I was so reluctant to go. After spending three worry-free weeks in Cuba and two amazing weeks travelling in British Columbia and Alberta, I did not want to go back to Whistler. Walking around Banff I saw ‘help wanted’ signs in pretty much every shop window. “I could stay here and try to get a job” thought the little voice inside my head. But I already had a cool job lined up and besides, my precious ski gear was still in Whistler. So I made my way back to Vancouver first. In the hostel I met a girl who I had met in New Zealand! What are the odds? The next day I was back on the greyhound to Whistler.
I passed by all the familiar roads and mountains. In Whistler I made my way to an unfamiliar part of town, Cheakamus. It is just way out of town, at the edge of Whistler. This is where the Olympians would stay during the 2010 Olympics. One of the buildings that was used to house them was now a hostel. It was strange to check into a hostel in the town where I had worked all winter. Everything felt strange anyway. The snow had melted on the lower parts of the mountains and that was all I could see on this cloudy day. Winter was gone and so was my winter life. I had to start all over again.
The next day the sun came out. 33 degrees! The Whistler summer was welcoming me. I’d met a girl in this fancy hostel and together we went up the Whistler gondola. I found out I still have full sightseeing privileges on my season pass so I’ll be able to enjoy mountain top picnics and hikes all summer. There is still a lot of snow around, so at the moment there is just one trail that you can walk. They dug out a road through the snow, so you walk along walls of snow. Walking up the trail was a lot steeper than I thought. Skiing down it this is a green cat track, but going up was a totally different experience. As soon as I was up the mountain all my beautiful winter memories came back though and I new I had made the right decision in staying here for summer. On the trail I saw my old house mate. He was going to live in Vancouver but Whistler had pulled him back too!
Since I’ve got some time before I start my new job I have plenty of time to be a tourist. Close to my hostel is the interpretive forest. It is an amazing place full of hiking and biking trails. I put on my hiking boots and walked along the Cheakamus river going up and down until the trail hit a swing bridge. On the other side I climbed to a viewpoint, but when I reached it, it was full of trees. So much for the view. It was good exercise anyway. Back on the other side of the bridge I climbed further to the Logger’s lake. It was another hot day and the sight of the lake was very welcoming. I dipped myself in, but I swear my heart skipped a beat. It was freezing! I really couldn’t stay in longer than 2 minutes.
After my plunge I found the start of the Crater rim walk. This walk took me to an amazing view of the lake. It started with a massive climb to gain 100m of elevation. Then it went through the forest occasionally passing a beautiful view over the mountains. All the time one thing was on my mind though. What about the bears? I was alone and didn’t see anyone on this trail. Luckily I didn’t see bears either. Suddenly the trail started descending again. This side of the loop was much steeper, with rocky steps and sharp switchbacks. After walking across an area full of rocks, which looked like a bunch of rocks had slid down the mountain, I soon hit the crossroads with the Ridge walk. This took me back to the river trail and my hostel in Cheakamus.
I’ve only been back in Whistler for a weekend now. I am so happy I decided to make a trip through the Rockies before coming back, but it is also good to be back. Because I am in a hostel I am exploring more. I am seeing Whistler in a whole new light. This place is amazing! I cannot wait to start my job, make new friends and see who is left of the old ones. I want to do everything this gorgeous place has got to offer!