Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Beautiful Nooksak Falls, Beautiful Mount Baker, and Hideously Ugly Flat Tire

On our way back to the States, we saw that the main border going onto I-5 had a long wait, and it must have been moving slowly since people were standing around outside their cars. And since Mount Baker was looking so beautiful, we decided to drive about 25 kilometers east and go through the border entrance that would take us near the mountain.

The views along the way were perfectly clear and gorgeous. We ended up having less than 5 minutes at the border, and the extra drive time we spent was probably at least as long as we would have waited at the other border entrance.

Once we made it to the area, we stopped to see beautiful Nooksak Falls.

The wonderful thing about our trip was seeing these waterfalls in their peak flow. Though many waterfalls peak in Spring, the sun often doesn't make it to these mountain areas until summer, and the flow is intense as the glaciers melt.

I was saddened to see a sign listing the names of people who have died from crossing the fences.

I really can't imagine why you would feel the need to. It already gave a great view, and anywhere beyond the fence wouldn't have been any better.

We were perfectly content to stay behind the fence.

After the waterfall, we took a horribly windy, terrible road up to see Mount Baker from a closer viewpoint.

I wonder if there's a hike that would get you up close with these waterfalls.

Then again, they might just be temporary since they're clearly running down from the glacier.

It's hard to believe that this mountain...

is the same as this mountain. The view is so different when you're up close. I felt the same way about Mount Ranier.

Unfortunately, the road started off paved and did not tell us 4 Wheel Drive only. We ended up getting a flat tire and seeing this symbol (!) with a squiggly line underneath light up on our dashboard. I tried finding what that meant in our car manual, but the windy roads plus trying to concentrate on what I was looking for were making me feel incredibly car sick. Once we got back onto the freeway I was able to look through and find that it meant low tire pressure. And right then is when we started to feel it.

To be honest, we couldn't even tell we had a flat until it was far too late. Oscar got out and changed the tire when we were only 25 miles from home. Unfortunately our tire was not salvageable in any way, but at least we didn't do any wheel damage by driving on it so long. We're glad we made it home safely and had a fabulous trip.

24th of July Fireworks in Downtown Vancouver

In Vancouver during the month a July, they have fireworks every night over the bay in Downtown every Wednesday and Saturday night. We weren't aware of this when we planned our day, but our friendly waitress at Earl's told us we had to go see them and gave us directions. I couldn't miss the opportunity to see fireworks, and she'd told us we might be able to find free parking on this particular street.

We found a spot, and I helped direct Oscar to make the most amazing parallel parking job ever.

The car behind was too bad, but look how close he is to the car in front.

We were a little early, so we stopped by Stanley Park to walk around a bit and enjoy the fountain.

And strolled through the downtown shops. Oscar loves pizza, makes delicious pizza himself, and would love to own his own pizzeria one day. So of course I cracked up when I saw this restaurant.

Fortunately we just happened to bring along a pillow and blanket for our road trip, so we were able to set up with perfect viewing for the fireworks and enjoy the sunset.

Then it was showtime! (You might have to click on these pictures to actually see the fireworks)

It was a really good show.

My favorite kind is when one large firework turns into 50 small ones.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, Twin Falls, and randomly meeting an actor

We made the mistake of letting our GPS take us to Lynn Canyon park. It took us there, but not to the main parking lot that takes you to the bridge.

We met a guy in the parking lot, and he told us we were near the bridge and waterfalls. He said to just find a trail heading east, and we'd find it in about 20 minutes.

He was right that it was near, but he was wrong about how long it would take us. The hike was nowhere close to direct, and we were hiking for a couple of hours. At least Twin Falls was a pretty reward.

Oscar decided to climb this big trunk after the girl in front of us did it successfully.

She was with another girl who looked a lot like her, and they were accompanied by this man. Does he look familiar?

I recognized his face immediately, and said to myself "where have I seen him before?" I immediately pictured him in a general's uniform, and realized I'd asked myself before where I'd seen him before. I was having deja vu' of my deja vu'!

I told Oscar I thought he must be an actor, but that I couldn't think of what he'd been in. Oscar up and asked him if he was, and he told us about different shows he's done. His name is Garry Chalk, and I'd recognized him as a general in an episode of "Eureka," as well as from several Christmas specials ("Christmas Town," "Christmas on Chestnut Street," "Deck the Halls," etc.... I watch them all). He also does several voice overs, such as Optimus Prime in "Transformers." We then had ice cream with him and his friends, and he did some of his voice overs for us. It was awesome! Though Oscar's voice overs are pretty good, it was obvious why Garry gets paid to do his.

Luckily we made it to the bridge in spite of our unsure wanderings in the forest, and we were able to figure out a much easier, shorter way back.

The bridge also overlooks another pretty waterfall. We didn't get a good shot of it thanks to a moving bridge being jostled by people crossing it, so it is much nicer than is featured here.

Vancouver temple

Oscar and I got the opportunity to visit the new LDS temple in Vancouver.

It's prettier than it looks in pictures, and I really liked the staircases inside.

It's a smaller temple, so they don't have clothing rental. We weren't prepared for that.

I'm glad the British Columbians have a closer temple now. They used to have to go all the way down to Bellevue, WA.

Even though there are 3 temples in Alberta, this is the first in British Columbia.

I did an initiatory session, but Oscar was unable to due to a live session going on, so he took pictures of the grounds.

A lady from Victoria recognized me from church. We'd gone to church in a ward in Victoria on our first Sunday, and she noticed me when she arrived at the temple. She kindly took this picture for us.

Then we were on our way to the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge and enjoyed some beautiful views as we drove through the city on a perfectly clear day.