Dallas and I have been traveling for the past week.
Last Thursday I drove from California up to Seattle where I picked Dallas up from the airport (not sure how that was fair having to drive while he got to fly!) From there we drove over to the Ensign Ranch located in the Snoqualmie Mountains, meeting up with over 100 members of our crazy Adams Family. I will be blogging specifically about the reunion weekend in a future post, but I'll just say that it was a blast of organized chaos, loved ones, camping, and great food.
After the weekend we drove up to Vancouver, British Columbia for a fun adventure. I hadn't been there since I was a child, but remembered the Capilano Suspension Bridge as being a fun memory with my family. "Fun" being the relative term for "scared out of my mind" since my dad and brothers liked to rock the bridge back and forth as high as they could! We drove in around midnight and luckily got one of the last rooms at the Hyatt, downtown Vancouver. It had an amazing view of the city and an incredibly large balcony, not to mention the bed was so comfy! Our first day in Vancouver we decided to head up to the Capilano Suspension Bridge for the afternoon.
A new attraction, the Cliff Walk, had just opened at the beginning of June, so the place was packed with all sorts of tourists, but it was totally worth the crowds! We couldn't have asked for better weather, especially since Vancouver is known for it's rain and over cast skies, we lucked out with sun and almost no cloud coverage.
Totem Poles lined the entrance to the park and of course we couldn't walk through without having ourselves a little bit of fun! We then made our way towards the main suspension bridge over the Capilano River, hanging 230 ft high and 446 ft long. It was absolutely amazing, which is why it brings in over 800,000 tourists a year.
According to Wikipedia, "the bridge was originally built in 1889 by George Grant Mackay, a Scottish civil engineer and park commissioner for Vancouver. It was originally made of hemp ropes with a deck of cedar planks, and was replaced with a wire cable bridge in 1903. In 1910 Edward Mahon purchased the Capilano Suspension Bridge. "Mac" MacEachran purchased the Bridge from Mahon in 1935 and invited local natives to place their totem poles in the park, adding a native theme. In 1945, he sold the bridge to Henri Aubeneau. The bridge was completely rebuilt in 1956. The park was sold to Nancy Stibbard, the current owner, in 1983."
Dallas has been loving our camera just as much as I have. He took the above pictures and totally has an eye for photography I think. We had a blast taking pictures of the gorgeous nature paths and man made lakes on the other side of the bridge.
Another attraction featured at the park is the Treetop Adventures. It consists of seven footbridges suspended between old-growth Douglas Fir trees on the west side of the canyon, forming a walkway up to 98 ft above the forest floor. I couldn't help but feel like we were Tarzan and Jane up in the tree tops!
Dallas had fun testing out the strength of the steel cord in the suspended bridges. Needless to say...they are very strong!
As well as the bridge itself and Treetops Adventure, the park also features rain forest ecotours, award-winning gardens, nature trails, North America's largest private collection of First Nations totem poles, period decor and costumes, and exhibits highlighting the park's history and the surrounding temperate rain forest.
After exploring the Suspension Bridge and the Treetops Adventure, we made our way towards the newest attraction, the Cliff Walk. The pictures in the first collage below were taken from their official website, before the rush of crowds. I thought I would include them so you could imagine just how severe the circumstances of this walk were. I loved every minute of it!
The official park website, www.capbridge.com, has an incredible video of how the Cliff Walk was made. "Open June 3, 2011, this heart-stopping cliff side journey takes you through rain forest vegetation on a series of unobtrusive cantilevered and suspended walkways jutting out from the granite cliff face above Capilano River to previously unexplored areas of the park. Not for the faint of heart, it is high and narrow and, in some sections, glass (very strong glass) is all that separates guests from the canyon far below."
The pathway is very narrow and only made for one direction, so you had to commit to finishing the walk before starting. It was a lot of fun, though and we both were amazed at the engineering that went into building it all. The workers were literally harnessed onto the cliff side while drilling large holes into the mountain; not a job I would ever want!
It's been such a fun trip so far with Dallas, especially after the long busy season that he's had this year. I'm so grateful I married my best friend; it makes these long drives and impromptu adventures so much fun. We end up laughing for hours and simply enjoying our time together. I don't think I could ever ask for anything more!