked out the mountain.

The Oregonian in me made it hard to be
impressed by the old growth, but it was
awesome to be around ancient giants!


Just kidding.

The best part of the entire trip was going up
the lifts and across the gondola between the two

Once up the first lift there were nice trails with
views of Mt. Whistler and the Canadian
wilderness beyond.

The trails began easy, but got intense with elevation.

Indian paint brush


This was our lunch spot and the
photo doesn't do it justice. There was a
frozen lake, the peak in the background and
an amazing view.

We headed to the gondola. Eventually the
trail was walled in by snow. Snowball fights and
faux ice climbing photo shoots ensued.


Insert Zoolander quote here: _____

The lifts and gondola were pricey but worth
it. Again- the gondola was brand new. Although,
instead of feeling luxurious in this case the newness
created a false sense of security that made it
so you didn't shit your pants.


On the other side we learned that this was the
highest and longest gondola in the world.

Photos of dudes working on the cables. NUTS!

The gondola was not all that scary, but the lift up
to our layman's summit experience was
completely terrifying. Look at how tiny those
people are and imagine the view!

"Don't rock the chair! Don't move! Don't move!"

Sleeping giant.

Faux mountaineer scouting.

Olympic mascot.

On the ride down the lift I mustered up
the guts to move and snap a photo of
the view. This is the farthest north
I have ever seen.


We fought off the bear and the polite
Canadians provided tissues.

Skatestop #3: Saw on the map of town that
Whistler had a park and my jaw dropped when
we got there. Another teenage fantasy lived.
Got a good hour session in before a bearing exploded
and one of my wheels flew off in the middle of a
run down the snake. Somehow I didn't die.

Alissa freestyle walking on the mountain
bike park. Thanks putting up with
my need to turn all traveling into a
skate mission.

We said goodbye to Whistler by documenting
the sleeping giant that lived outside our hostel

Back to Vancouver!

Better pics of the sea to sky highway.

Alissa's friend Aliesa, who she met in Guatemala,
lives in Van and was in town on our way back.
We stayed at her place in a high rise
apartment building with a sweet view.

She showed us around town and took us to
a sweet nude beach where hippies sold adult
beverages (among other things) in plane sight
and everyone applauds the sunset.
We rode bikes around some more and got bubble
tea at a place with amazing decor and packaging,
but I blew the photo.


Last day in Vancouver. Find some more
cool balancing rock sculptures. Ride along
the sea wall park. Swim in the public salt
water pool. Eat at a Buddhist restaurant.

Reentering the U.S. there was the most
out of control sign ever which I didn't
get to document, but did get a blurry photo of
the 'merica flowers.

Awesome summer vacation!