Thursday, March 19, 2009

Rave Run 02: Pemberton Airport Road

And now for something COMPLETELY different....Last week I took you along with me on one of my favourite downtown Vancouver routes, False Creek. Well, last weekend, like EVERY weekend (almost) we were in Pemberton. The town is located about 20 minutes up the highway from the ski resort of Whistler Blackcomb, where we ski our butts off all winter. But now that the roads are more passable I feel safe running on them again and decided to take some snapshots along one of my fave running routes so I could share a bit of the history and natural beauty of the area.
(Mile 1 - Highway 99)
Before I get to the quiet and almost traffic-free, "Pemberton Airport Road", I have to run along the shoulder of Highway 99 for about half a mile. It's not too bad now that the snow's gone. In the dead of winter the shoulder is narrow and if you're unlucky enough to be passed by a snowplough or sanding truck you have to jump out of the way.
(Mile 2 - Horses at Pemberton Airport Road)
This is the "Adventure Ranch" where last summer myself and two friends went for a trail ride. My horse was the white one, "Merlin". He's super nice. You should try to get him if you ever go riding in Pemberton.
(Mile 2 - Mount Currie)
Why is it called Mount Currie? You might have guessed by the spelling it has nothing to do with Indian spices. And, no, there is no Mount Vindaloo in the area as far as I know. No, Mount Currie is named after a Scottish settler (John Currie) who established a farm in the area after a failed attempt to find his fortune during the Gold Rush of the 1850's. Ther's also a First Nations settlement by the same name nearby.

(Mile 3 - Lillooet River)

Pemberton Aiport Road is named aptly, as it is the home to a bunch of aviation-related businesses and organizations. The airport itself is tiny. There are no regularly scheduled flights and there aren't a lot of buildings on the site. In the winter the airport is closed, but if you want to land your private plane there you can phone ahead and someone will clear the snow off the runway for a very reasonable (!) fee. If you want to see the valley and mountains from the air, you can also charter a sighseeing trip or go heli-skiing from Pemberton Helicopters. Pemberton Soaring Center also offers sightseeing tours in their gliders. Of course, there's also the Fire Attack Base. The region is very hot and dry in the summer so wildfires sometimes need to be tackled with planes.

(Mile 4 - Bridge over Lillooett River)

There are a lot of horses in the neighbourhood, so you will see signs like these (horse crossing) all over the place. The Lillooett River is named after the St'at'imcets-speaking people who live in the region, the Lil'wat First Nation. The name Lil'wat is the indigenous name for Mt. Currie.

(Mile 4 - View of Mt. Currie from bridge over Lillooett River)

(Mile 5 - Yet another view of Mt. Currie)

(Mile 5 - View of a someone's country estate with some mountains)

Sorry, I do not know who's estate this is, but it's very nice and they have a lot of fancy cars. The mountain in the foreground MIGHT be Sugar Loaf Mountain, but I can't be sure. I need a better map with all of the peaks clearly indicated.


Stuart said...

Looks great, from my limited time in Canada and that was mostly in Alberta you're not lacking on the scenery front!

Great post!

Elements of Erin 337 said...

This is also a great place to cycle in the summer. The road from Whistler to Pemberton is pretty hilly (rollers) and the traffic on the hwy isn't too bad. Once you get to Pemberton, the ridingis FLAT and beautiful.

Great photos.

Marlene said...

That is absolutely beautiful! Thanks for the little photo tour.

Ian Charters said...

Looks fantastic - thanks for sharing them.

No wonder it is a "Rave Run"

Jeannie said...

Gorgeous pictures!

Denise said...

Those pictures are amazing!!

Jesse said...

You're lucky to be running in a place so beautiful! Happy running!

Eileen Swanson said...

Hi, cool blog. Love the pics, beautiful scenery and horses too!! ;-)

Joe S said...

Beautiful pics. Really enjoyed them.

Mauricio Sanchez said...

Beautiful! I miss the north... sometimes!!!

Anonymous said...

Great photos as always- love all the links you put in..xo m

Drusy said...

Wow! Fantastic scenery. I am jealous. My leafy green trails in southeast England do pale by comparison.

My airport road.. Heathrow... goes through divy Slough where the thugs and skinheads hang out.