Shoulder Seasons in the North Shore Mountains in Cypress Provincial Park, North Vancouver, BC, Canada
The North Shore mountains are about a twenty-minute drive from downtown Vancouver and are typically crowded in the winter and summer months. On a weekend during the ski season you might spend half an hour looking for a place to park, and you’ll have to wade through throngs of skiers and snowboarders to access into the backcountry. Over the shoulder season — after the ski-hills have closed, but before the snows have receded — these are easy place to go for solitude, mountain scenery and atmospheric light. The rotten snow and cold rain means that there are no skiers and few hikers. You can wander for hours (don’t lose your bearings) without seeing anyone else and make it home in time for dinner.
When I first moved to Vancouver I thought of it as a hybrid between Seattle, Shanghai, and Alaska. It’s not really fair to think of a place in comparative terms, but this description still feels about right to me.
Having no schedule to keep and a long, aimless walk with the dog — through the neighborhood backstreets, down to the sea-wall, and all the way out to wherever.
Continually forgetting and being reminded about the mountains and the water.
It seems like a lot of artists (and just normal, working people) are being priced out of living in Vancouver. You definitely pay for the beauty of the place and there are social consequences to the city’s “playground” atmosphere.
When I first moved to my neighborhood I was surprised by the beautiful little alleys (“lane-ways”) that cut between residential streets, most of which open onto little backyards with vegetable gardens. I don’t know that a tourist would ever find these, or care about them, but they were one of my favorite discoveries here.
The Greek Isles