Merritt, Vernon, Squamish, Capilano trail, Whistler,…

Part two
"The Bald Eagle is a sacred bird in some North American cultures… Eagles are considered spiritual messengers between gods and humans…"
A weather was considerably improved during last few days of 2010. so we decided to go to a place I was thinking about ever since San mentioned something about wintering bald eagles. As everyone of you can see, bald eagle is main symbol in my blog. When, at the beginning of 90s I read a short poem by Ojibwe tribe – Walking over sky, following a bird – I felt I`ve read a words of eternal freedom. And somehow I felt that bird was bald eagle. Despite the fact they are not common in Europe. Despite the fact I saw them two months ago for a first time in my life.
To reach a Squamish, village named after famous first nation`s tribe, we went on Highway 99 (known also as Route 99), north of West vancouver, toward Whistler. Highway was made along the beautiful Howe Sound and with clear blue skies, a view was magnifficent.

Howe Sound
Squamish is placed on a mouth of Squamish river. We read on some website that this year about 1500 eagles were spotted, and, unprepared to what we will see, I expected flocks of them circling over the sky. Actually, we saw about 10 of them. Maybe. And all of them were sitting on trees on the other side of the river, not even interested about people looking their direction, making photos, peaking into their life with telescopes and binoculars.

one of the bald eagles πŸ˜€
Anyway, as I said, weather was wonderful, so we used that opportunity to see Shannon falls and Stawamus Chief rock, which are actually, one near the other. On a parking lot, a warning…

Shannon Falls are 335 m – 1099 ft tall and were named after William Shannon who first settled the property in 1889. and made bricks in the area.

Shannon Falls
Stawamus Chef, or simply The Chief, is 700 m – 2297 ft tall granite rock just in front of Squamish. Made by slowly cooling magma deep below surface of the Earth about 100 million years ago and excavated by erosion for millions of years, this massive monolith (they say it is a second largest granite monolith in the world) is one of the most wanted places for free climbers. We didn`t see any of them but San told me it would not be unusual to see them hanging on the ropes even it was cold – sun rays didn`t have a chance against slow but persistent breeze from mountains :smurf:

Stawamus (St'a7mes) Chief
Next day – or it was on 31st of December :sherlock: – we went on another place, not far from the city but it felt like hundreds of kilometers away. Capilano trail, along Capilano river, through a beautiful canyon and wood, all the way up to a Cleveland Dam. Capilano river is one of the three main sources of fresh water for residents of Greater Vancouver area so the dam was made in 1954. to impound a reservoir for that purpose. The reservoir is actually a beautiful lake, completely closed to public.
Along a way, I became official tree hugger πŸ˜€

me hugging Douglas fir
On top, a beautiful view toward a lake and The Lions.

Capilano lake and The Lions
City bus line that goes right to Cleveland park shows you that city is right there, around a corner. But other signs warns you that wilderness is at the corner you are currently walking by.

Be Bear Aware
I was glad it was winter.
I thought it will be enough to divide this post in two parts but now I see it`s impossible. So:
To be continued…

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51 Responses to Merritt, Vernon, Squamish, Capilano trail, Whistler,…

  1. gdare says:

    Photo album updated, too πŸ™‚

  2. BabyJay99 says:

    😎 place n pics πŸ™‚

  3. gdare says:

    Thank you, Lea πŸ™‚

  4. Dacotah says:

    What a great time you two had. Good post again Darko. Love the falls photo the most. Here's the link to your updated Photo Album

  5. raniakasim says:

    what a happenstance ,u stimulated me to know more about The Bald Eagle

  6. Abbacus says:

    Looks/sounds like u had a great adventure!

  7. Stardancer says:

    This is wonderful! Isn't it incredible to see a bald eagle in the wild, Darko? They nest near here, and I grew up seeing them on a regular basis, but each time I'd see one was like seeing them for the first time ever. They're such magnificent birds. So free.Looking forward to the next in the series.:up:

  8. funz81 says:

    Your post is so worthy of second, third, fourth reading… so informative and I love the pics. Sadly, am on the phone now, so can't really see the beautiful Eagle you were talking about (doesn't look bald on my phone πŸ˜› ) but will have another look later. *while waiting for the next instalment*

  9. sanshan says:

    He has a special story about one of the eagles. Stay tuned…

  10. risis1977 says:

    Wow :eyes: , wonderful photos and also the trips :cool:Especially the pic when you hugging that tree . . πŸ˜€ Awesome :hat: . . Love it . .

  11. gdare says:

    Carol, thank you :happy:Rania, there is always Wikipedia and numerous websites about wildlife in Canada and North America :)Abbacus, it was a greatest adventure in my life :happy:Star, I will write about my closest encounter with bald eagle in next post. I wanted to write it here but was too tired and it just slipped out of my mind :doh:Fan, thank you. I try to write them as simple as I can and give more details from my personal point of view. I am glad people like to read them :happy:San, yes, it was mazing right? :DRisis, those trees are amazing and one can`t butsimply adore them. Unfortunately a lot of real giants were cut down during 19th and 20th century :awww:

  12. Dacotah says:

    You are welcome Darko. :happy:

  13. raniakasim says:

    well i think it is better for me to shut my mouth and say nothing about the penultimate photo πŸ˜†

  14. raniakasim says:

    well i think it is better to me to shut my mouse and say nothing about the penultimate photo πŸ˜†

  15. intothedeep says:

    Magnificent photos, Dare! :up: Must have been an amazing trip!! :DWhat are you suppose to do if you run into a bear? And have the spouse, kids, and family dog with you?? :insane:

  16. Furie says:

    Why is that car thief farting so much? Is it a technique to bypass complicated electronic locks?

  17. Spaggyj says:

    that waterfall :speechless:

  18. edwardpiercy says:

    I think I see a climber on Stawamus. Over to the left, kinda in the center. No, a little higher. Now over to the left. More to left. See him?Well I think I've learned more about Vancouver and environs on this one post than I have living 300 miles from it here over 20 years. :p Great photo of Capilano Lake, beautiful territory. You know, you could take that tree back to Serbia with you as carry on…no, better not, just leave it for when you return.

  19. SittingFox says:

    I'm glad you found some eagles! Of course, now I see why there is one in this comment box :)If you ever head up to Campbell River, take a tour boat out to the Aaron Rapids. The eagles hunt hake there, and on a good day it can be very exciting indeed!

  20. gdare says:

    Rania, Capilano lake and The Lions photo? :PMags, screaming and making a lot of noise would help. Maybe. San told me that people usually unleash the dogs and that is how trouble start. Dog smells a bear and go after it, then got scared and run away, to you. Then bear, following a dog, come to you. And then you are in trouble :insane:Mik, as you can see, he is not watching his back and a bear could come and attack him. So, farting could be a preventive πŸ˜† :lol:Kimmie, thanks :DEd, I just spent few minutes watching on the hi-res photo of the Chief, trying to see if there is a climber there. But there were nomne of them that day :PAs for Vancouver, you should go and visit one day :up:

  21. sanshan says:

    Remember watching "Grizzly Man"?

  22. edwardpiercy says:


  23. edwardpiercy says:

    If it's blackberries you want, just drive down to Seattle and walk through any of the alleys there in the residential neighborhoods. They're all over the place.

  24. sanshan says:

    The new rule is to talk calmly to the bear and back away slowly. Generally, they want nothing to do with humans unless it's garbage day.I always watch for signs of bears and if I see bear scat I'll start making noise, like singing or talking loudly. Oh, and always stay clear of berry bushes!

  25. gdare says:

    Adele, Aaron Rapids! I will note that place and we will try to visit it next time we go to Vancouver Island. Thanks for recommendation :cheers:

  26. SittingFox says:

    Some of the photos on my blog were taken there! /Goes hunting for post…ah, here we are.Mags, black bears are generally very nervous of people. I've met many on the trail and come to no harm. But keeping dogs under control is essential in Canada – there are all kinds of ways that they can both cause trouble and get into trouble. I do carry pepper spray just in case I meet the one bear in a million that wants to attack me, but I don't really expect to ever use it.Grizzly bears are a different matter because they charge in defence, and they need to be treated with great caution.

  27. gdare says:

    Adele, great photos of eagles, that place is officially on my list now :up:Black bears or grizzlies, I would like to see them but not to be too close to them.Ed ;)San, but what if I want to pick blackberries from just some particular bush? Maybe we could come to some agreement? πŸ’‘

  28. gdare says:

    San, yes I do :insane: A scene when two grizzlys have a fight… we humans are so weak :ko:Ed, nice idea :chef:

  29. Mickeyjoe-Irl says:

    Reminds me of travelling to Whistler with my brother. I think I saw an eagle from the car.

  30. gdare says:

    Then you probably saw it πŸ˜€

  31. Mickeyjoe-Irl says:

    There was one that flew along the highway just in front of us, but I couldn't get a picture because it was at a really awkward angle.

  32. Mickeyjoe-Irl says:

    At least I did see it, and I remember.

  33. gdare says:

    Once seen, they can`t be forget πŸ˜€

  34. Mickeyjoe-Irl says:


  35. rose-marie says:

    Hehe! Treehugger! ;)Nice waterfall! I can only imagine what it looks like with lots of melting ice and snow…A bear sounds like a pretty good anti-theft device, doesn't it… :left:

  36. gdare says:

    Originally posted by rose-marie:

    A bear sounds like a pretty good anti-theft device, doesn't it…

    My thought, exactly :left:

  37. Mickeyjoe-Irl says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    Originally posted by rose-marie:

    A bear sounds like a pretty good anti-theft device, doesn't it…

    My thought, exactly

    I wouldn't be so sure. πŸ˜€

  38. Suntana says:

    Ohhh, so THAT's where you got the title of your Blog.So, are the New Year's Eve Party pictures in the next installment?

  39. gdare says:

    Mick, yes, in case a thief is a bear it becomes a bit difficult :DCarlos, no our New Year`s Eve was quiet, we spent a lot of time travelling so having a quiet evening was more than needed :zzz:

  40. rose-marie says:

    Originally posted by Mickeyjoe_irl:

    I wouldn't be so sure.

    Hahaha! But I bet it keeps other thiefs away! :p

  41. Mickeyjoe-Irl says:

    A drunken, incontinent bear keeps everyone away. :yuck:

  42. sanshan says:

    The word squamish in Coast Salish language means "mother of the wind".

  43. gdare says:

    I guess that thief is a father, then πŸ˜†

  44. Suntana says:

    That thief is an amateur. He's wearing yellow pants, a white jacket and a white cap at night. :insane: AND turkey feathers with yellow tips on his butt. :yikes: Not exactly inconspicuous.

  45. gdare says:

    We have a saying here: In night, all the cats are black :left:

  46. studio41 says:

    "north of West vancouver, toward Whistler." did you whistle? :whistle: I, too, am glad for you the bears were sleeping. I like the tree hugging photo best πŸ˜€ bet you were huggin' San most of the time. πŸ˜‰

  47. gdare says:

    Originally posted by studio41:

    bet you were huggin' San most of the time

    I did :happy: πŸ˜€

  48. studio41 says:


  49. MirabelaTM says:

    Beautiful pictures of nature :up: You traveled a lot

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