Walking to Whistler

My Walking with Reason class just finished. Below is some of the writing from our blog post outlining our last assignment (walking to Whistler from Quest). To read more about the class visit our blog. Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 1.18.11 PM

Whistler was the big walk, it’s what we had been waiting for. After checking the weather forecast and finding a clear break of sunshine on the horizon we decided that Sunday was the day to start our pilgrimage. Days prior were spent dehydrating foods to reduce our pack weights and portioning out our measured meals- 4 scoops oats, 2 spoon fulls powdered milk, handful almonds… The amount of preparation and thought that was needed in planning our trip was not taken for granted. Driving to Whistler we normally don’t bring much for the ride up besides a quick stop at Timmies, this trip was different. We had to remember that we would be on the road for four days and all we had were 65 litre packs to transport our essentials. Four days of food, four pairs of socks, four sets of bowls and spoons, and four bags to sleep in. There are many things you cannot forget on a journey like this and unfortunately the one thing we forgot was to pack more mini eggs.Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 11.57.55 AM

The thing about setting out on a walk like this one is that preparation is the only thing stopping you from being pushed out the front door. The ease of walking to a car with little worry about whether you brought a warm enough sweater or an eating utensil is actually very novel. It makes leaving the house a lot less worrisome. Your car might not have a camping stove, flashlight, or even ironically, a map but because of the ultimate efficiency of cars we just don’t need to walk around with these things. It’s an interesting comparison between how much you need in your car versus how much you need while you walk. While in your car you may need much less but you have more space to carry things with you. While walking you need much more but have very limited space to carry those things. Walking has helped us understand material necessity. It’s also helped us think about what we need to be thinking about.Our journey to Whistler was a subversive attempt to understand how the connective tissues of two neighboring communities are linked together and how they might be strengthened. While a majority of the two million annual visitors to the Whistler area have to pass through Squamish, they do not recognize the important linkage between these two communities. In an attempt to better understand what we as commuters and locals are taking for granted, we decided to walk the sea to sky.Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 12.09.11 PMThe journey felt as though we were threading together the surfaces of the earth on which we walked upon. Places we had seen before became places we were living in. It will be hard to think of our last stretch on the Paradise Valley Road without our four legged companion Frank, a beefcake of a dog. He guided us to the trailhead that would climb us out of the valley and up to the highway. Pulling over for snack and lunch breaks gave us time to smell the flowers. Sitting on rocks on the side of dirt roads leading to backcountry adventure tours and even on couches facing out to falling bodies attached to bungee cords let us see the world happen around us.

We drove back. Speeding down the highway for just 40 mintues, and we were home.

Leave a Reply