From Sea to Sky – Vancouver Island to Whistler – Redefining my “Backyard”

It’s 3:45am and my alarm is telling me to get up. I want to turn it off and go back to sleep, it’s Saturday on a long weekend, I could be resting. I can hardly get out of bed for 7am to be to work, how could I possibly be getting out of bed now. But a spark inside me tells me life is short and there is a whole world to experience.

Without hesitation I am on my feet, hitting start on the coffee maker and having a quick wake up shower.  The night previous I laid out my clothes for the morning and packed all the gear I needed to survive the weekend.  I tossed everything into the truck and I am on the road before 4:30am; it’s late summer and first light has not broken. The streets and highway is nearly void of traffic.  I sip on my morning coffee as I head in darkness for the Nanaimo Ferry Terminal.

I live in Victoria BC, and I can say the Island has so much to offer in terms of outdoor adventure and exploration.  It may take me a lifetime to fully explore all the areas of Vancouver Island I am yet to see.  With this said, one thing I want to share with Islanders is we really do also have easy access Whistler and Squamish. In fact it takes about the same amount of time to get to Whistler from Victoria as it would to travel to Tofino.  The Squamish/Whistler and Pemberton area is like a whole other Island of adventure.  With towering mountains, refreshing alpine and gorgeous glaciers, adventures in this area are a must. If you are splitting gas and the ferry with friends or family this really is an affordable retreat.

I get to the Nanaimo Ferry terminal, at the same time as everyone else, pulling directly onto the ferry within moments. Every Islander knows this is the best case scenario, no ferry wait time. I curl into the back seat of the truck to a nap over to the mainland.

I am on my way to Garibaldi Provincial Park, to hike into Paradise Meadows and Garibaldi Lake then onto Black Tusk an Panorama Ridge. This travel itinerary puts me at the trail head well before noon. I was rewarded with Alpine Meadows, glacier views and a couple nights retreat into wilderness.

I wanted to share this morning trip story with you because sometimes I think we overlook what is actually our “backyard”.  Have a look at the map, no matter where you live, really investigate what is available to you for a weekend trip.  You might be surprised what you will find and what new places this will lead you too. For me it was getting on the first ferry of the day, for you it might be a float plane or a doable road trip, maybe a boarder crossing. There is a whole world out there, get out and try something new.

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