In the Midst of an Incomprehensible Wild Beauty

An army of cars filled with vacationers carrying summer toys such as mountain bikes and leisure crafts tied atop their roofs hurried north on the Sea-to-Sky highway towards the recreational town of Whistler. As for us, we drove south on the empty lane heading to a secluded island. Boat tied up behind the truck, trunk glutted of camping gear, food and drinks and off we were to the ocean on a beautiful Saturday morning.

The gleaming and opaque turquoise waters of the fjord of Howe Sound screamed attention when we arrived at the boat launch. The clouds amassed around the mountains aground and a blue sky slowly appeared above the water, behind strings of white veils. The south breeze brought a moist and salty feeling to my skin. We cruised west on the ocean, reaching the beautiful islands of the coast. A white seagull glided above. My dogs, ears flapping in the wind, held tight in the front bow as we cut through the surf.

The islet was a pure treasure: a rocky landform erecting from the ocean, away from traffic, everyday chaos, buzzing cars, duties and responsibilities, home to only birds and bees, wildflowers and trees.

I stood on the edge of the sun-warmed rock, facing the waves crashing below. Two dark birds with orange beaks chirped at me, possibly guarding a nest of eggs nearby. A couple of curious sea lions fishing for Spring salmon spied in my direction while circling the island, dark black eyes and shiny noses above water, whiskers tickling the air. Sometimes they roared at each other, playfully leaping and porpoising through the water.

It was so quiet and peaceful. I could only hear the melody of the ocean breeze through the trees, the waves passing by, the birds chirping and the sea lions splashing. It’s almost as if I could hear the clouds whispering. I closed my eyes and raised my snout to the sky. I inhaled the incoming tide and took deep breaths of fresh salty air. I felt my respiratory tracks opening, my lungs expanding. I sensed the ocean water slicking my face, humidifying my hair. I tasted the aroma of the sea deposited on my lips. The seaweed and small shells under my feet felt gooey and sharp, but as soon as I dipped my toes in the ocean water, I was relieved of all pain and worries.

I felt that I was right where I was supposed to be. In the midst of an incomprehensible wild beauty, amongst mountains and sea. It was like a perfect dream, the one you never want to wake from. But it was my reality, happening right at that moment, and I fell deeply in love with it. It was raw, it was pure, it was terrifyingly beautiful.

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Wilderness Pleasures

It is a Monday in early May. A late peaceful afternoon. I am sitting in the boat, parked on its trailer in the driveway of my house, laptop on my thighs. My dog is laying on the bow. I watch cars pass by, kids on their bikes, cats tempting the grass. The air is warm and the smell is beautiful. My other dog attempts to chase a bird that keeps stealing her nuggets in her bowl. I sip on a local apple cider and contemplate life. I am inspired by my surroundings and I type. …Hold on, why am I sitting on the boat on a trailer in the driveway? Why not…

 

944889_10152816406295721_1665688489_nAs excited wild campers, we went out camping at the lake for the first time of the year 2 weeks ago. It was a cold, windy, gusty, overcast and rainy late April weekend, but who cares? Certainly not me. I am a passionate traveller always striving for new adventures and this is why I chose the Canadian West Coast as my home. British Columbia has all what it needs to satisfy my spirit when I am not on the road overseas. From the mountains to the ocean, from the forests to the lakes, there is never a dull moment for all summer outdoor enthusiasts: ski the glacier, mountain bike down the gnarliest trail, hike to the peak of a mountain, wakeboard the glacier lakes, fish on the ocean, surf on the island, go camping… It is indeed, one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

 

255669_10152816410760721_1776122002_nWe went out again last weekend, spending 3 days in the wilderness. The sun was hot, the water was a mirror. It was a premature summer weekend offering us a very revitalizing lake to freshen up between our sessions of Vitamin E. The weather was unusual for this time of the year, but much needed and very much enjoyed. The calm water was inviting. I strapped the wakeboard under my feet and carved my turns along the wave. I looked up high and felt the sun on my face. I looked around and admired the views of 9000′ mountain peaks reflecting perfectly on the pristine water. There is no where else I’d rather glide.

 

946332_10152816408080721_560272956_nAnderson Lake is a recreational paradise located 1 hour north of Whistler. As religious campers, we make it our destination weekly, rain or shine. This weekend, our 3rd camping trip, had rain in the forecast. So we brought extra tarps and rain jackets.The spot we regularly attend to is a place we found a few years ago and decided to make our home. The boys built a rock wall and a fireplace, flatted some spots to put the tents, attached anchors for the boats, even created a landscape around to make it cozy. There is an outdoor ”kitchen”, an outdoor ” living room”, and room for 10 ”bedrooms”. Oh and the outdoor ”bathroom” is definitely the best seat in the house! It is a home, far away from home, far away from televisions and cellphones, where one connects to the other, where soul meets nature. If you want to look for adventure, there are a few waterfalls to hike to and enjoy the view. If you feel more like a rural exploration, you can boat to the village nearby and walk to the only pub in town. Seton Portage is a historic rural community located at the north of Anderson Lake. A few orchards, small farms, one pub. Indulge on a homemade poutine, sip on a bevy and play a game of pool or darts. Get some supplies if needed.

 

Of course, like everything else, camping is not an activity that everyone enjoys, however, you need to try it before refusing the offer. Myself, I like to get dirty and wash off in a cold lake, I like to fish for dinner, I like to share stories by a bonfire, I like to fall asleep under the stars, I like to wake up to the chanting of the birds, I like to peacefully admire the mountains reflecting symmetrically on the mirror waters, I like to feel the early sun shying behind the trees, I like to sit there for minutes, for hours, for days… Camping for me is a way to splurge into the moment.

 

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Winter surely departed, leaving behind left over snow on the top of our dear rocky mountains. The sun has arrived and is not shy to shine. Sunny bright days and a glorious forecast to stay, might be the joy for all dreaming about summer glow and a sun-kissed tan. I am looking forward to biking the trails with the dogs, cruising the highway along the mountains window down, wind in the hair, or to go canoeing down a river with friends, but most of all, I am looking forward for the next retreat in the wilderness and escape the hustle and bustle of my little town.

 

If you ever feel stressed, tired or simply out of energy, consider a camping getaway. Connecting with nature will re-boost yourself and revitalize your senses. It might be all you need: a cure found in our beloved nature.

 

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