Most normal people go south, someplace warm, for their spring break adventures. Me? I went to Vancouver in my final year of being an undergrad, to finally catch a game with my beloved Canucks in person, and also to revisit the Pacific Northwest I had called home just a couple of years earlier.
If you haven’t read the work of Douglas Coupland, you need to. Pick up Life After God, in fact, and give that a read-through. Read that and you’ll understand a lot of North Vancouver. And you’ll also be introduced to the Capilano River. Then halfway up to the dam, forming a reservoir there’s the Capilano Suspension Bridge, a kind of tourist spot in the middle of the suburbs.
I’ve only been there on weekdays, when there is sporadic foot traffic but otherwise plenty of tranquility. Cross the bridge and there’s a pond, with spots to sit and contemplate and see how still you make yourself while the grey and green scene in front of you bursts to patient, placid life.
There are greens in the Pacific Northwest that almost seem impossible. I own an art supply shop, in fact, and none of the paint I have ever been able to get ever does these colours justice. It’s one of those places where you have to pull this humid, mist-laden air into your lungs, the growth and decay all at once around you, to really understand it.
And should you bore of nature, there is plenty of culture to learn. While it might be presented as a bit of a tourist stop for photo ops, there is much wisdom to be gained.
If I were a wealthy man, if I was more than simply a writer, if I were younger (even though I’m only in my mid-30’s), I would start over out in the hills above Vancouver. Sure, with the property values out there, I could probably only afford a moderately-sized refrigerator box, but the air is fresh, the people are amazing, and the world just seems that much more amazing with mountains and rivers and trees arcing over the view of glassy horizon of bustling downtown Vancouver.