I went to Vancouver to visit an old friend from my Archaeology Field School. We rarely see each other, but it’s always nice catching up and sharing our experiences working in the related fields of archaeology and museum studies. As much as I enjoy ribbing our northern neighbors, I do like visiting and learning more about Canadian culture and history. Vancouver had been on my list of places to visit for a while, and I had heard many great things from friends and family who visited before me. It’s almost impossible for the city to compete with the natural beauty that surrounds it, and I would sooner return to explore more of the mountains north of the City than the urban center itself. 

One day we hiked up to the first peak of the Stawamus Chief, also known as “Hiking The Chief”. It was, of course, rainy and the hike up one of the largest exposed granite faces in the world was unnerving at times with little to hold onto – or worse, to fall onto. Luckily, I made it up and back without much damage. Slipping and falling on my backside only once as I made an ill-advised jump down a few feet from a rock ledge. There was a moment at the top of the first peak where I thought surely I would not make it back down. I will say, the view was to die for. 

Getting to Canada I took a ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria, a bus across Vancouver Island, and then another ferry from the Island to Tsawwassen Port south of Vancouver. On the journey there was pleasant with blue skies and calm seas – the return trip, not so much. A ferry scheduled from Victoria to Seattle was cancelled due to high winds and rough seas, but fortunately the ferry to Port Angeles was still running. It wasn’t too bad, and I enjoyed standing on the deck watching the angry sea beneath the grey sky. At one point I even caught of glimpse of the sun shining through the clouds and onto the water in the distance. I was thankful to reach Port Angeles safely where a warm bed awaited me courtesy of a family friend. 

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