Fortunately, Randy found a good friend who was willing to make the drive from Vancouver up to Whistler to rescue us. The Rivian left town yesterday, and due to the regulations of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), we couldn’t ride with the tow truck driver, which is commonplace here in the States.
Passenger and commercial vehicle insurance in British Columbia is through ICBC – a government monopoly insurance company. I often hear, “Ugh, it’s different here.” Regulations around who can drive or travel in what car vary wildly between the United States and British Columbia.
Seeing Matt was fantastic. He didn’t have any plans for the day – neither did we. Matt found a short hike along the See to Sky Highway (BC 99) that looked interesting: Mamquam Falls. The walk to Mamquam Falls is short, just 2 km (1.2 miles). Getting out and exploring nature on an otherwise unoccupied day seemed like fun.
Seeing Matt was fantastic. He didn’t have any plans for the day – neither did we. Matt found a short hike along the See to Sky Highway (BC 99) that looked interesting: Mamquam Falls. The walk to Mamquam Falls is short, just 2 km (1.2 miles). Getting out and exploring nature on an otherwise unoccupied day .
The foliage is different here. While Whistler was more alpine, the area around Mamquam Falls is intensely lush. There was tons of plant life underneath the thick canopy – something you don’t regularly see in Northern California.
The Mamquam River was opaque, lol. Many rivers in this region have large amounts of glacial till and flour. Glacial till is the sediment of every size caused by the erosion of glaciers against the soil underneath. Glacial flour is the tiniest pieces of sediment that get into the rivers, giving them their unique, opaque appearance.
As we approached the waterfalls, the trail got narrower, the rocks got more slippery, and my confidence waned. With the truck in limbo and so far from home, I wasn’t willing to push my luck on the trail. Had I been at home? Sure. Today, I’m hiking up towards the bridge.
As the three of us approached the dam, there were stark reminders of the power of water. British Columbia generates most of its power through hydroelectric power plants. That means large bodies of water behind dams that go through turbines at a high rate of speed. For the rest of us, don’t be downriver when the dam opens. While it was calm today, the signage and AllTrails indicated things get wild when the dam opens.
What was interesting about this dam is that we couldn’t find a big body of water behind the dam. It seemed like the river just continue to go upstream without a bulb of water in captivity. I’m inferring, and this is pure speculation, that this dam may bring elasticity into the grid as an on-demand resource rather than a more permanent fixture that holds water to regularly discharge and generate power.
Each of us wondered, “who is Atlantic Power and why are they running dams on the complete opposite side of the country in British Columbia?” We chose to take the road back to see a bit more of the forest in the area.