Finally, we got a chance to head north and check out Squamish, the outdoor capital of Canada. Our goal was simply to explore and find some decent camping spaces so we had a place to go for short weekend excursions. The furthest north we had been to this point was a bit beyond the ferry terminal for a VW camping trip last summer. Yeah, uncharted territory! Its amazing how quickly you can get out of the city and into pure untouched nature in BC, and that's saying something when the statement comes from two people used to exploring Oregon and Washington. We went through Squamish, took a quick look at the chief and discussed the fact that its been way to long since we've done any climbing. Its also really cold out there, so we have no desire to get on that freezing slab right now, even if we did have gear with us.
North of Squamish we had to make a call, explore Squamish river valley or Paradise valley. We chose Squamish river and took the left fork. We drove until the pavement stopped and started looking for good places to setup for the night. There weren't a lot of options and those that did exist were filled with fisherman and guys up riding their quads for the weekend. We drove until someone told us that the road ended a few km up (unmelted snow made the road impassable), so we turned around and went back to a pullout we saw a few km back. Wasn't a campsite, but there was large open space and an opening in the tress that made us feel like we were front and center at the river so it worked for us. We setup shop and made a nice fire and some dinner.
Almost sunset a westy pulled up and stopped to check out the bus. The passenger hopped out and said hello and we suggested they pull in for the night. The couple ended up being awesome, and we made new friends over the campfire. Gina and Andrea live off the drive (maybe our favorite neighborhood in the city) and possibly more importantly than that- they helped us name the bus. Apparently, "everybody knows" that you are supposed to name your bus after the first place you...well...had romantic interactions. The next morning we drove off in Everett. Later we realized we hadn't thought to ask whether they meant the first time ever, or the first time in the bus. Lucky for us, both options begin with an E, so while we are pretty sure the official name of the bus is Everett, we decided we better call it E to be sure. In the morning we woke up to some sunshine, basked in the warmth for a while said goodbye to our new friends. We headed back to explore paradise valley hoping for a more rustic site. Instead of miles and miles of dirt road, we ended up on a small poorly kept road that couldn't possibly still be used as a logging path. In fact pretty soon this was barely a road at all.
We kept trudging on slowly, making our way over rocks and stumps and roots. We finally ended up at a section where the road ended in a series of potholes more the size of lakes. We saw a few high riding jeeps struggling so we pulled off into the river bed and decided to camp along the river. The spot was perfect, and short of a flash flood we would be in good shape...even if we weren't certain we could get back out tomorrow when it was time to leave. On the way back south, just before hitting the main road we came across a small cafe that plays host to a tiny group of cabins that cater the fishing and rafting crowd- and stopped in for some breakkie. Fergie's cafe really hit the spot and their daily handmade sausage is totally blogworthy. The peeps here though, are what truly made the stop enjoyable. 4 young rafting guides in whistler who drove by this place for years staring at the for sale sign finally decided to chase their dream and purchased it. As I recall, they changed the names of the cabins, but held onto fergie's in homage of the original owner.
There's just something to meeting and talking with people who are living their dream, even if they don't have it all figured out yet. It also didn't hurt that one of the kitchen staff drove a westy that was parked out front- always a good sign of a place to stop. If you're in squamish and looking for a place to stay, some rafting or just a great breakfast with good peeps- check them out. http://www.sunwolf.net/ Only downside to this little stop was that we were too early (or in too much of a hurry to get back to town) to enjoy a gangta ceasar. We will be returning for that indeed.