Pacific Northwest 2000

Tuesday, August 22
Took a long slow ride up from Seattle today. Stopped off at Padilla Bay where I hoped to catch some migrating shorebirds but didn't see any. Not many other birds either but the scenery along here is quite attractive. Then up along the Chuckanut Bay area. Again, very few birds but more beautiful scenery. The road was fairly narrow—water on our left most of the time, mixed forest on our right. We stopped at an oyster farm where we enjoyed a few very succulent specimens.

Continued north to Canada and crossed the border—we detoured off the main road to avoid the heavy Vancouver traffic but still hit some delays. Then we finally proceeded up the coast toward Whistler. Extraordinarily beautiful! Water and mountainous islands on one side, evergreens on the other. Very, very steep mountainsides also. Other mountains in the distance—some peaks snow covered, others not, all beautiful.

There was one major disappointment. We were driving along and I saw an area with some fog over the water at a level that was half way up a mountain. I thought it would make a great picture. When we were finally able to stop, I saw that the fog was not fog at all, but smoke that was coming from a refinery. Made me feel terrible. But there was much more in the way of extraordinary scenery to come. We ate dinner at an (Asian) Indian restaurant in Squamish and then drove on to an area where Bald Eagles congregate in the winter. No eagles there, just some ducks flying by in the early evening. The setting was breathtakinga rushing river in front of us. Mountains behind them and off to our side. In the evening light, they were just shades of grey. The color of the sky ranged from a silver-gray to a pale blue, to a lavender. We made another stop at a turnoff and again admired the view. We saw one star that was twinkling and changing colorsfirst it appeared white, then red, then green. Had to get my scope out to view this remarkable sight. Then we continued our drive up to Whistler—most of this was in the dark and I enjoyed watching the black mountains against the lighter sky. Pulled into our lodge rather late at night and am looking forward to exploring the area in more detail while we stay here. May even see some birds.

At Whistler

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Copyright © 2000 Richard L. Becker