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article imageWhistler Wonderland

By Christopher Hogg     Apr 22, 2005 in Lifestyle
Digital Journal — Driving along the Sea-to-Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler, I was entranced by the view outside my car window; the landscape of British Columbia changed from the glass buildings of the city into the massive mountains and dense forests of the backcountry.
Hugging the meandering highway were mammoth boulders, sloping rock faces and some of the highest peaks I have ever seen. The sky was soaked with grey, and fog floated eerily over the passing lakes before rising up to be swallowed by the horizon. The area endured a warm winter, but snow and ice still coated the rocky mountaintops. The weather was wet and dreary and the highway was slowed by traffic and construction, but this was one of the few places in the world where it didn’t matter.
The fidgeting of my limo driver snapped me out of my fixation on the view outside. His eyes danced back and forth from the road ahead to the rear-view mirror. He was inspecting my facial expression, trying to gauge whether he should interrupt my concentration on the view outside. We continued to drive for at least 10 minutes, playing this game where he waited for a chance to speak while I pretended not to notice. It was obvious he had played this game before.
Eventually I yawned and he jumped on the opportunity for conversation:
“You’re not bored, are you?” he said, smiling.
“No, just getting used to the time difference from Toronto,” I replied politely.
“This is a great trip. Just wait to see what’s coming up,” he teased. “I have this book, it’s called 100 Things to Do Before You Die or something, and it says this drive is one of them.”
Anyone who has been to B.C. will tell you how the coast is laden with picturesque scenes and stunning glimpses of nature. My driver was no exception, and he talked my ear off. He continually described the scenery using boilerplate adjectives and beaten-up clichés, until my imagination took over and I went back to daydreaming. But as I stared out at the arresting view, I realized he was trying to be original but was struggling, because there are really no words to express what you see. I sighed, knowing I would eventually face the same challenge: to describe what even the human eye cannot fully capture.
“Welcome to Whistler,” the driver said, breaking me from a deep trance. The trip took nearly two hours but like a good movie, it passed quickly...
This article is part of Digital Journal's Spring 2005 issue. To read the rest of this story, pick up your copy in bookstores across Canada or the United States!
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