On this, my third day in the Great Northern Metropolis, I made my way up the perilous paths to Grouse Mountain (by which I mean I stepped onto a bus and rode to the cable car over the trees to not-quite-the-summit).
Walking around a mountain was different to the previous two days, which mainly involved a cool walking tour and going to interesting places to eat. But, being that I am who I am, and none other than who I am, the trip to Grouse Mountain also involved food. But with views! Of bears! And lumberjacks! and distant lands like the United States of America! And giant wooden sculptures of eagles!
The wooden sculptures inevitably reminded me of the White Witch of Narnia turning talking animals to stone. Perhaps this day she was feeling more in the mood for earthy colours and the scent of woodchips.
Because frankly, this eagle would be even more imposing in stone.
But onto the bears! Two orphaned cubs were found some years ago and brought to Grouse Mountain to be cared for. Now around 4 years old, they are too used to humans to successfully return to the wild (where they might still be hunted). This one looks like I do before my first coffee of the day.
The second bear was more of a water baby:A Swimming Grizzly Bear
I felt the need to get down to the micro level for a bit, so here are some flowers and what might be a bee. Or a wasp. Or some other form of flying death. Seriously, I was more concerned by the stripey bug than the bear with the huge claws.
But never mind all that. Furry or flying forms of death-by-nature (and we all know how I distrust nature) be damned: there were lumberjacks on show. I mean doing a show.
Pretty I mean fit I mean how very skilled they are.
And look. Footage. My intrepid fellow traveller and organiser-of-holidays extraordinaire said it all turned very Mr Darcy at the end there. Waterlogged Lumberjacks
Poor Johnny was nearly unmanned.
I found comfort in a Beaver Tail, my first! It’s a lot like a cinnamon and sugar doughnut that has been tortured on the rack before frying. The resulting squishy-outside-crunchy-middle meets with my sterling approval.
Having dessert before lunch was a bit arse-about, I know, but hey. I’m an adventuress now. I make WILD DECISIONS and I DO WHAT I WANT, OKAY?
We found a place on the deck overlooking the city below. We could see the border between Canada and the US very distinctly. It honestly looks like someone went out there and painted a great big line down the middle, like you’re tempted to do when you’re having a huge demarcation dispute with an annoying sibling with whom you share a room.
“YOU STAY ON YOUR SIDE OF THE ROOM!”
“LEAVE MY STUFF ALONE OR I’M TELLING MUM!”
“NO YOU LEAVE MY STUFF ALONE OR I’M BURNING YOUR TEDDY BEAR!”
Though perhaps that was just my siblings.
Altitudes provided lunch (thank you Altitudes!) so we scarfed down a delish bready pretzel spread with Guiness-whipped soft cheese (no really, it’s much nicer than it sounds) and a spot of British Columbia salmon on flatbread for starters, and then onto the ling cod tacos, accompanied by a Ginger Ninja beer. This is not ginger-beer-as-softdrink. It’s beer with a bit of ginger zing. These Canadians. They know a thing or two about food.
Entertainingly, the view of mountains, the valley, the city, the river and all those trees was occasionally interupted by brave souls fluttering past on hang gliders. From where I sat, I couldn’t even hear any screaming. (Well, if it was me on one of those contraptions, probably the diners would have heard the screaming. And the swearing. And the ‘oh god what was I thinking?!’ so it’s just as well I was on the patio instead.)
Thank you to Grouse Mountain and Tourism Vancouver for hosting us today. In the Australian vernacular of my teenaged years, I had a grouse time!