After what seemed like a long and cold fall, it finally feels like summer has arrived in Squamish. Coming from Kosovo, a country in South-Eastern Europe, it means that I am used to hot and sunny summers. My most cherished summer memories while growing up consist of eating popsicles with my friends, spending hot summer days by the seaside, and going to the lake at least once a week. Thus, when the weather finally warmed up and the sun found its way out, I decided to make the most of the remaining days of this summer by going hiking, swimming, and eating lots of popsicles.
This past Sunday was my first complete day off in a while, thus, I decided to make the most out of it. After doing some research on my smart phone, I decided to go to Alice Lake, which is a small lake located only about 11 km away from Quest (only a 20-minute drive). Alice Lake is a famous attraction for many people in the surrounding areas, who go there to cycle, fish, hike, camp, and have picnics. Alice Lake Provincial park, which consists of four lakes including Stump Lake, Fawn Lake, Edith Lake, and Alice Lake, is a popular short hike only 6 km in length, known as the Four Lakes trail.
Since I do not own a vehicle, I decided to bike to Alice Lake. Even though I had heard about possible mountain biking trails, due to my lack of experience of biking in the woods, I decided to take the long way and go to the lake through the town of Brackendale. After biking for more than 15 km, which took almost one hour, I began to change my mind. Several times I considered going back home and forgetting about this crazy idea of mine. However, I was determined to keep going. I could not go back now after I had biked more than half way to the lake. I kept going, biking through the heat and burning sun-rays. After almost two hours of biking through the main streets, crossing the highway, biking through the forest, I finally saw a sign which said, “Alice Lake Park.” I could not believe it – I had made it.
Once I made it to the lake, I was mesmerized by the view that had just hit me. There were many people laying in the beach area, some were tanning and taking naps while some were playing with cards or Frisbees. There were kids running around playing with each other. There were parents and caregivers chasing their children and laughing with each other. There were young people swimming, stand-up paddle boarding, and kayaking. I felt like I was taken back to the lake days, I felt like I was somehow taken back home to Kosovo.
I spent a few hours by the lake, listening to the birds, watching little kids run around, dipping my feet in the water, and simply existing. These past few years I feel like I have always been so busy. Busy with school, busy with work, busy with life. Busy with everything! Thus, taking a few hours to myself to just be, was a much needed experience. However, I knew that the time to go home was quickly approaching me. I knew I had a long bike ride waiting me, and I did not want to get dark. Thus, I slowly packed everything, and started my bike ride home.
Curious to figure out the famous trail that takes you all the way back to Quest, I texted my host sister, Nina, about such trail. After texting each other back and forth for a few minutes, I finally figured out that the trail I needed to take was Jack’s trail. Even though I was nervous to go mountain biking all by myself, Nina assured me that this was a beginner mountain biking trail and that I would be fine. After calling Nina several times, asking bikers for directions, looking in the map, almost crying a few times, I finally made it to the highlands, the neighbourhood where Quest is located. I could not believe it – it took me less than 40 minutes to bike home from the world famous Alice Lake. Quest is truly located in such an amazing location.
After such a beautiful day of biking, tanning, swimming and just being, I finally made it home. I felt happy and full of life. I am so happy that I decided to go on this little adventure, and I cannot wait to go visit Alice Lake again. I feel very thankful to live in such an amazing place, where I am surrounded by world famous mountain biking an hiking trails, beautiful lakes, and tall mountains. No wonder why Squamish is known as the, “Recreational Capital of Canada.”