The summer of 2015 was hectic time for Squamish; well… I suppose most summers must be. Come summertime, every blade of grass rooted in Squampton’s earth begins to bloom. The brown-beige mountains explode into a multitude of green shades and the rivers dip lower into the earth, their surging force seemingly unobstructed. Colours aside, the noises of Squamish overlap each other until a whirl of layered chattering begins to sound like a rhythm. This rhythm of course is the music of day to day living, something which is transformed abruptly by the business-booming flow of tourists. Much like the Mamquam river, the powerful surge of tourism too is unobstructed by the beating-down sun. Last year, like this one, it was an amazing, educational and exciting time to call Squamish home.
I lived with friends from Squamish (some old friends, some new) in the Spiral Park down in Garibaldi Highlands. Spiral is quite a place to stay, should you by any chance ever happen to live there on your travels. Not only is it possible to get a good deal on rent (for any that know the town, this is a huge load off one’s shoulders), it’s location is a series of surprises within surprises. For one, just a short walk from our home one could bump into a grassy marsh that dissolved into the Mamquam river just a little distance ahead. A short distance down lay a quaint forest (very popular with dog-owners) which led into a riverside beach (equally popular with dogs) which in turn was overlooked by a big bridge, a massive pier on the other bank and the glow of downtown which chased away the setting sun.
The pier across the riverbank where we often went on dog-walks
When dusk comes, Squamish does not slumber, it simply sleeps with one eye open. Laying in my bed deep in the night, I was reminded to sip on some water and shut my eyes again as the red lights of the passing train rocked me, and the house, back to sleep. Bicyclists tour the empty moonlit roads at their own leisure and on some very alive nights, it is not uncommon to see young folk playing sports or swinging on swings in the many parks around the area.
Squamish is all the better when you have a dog with you. I was lucky to dog-sit my friend/landlord’s massive half dire-wolf adorable hairball of a puppy named Thor. Thor was two years old at the time, which would have made him a teenager in dog years. I soon found in him an excellent travel companion as, despite such a young age, he had a near superhuman (superdog?) level of English comprehension. So, when he ran off into the woods and refused to come back to your calls, you could definitely see the cheeky teen rebelliousness in his eyes. Of course, eventually he’d burst out from a bush behind me and jump up to lick my face; just to make sure I knew that he was never too far off, at least I think…
Then there was Ninja, my roommate’s cat, who was Thor’s best friend (and occasional plaything) and who was, for all purposes, an actual real life ninja. Often times we would have a friend who had a Shepard dog come by. For any that know Shepard dogs, their natural instincts can kick in very hard sometimes. This dog, for example, made it a point to chase ninja into a corner and then proceed to stare at her (and she could stare for hours if nobody stopped her). It was hilarious, if not a little unnerving, to watch Ninja sit there, trapped between a dog and a hard place. The funniest part was that this dog had no intention of doing anything to Ninja apart from staring at her for a long, long time. The second Ninja moved, the dog would have her in a corner again, ready to watch her do nothing for another two hours. Fortunately for Ninja, she’s a real… well, ninja. In a few seconds she could be leaping over boxes, chairs, tables and finally through the window and into freedom. The Shepard could never see it coming.
My roommates, Ninja and Thor
Stay in-tune for further stories about Squamish shenanigans! Next up, a story about the time we got lost on a spooky beach…