Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween in Whistler & Squamish



A few of the excellent pumpkin creations I have encountered in Whistler. Seems the Halloween spirits are high with a full moon in a cloudy, rainy sky.


Spent the night at my cousin, Shannon's place high up on a hill in Whistler. A ridiculous number of stairs to climb but once you arrive the view is stunning, even on a rainy evening.
We had a wonderful catch up visit and she filled me in on living in Whistler with three snowboarding, freestyle skiing boys who adore living there! This morning I awoke to pouring rain! Lots of it! Checked out the Whistler Galleries which are gorgeous but unfortunately most were closed today except for Mountain Art Gallery which had some exceptional work. I would love to have this gallery represent me in the future.


 I then drove on to Squamish where I am visiting with my Aunt and Uncle. I love this little town in the mountains. It is spectacular, even with all the rain I can feel the natural beauty that surrounds the town.
 The Chief, a rock climber's paradise. A huge, smooth rock face that erupted up out of the ground and stayed there as a gigantic chunk of solid rock. The yellow leaves below were enormous, you can't tell in the photos but they were the size of a pumpkin, perhaps the leaves of the Devil's Claw tree that I remember from living in BC a few decades ago?


  With 3 big umbrellas we braved the rain and treked up to see the spectacular Shannon Falls. These Falls can be but a small trickle at times but not today!! They were absolutely roaring down the cliff of rocks and the river was churning! Awe inspiring to say the least!





 The Roaring River!









Heart Stopping Beauty on Hwy 99

 Spent the day cooking, walking and talking with my eldest girl. Left her behind with a few tears this morning. I have always loved how effortlessly Amy and I can flow together no matter how long we are apart from each other.

Spent our last evening walking in the golden light of the remarkable landscape of Kamloops. The dry climate allows for a remarkable range of dusty colors from ochres to rose to sagebrush greens. I could paint the textures and colors here for a long time.


 

Amy sent me to Whistler via Hwy 99, also known as the Lillooet Hwy. What a drive!
The most beautiful vistas and views so far! But first as I exited Kamloops on the Trans Canada I came across Kootenay Lake, utterly magnificent with the shifting shadows and light of the breaking clouds.
 


 A bit further down the road I turned onto Hwy 99 and was given one last taste of that delicious palette of blonde grasses and pink brush, made all the more intense by the brooding dark skies.



 Now I started to really enter the "Rockies". I was happy that it wasn't snowing or raining today as this is not a road for the faint of heart. Some serious hair pin turns and deep canyons looking down into the Fraser River. Unfortunately there wasn't much place to pull over and take photos of this incredible canyon.



 


 Many, many views of lakes, rivers, and creeks along the way. Not much traffic at all and every time I stopped to take a few photos I was greeted with complete silence or rushing water.




 
Just before arriving in Pembroke I came across this beauty. A jewel of a lake, quiet and majestic just sitting there in all her majesty. I stopped and sat beside her for quite some time. The silence was deafening.



 This whole drive was so full of heart stopping beauty that I gave up taking pictures after a while as it was impossible to convey it all. This gives a small sampling of that drive but nothing even comes close to the real experience of it. Amy described it best when she said that it is "one of her favorite stretches of earth". Mine too.














Monday, October 29, 2012

Hangin' with Amy in Kamloops

 

So Happy to be spending time with my girl! Kamloops looks like a great place to live and learn. Amy gave me the tour of her school, Thompson River University, where she is studying Geography, Environmental & Aboriginal Studies. The school environment embodies these subjects in its architecture and layout.


View of Kamloops from Thompson River University

Coyote above Learning Center
Doors to circular "Earth" ampitheater

 
 Floor details

Large Paintings adjacent to the "living wall"
The Living Wall which emits humidity and life into the whole space. You can feel it breathing.
   
 


An outdoor study space overlooking Kamloops



Study Area, lots of light, air and space.



 

Amazing gardens and trees throughout.

 
Mama and daughter.



 Amy frolicking in the leaves!

We then went for a great walk along the river in Riverside Park. The sun came out, we met another friend of Amy and Kim's and we walked a Labyrinth.



 
 


Some of the trees are still with leaves in this warm valley.





 Of course, little Maverick, Amy and Kim's new puppy came along on the walk.


 


We came home and made a delicious communal dinner with mom's apple pie for dessert.
I love these girls! They have been so hospitable and fun to be around. I will be ever so sad to leave them tomorrow.