Spontaneity Rules


Whistler Off the Wingtip

When your husband wakes you up with a cup of coffee in bed and asks, “Why don’t we fly the Beaver to Whistler today?” There is only one answer. No matter what I had planned on accomplishing last Friday, I knew it could wait. That final rewrite of that article I’m working on? My deadline isn’t for a few weeks yet. That word document I started with the first blush of a new book idea that’s tickling the back of my mind, waiting to grow wings and become legitimate? That, too, isn’t going anywhere.

It took me less than 30 seconds to answer.

“Yes,” I said and shot out of bed. Of course I wanted to fly the Beaver to Whistler. I wasn’t even sure if we could find a room at such short notice. Or sure that we could leave our plane overnight in Green Lake. Or certain how we would get from the lake to our hotel. But these were just details.

Within a few hours, we were flying a new route. John and I sold our floating home in Sullivan Bay earlier this summer in order to make way for new adventures. Since then, I’ve been waiting for those adventures to gel. But bush flying takes a bit of research, not to mention trial and error. Flying to Sullivan had become almost routine.

A few years ago, we’d ridden bikes around Green Lake, and watched Whistler Air floatplanes land in the pristine water. It had been on our list ever since.

The Beaver at the dock in Green Lake

Reason #557 why I love my husband so much is his spontaneity. Sure, it can be difficult to make advanced plans. Yes, we missed that barbecue at my sister’s house. Certainly, I should not cut my deadlines too close in case he makes an offer I can’t refuse. But spontaneity shakes something loose in me. It brings me closer to freedom; spur-of-the-moment decisions cut away that accumulated bathtub ring of daily noise. I’m constantly battling this noise. Balancing myself between outdoor adventures and the very inside activity of writing about them makes for an interesting dance. Too much time spent doing either one turns me limp, makes my blood sugars either too low or too high and I lose my way.

A last-minute trip brings out the best in me. I brought along exactly one change of clothes and stuffed it into my backpack. We took out the seats to make room for our bikes. Boarding the plane, I figured we could always sleep in the back. This was a Dehavilland Beaver after all.

I made a hotel reservation on my phone while John flew (debunking the cell phone interference myth), and we made our way north. Flying into Howe Sound, I noticed the long line of cars heading from Vancouver to Whistler on the Sea to Sky Highway. Had we taken the car, the trip would have been 7 hours, depending on the border. Instead, it took us 1.5 hours.

It was glorious.

3 responses »

  1. Kim

    I’m sure you would agree that Whistler valley is the zenith of mt. biking locations in the northwest. This will be my 5th September to spend a week biking in the valley. I hope you took the 6 mi. ride into beautiful turquoise Cheakamus Lake guarded by the Cheakamus glacier and surrounded by the old growth forest of Garibaldi Provincial Park. Then starting at Function Junction, you can ride their new portion ofthe Sea to Sky trail to Brandywine Falls and the bungee jump suspension bridge, about 9 mi. and loop back to Whistler or leave a rig at Brandywine Falls parking lot and haul the bikes back up to Whistler (easier).

    • Cheakamus lake sounds great. We were only in Whistler for less than 24 hours, but I will put this on my list for next time. There’s nothing like a scenic flight from the cockpit of a floatplane to realize just how special that valley truly is.

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