Wouldn’t it be fun, I thought, to drive to Whistler out of season before the snow flies. Because I’d never been to Whistler and it’s a short 5-hour drive from my door to the door of The Cascade Lodge Hotel – a perfect driving distance for a long weekend. Plus, it’s in Canada, and Canada, I always thought, is wonderful. Way back when I was studying at The National Bakery School in London I spent time working as pastry chef in Canada – Invermere, BC to be exact – and I have loved the country ever since. And then there are all those oh-so-friendly and adorable Canadians. Plus moose. Canada has moose. What’s not to love?
So I packed up the 4-Runner like I was going to the Arctic, just in case I ran into some snow or ice on the towering mountain passes that I was planning to motor over. I headed for the I-5, which, if you drive North on for long enough dumps you right at Peace Arch with its rows of gun-toting border control officers in their rather fancy little huts where they busy themselves with scanning passports and finding out just what you plan to be doing on the other side of the STOP line, and for how long. No, I was not going to do any business, and no, I was not going to meet up with anyone I knew. No, I was not carrying a gun, and no, I was not going to stay for longer than the weekend. What was I planning to do in Whistler?
This. I was planning to do this. A lot.
In case you were wondering – yes I know what you’re like (!) – that photo comes courtesy of my camera buddy – aka Wildman – who came along to introduce me to the magical world of video. Hey, if you’re going to have video lessons why not do it in Whistler where there are jaw-dropping views at every turn? Plus Fall. Hello, color!
Here’s what went down between the video lessons.
One day included a bunch of fog, a thoroughly misty morning, and drizzle. It might not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but landscape photographers generally get all kinds of enthusiastic when the day dawns to reveal various forms of water in the sky. Mist and fog can be entirely magical, and rain can make just about anything glisten and shine. Brandywine Falls are a short jaunt south from Whistler. The Falls themselves are breathtaking, but the forest walk to see them is like fairyland. I didn’t want to leave, despite getting increasingly damp around the edges. It was impossible to capture the utter awe of this vista. I stood there for a full 5 minutes with my mouth open, just staring out over the valley. I wish you could have been there.
Another day, in contrast, included a brilliant blue and cloudless sky, a jaw-dropping drive over some honking great mountains, meandering through a lush, green valley, and a glorious sunset. Wildman and I videoed traversing the mountain pass back to Whistler from start to finish, although I am not sure we’ll ever post it. It was highly experimental, and part of my video learning curve.
The mountain pass from Whistler to Lillooet was simply magnificent. The valley from Lillooet to Lytton, divine. The sun was low in the sky and the photographic ‘magic hour’ seemed to last all day.
Oh. Yes. The other thing I should mention about Whistler is pizza. If you cannot resist pizza, don’t venture near Whistler. I have never seen so many pizza places in such close proximity. And, there appears to be a shortage of vegetables, too. One restaurant we went to, where we asked to swap out the potatoes for veggies, told us, “There’s kind of nothing left if you take the potato off the plate. And we don’t have any vegetables anyway.” A restaurant with no vegetables. What the what??
Regardless of the dodgy food situation, Whistler was just the ticket for a weekend of photography and videoing. And I was reminded, once again, how wonderful I think Canada is. Eh?
Whatever makes you feel good, do more of that.
PS. Yes, lovely readers, this does mean there are cooking videos in your very near future. Never let it be said that I don’t listen to your requests. You clamored for cooking videos, and cooking videos you shall have.