The Coast Mountains are much older than me. Over a hundred million years ago, they were formed by the not-so-friendly collision between a group of volcanic islands and the continent (the continent had the right of way but you know these island types, they are frivolous and distracted. Most of them.) A mighty 1600 km long, the Coast Mountains are a subrange of the Pacific Ranges and extend along the coast of British Columbia from Alaska all the way down to the Fraser River delta, where Vancouver is happily nested. Their western slopes are covered by dense temperate rainforest. I assume they also have eastern slopes but I’ve never seen them.
The southernmost part of the range is called the North Shore Mountains and it directly overlooks the metropolitan area, flanked to the east by the glacier-colored waters of Howe Sound, the bustling activity of Burrard Inlet to the south, the volcanic shadows of the Garibaldi Ranges to the north and the remote coastal mountain fjord of Indian Arm to the east. Wow, I used all four cardinal points in a single sentence.
Three deep valleys divide those mountains from north to south, shaping the landscape into a giant fork aimed at the city. To the extreme left, facing the range, is the Capilano River valley, with its deep canyon and famously wobbly suspension bridge. To the right is the Seymour River valley where one can… see more (get it?) They both lead north to reservoirs – without dogs – which are part of the GVRD watershed area.
And then squeezed right in the middle is Lynn Creek – bound from Lynn Headwaters – and its park. The river flows through Lynn Canyon Park right on the edge of civilization and a second suspension bridge allows access to the eastern bank. The forests surrounding the creek are lush and humid, the crystal clear water is a beautiful emerald green, the many waterfalls are spectacular and I love using adjectives.
A typical fall day like Wednesday was perfect to visit the park despite the intermittent airborne precipitation, aka rain. The air carried so much humidity that the forest seemed to be gorging itself like, uh… a thirsty camel at a desert’s only oasis(?); the light was even and shadows subdued, almost soft, and visitors were few, trois pelés un tondu as we would say in France.
Most of all, I couldn’t help thinking that I’d be back in three weeks, with Marie.