Two Brothers, Two Coasts: Driving Vancouver to New York
Taking a Nostalgia Trip to Trout Lake, BC
The best summer of my life was spent in Trout Lake, BC, Canada in 2004. This week I got to show my brother the same place ten years later.
We drove for ten hours straight to reach Trout Lake on Monday after picking up the van in Squamish. We missed the last ferry at Galena Bay so we bedded down in the new van for the first time, getting a blissful four hours before waking up to this view:
We reached Trout Lake by about 7am and we dug out the quad bikes for a spin around the old, sleepy lakeside town. I had been upgraded to the big-boy quad since 2004 and I was swiftly apprehended by my uncle after razzing it around the town at 70km/h. I felt like the 16 year old kid that first came out to Canada for the summer again.
It was August when I used to visit, so it was just about warm enough to swim in the glacier-fed lake, and me and a few of the other kids would head down to the dock on quad bikes, drink a few beers and do some fishing. At 16 I had never had so much freedom.
Ted and I immediately set off on a couple of the quad trails that made me fall in love with this quiet corner of British Columbia in 2004.
We headed down to the empty dock, about three months too early to be full of young people, sunbathing, drinking light beer and taking the boat out. We went past the Windsor Hotel, three months too late to even go in for a beer. An antiquity of boom-time Canada, the Windsor is no longer full of drunks shooting the breeze and a couple of frames of pool. The note money from all over the world that had once plastered the wall of the bar has since been pulled down to pay off the debts of the management. The old ghost stories that used to fill the air, faded into anonymity overnight.
It’s a funny, rewarding experience introducing someone to a place you love. I can’t see the snow capped mountains, rushing rivers and towering cedar forests through Ted’s eyes, but then I can’t imagine anyone being unimpressed by the landscapes out here. I am quickly realising that the little sparkle of magic when place, people and timing all coincide can’t be replicated though. Not that he minds much when he has a quad bike, a fishing rod and a case of Kokanee in the fridge.
Next stop: Nakusp, BC