Yesterday we went to San Francisco for a day of fun. I love the city. The mountains are my home and always will be but I feel a bit like a kid in a candy shop in the city. So many sights, sounds, smells, people, I love it!! Christmas in San Francisco is particularly nice.
We hit up the California Academy of Sciences in the morning. It just opened up after years of renovation and it is quite spectacular. I am a big fan of museums and this definitely did not disappoint. My favorite were the Burmese Vine Snakes. The Burmese Vine Snakes hang upside down in the trees and hunt for fish. The linger over the water and wait for a fish to swim underneath and then they strike. I watched these things for a long time!! I saw them catch and swallow a few fish!!
Next we went over to the Stinky Rose in North Beach. The Stinky Rose is a San Fran landmark that specializes in anything garlic. Interesting fact, they use 3,000 lbs. of garlic each month. Insane. I still smell garlic 24 hours later…haha.
Lastly we went to Union Square for a bit of a look around. Its decorated all nice and it definitely gets you in the holiday spirit.
I was meant to be going home in the morning but my flight was canceled because of snow in the NW so I have a few more days down here!!
It is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. It is the story of this kid from the slums of Mumbai who goes on India’s version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Sounds hokey, I know, I thought that when I read the synopsis but it is great!!!! Trust me.
So I didn’t really want to chime in and remind people of the Gondola collapse this past week because Whistler has had it pretty rough lately but I feel a bit obligated because it is substantial news.
No one was seriously hurt and to be honest the whole ordeal could not have been much better given the seriousness of the situation. It happened right at the bottom of the mountain and at the end of the day. The Excalibur gondola has two separate sections so all of the people on the upper portion were able to get off normally without any kind of evacuation. The emergency crews were on top of it and proved to everyone that they know their shit.
Yes it is quite scary but it was a bit of a freak accident. The cause of the accident is said to be ice jacking. Basically water seeped into tower 4 near a critical weld and when this water froze it expanded causing a catastrophic failure. I can bet you that Whistler Blackcomb is gonna be sure that this will not happen again. I think Whistler is the place you are gonna worry the least when you hop on a lift now!
Whistler depends on Tourism for its survival and the town in really suffering right now. The start of the snow season has been super slow, it has been super cold, the American economy is suffering big time and now the gondola has collapsed…Whistler needs you. There are tons of killer deals in town right now…hotels, food, shopping!!
We rode the bike park last week! My friend Reidles and I hiked up to the top on ninja cougar and it was amazing. It was in the best condition I have ever seen it. There was no snow and all the brake bumps were washed away so it was smooth as butter. Driftastic!!! The ground has this crazy sound when you ride over it since its frozen…it sounds like you are breaking crystals the whole way down. Reidles even brought tea to the top in true english fashion.
The only way I can explain the way I feel about biking is that it feels like a crush. You know those butterflies, the excitement, the anticipation…thats how biking makes me feel every day. It is unreal.
The Peak 2 Peak opened up yesterday. Peak 2 Peak is the new alpine gondola that Whistler Blackcomb has put in which spans from the Roundhouse on Whistler to the Rendezvous on Blackcomb. It is quite an engineering feet; it spans 4.4km/2.73mi across the valley and is supported by 4 towers! The distance between towers from Whistler to Blackcomb is 3.02km/1.88mi! Pretty insane if you ask me.
Anyway, there was a huge grand opening celebration on the mountain yesterday. It was a very long and costly project so a celebration was needed.
I am not gonna lie the thing freaks me out a bit. I have been sky diving, I have been bungy jumping, I like to ride my bike fast down the mountain but being suspended 1427+ feet over Fitz creek is a bit unerving. I did it though and it wasn’t too bad. I am sure I will use it on a regular basis- its pretty cool being able to go from Whistler to Blackcomb in a matter of minutes. I went in the glass bottom gondola for my first ride. The picture is me over the glass- pretty cool. Only 2 of them have glass bottoms so no need to worry if thats not your thing!
November is all about MOs. Last night marked the last night of MOvember so Tapleys hosted a MOvember party and contest. It was pretty sweet. I dont think I have seen so many MOs in my life. Josh, the one on the left got the lamest MO award- thats a month worth of work there. I had the honor or shaving off a few MOs. Love it.
Everyday on my way to school we cross the Mamquam river. This place is pretty special because on any given day you can see half a dozen Bald Eagles. Squamish/Brackendale is the winter home to Bald Eagles and has the largest concentration of Bald Eagles on the continent. They are beautiful…I have never seen anything like it.
I had a final exam today and on our way home my friend Jason and I stopped in Brackendale for a bit to check out the eagles. No joke, it was some serious Planet Earth action we saw at least 20 eagles, seals, salmon, other birds even a rabbit. hahaha. The Pacific Northwest is freaking gorgeous…I am lucky to call it home!
ps. i did not take this picture…i hijacked it from flckr, all i had was my camera phone!