For many years we have spent part of our summers on the island of Noirmoutier, in the French Atlantic just below Nantes. There are a two ways to get to Noirmoutier, one is by boat and the other by vehicle. And by vehicle you can take a bridge that was built in the 1970s or you can take Le Gois, a 4.5 km. French national highway built in the 1800s that runs from the mainland to the island, and which is only passable at low tide. There are some, however, who try to take the road when it isn’t low tide, or those who have been out on the flats browsing around, who get caught when the tide rises. For them towers were constructed with ladders so they can escape the incoming tide. Unfortunately there is no room on these towers for their vehicles so on a high tide it will get washed away.
Have had the pleasure to enjoy a few hikes in and around Whistler, such as Garibaldi, and Joffre Lakes, but this most recent visit took me to Callagnan park with my cousin Matt, to paddle board across Callagnan Lake and then hike up to Cirque Lake. Callagnan Park is about halfway up Highway 99, between Squamish and Whistler. Sheltered by surrounding mountains, Callaghan Lake was so calm and mesmerizingly clear that it perfectly reflected back our images on our boards, along with the mountains and glaciers that formed our backdrop. WhistlerHiatus has this to say about a “cirque” lake:
“A perfectly arranged glacier is required to form a cirque lake. A magical combination of size, a certain sloping terrain, and more unexpectedly, a certain angle away from the sun. In the northern hemisphere, this means the glacier must be on the northeast slope of the mountain, away from the suns rays and the prevailing winds. Thick snow protected in this way grows thicker into glacial ice, then a process of freeze-thaw called nivation, chews at the lower rocks, hollowing out a deep basin. Over a thousand winters you are left with a magnificently circular lake with steep slopes all around. If you arrive at Cirque Lake, near Whistler, BC on a favourably sunny, summer day, (which we did) you will almost certainly fall silent, gaze in wonder at this spectacular place, and feel in that moment that this place is as perfect as it is possible for a place to be.”
For us it really was magical, and a perfect day after experiencing a few rainy one’s. A 45′ minute paddle, about the same again to get to the top and overlook Cirque Lake. A little steep at times, but someone has installed rope lines in places to make the going easier.
Our family has been enjoying Whistler summer and winter vacations for nearly 20 years now, and before that, when I was living back in Canada, my father was the first manager of the Blackcomb Lodge so I spent a good amount of time up there skiing in the winter. Those were the early years of Whistler Village and back then it was just hopeful dreams that Whistler would turn out to the be international resort destination, for both summer and winter seasons, that it has become. This past long Labor Day weekend the town was packed, to the point of feeling a little overwhelmed by number of people. We heard languages from around the world as we walked the picturesque village. Afterwards, however, we enjoyed returning to our home on Green Lake, surrounded by pines and evergreens and hardly anyone at home around us.
GREEN LAKE DOCKS In the picture above the dock breaks into a “T” at the end. The end portion of the dock can disconnected from the dock creating a raft with furniture, BBQ and an outboard motor to cruise the lake. A number of the homes on Green Lake have this type of docking system. Below one can be seen with the outboard on it.
In the summer Whistler is world-class for downhill or mountain biking, hiking, river rafting, golf and swimming in the numerous lakes. Whistler mountain opens up for bikers and hikers and you can take the Peak-to-Peak gondola ride to the neighboring mountain of Blackcomb. In the winter the skiing and boarding is some of the best in the world.
Our son Jeff came up from Vancouver to spend some time with us, and our friends John & Tina dropped in on their drive back to Vancouver from Prince Rupert. J&T are very familiar with BC wines and both are great cooks so we enjoyed some wonderful meals paired with great wines. We love Nesters Market for its food variety and their basement Beer & Wine store that has an amazing collection of BC wines. J&T head back to Vancouver for a couple of weeks before heading to Costa Rica where they currently have their boat moored, and then continue on their world tour. We have made plans to join up with them in April in Fort Lauderdale, and cruise the eastern seaboard up to Washington DC.
Where Whistler usually means plenty of skiing/boarding for us during winter visits, and biking and hiking in the summers, this trip has been a little more low-key as we wind down our Canada summer visit. We had three weeks in Vancouver in Yaletown, in a penthouse condo with unobstructed views of False Creek, a week in the Okanagan at my father’s house that overlooks Kalamalka Lake, and now a week on the shores of Green Lake in Whistler. We’ve had some great water views to enjoy on this trip.
Below are some photos of the many activities we’ve enjoyed as a family over the years in Whistler.