Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Road Trip, British Columbia, Canada
I’m paraphrasing, but I think it was Annie Liebovitch who said that photography is 10% creativity and 90% moving stuff around. Today was one of those 90% days.
Waking before dawn to one more morning of Northwest January soup, I chugged down a couple quarts of high test and started to assemble my cases. I’ve signed on with my friend Jon for a week of scuba diving in British Columbia, hoping to photograph a colony of threatened Steller’s Sea Lions along the British Columbia coast. While Canadian winter scuba diving ranks low on most vacation to-do lists, the Pacific here is clear if chilly.
Getting there sounded simple enough. Vancouver sits barely three hours north of Seattle, and BC Ferries offers connections throughout the coastal islands in even the bleakest winter months.
I lost count of the number of times I ran up and down the three flights of stairs separating my apartment from the truck, but the VW’s Teutonic suspension heaved an audible sigh as I piled in the last of my scuba and camera gear.
Heaving a happy if sweaty sigh of my own, I popped in a cd and merged onto the interstate heading north. Two hours to the border, then into Canada with barely a tap of the brakes and a ‘how’s it going ‘eh’ at the border. From there it was a simple matter of boarding the ferry to Vancouver Island for an hour and change, driving an hour north amid fog and logging trucks, wait as darkness falls to board another ferry to Denby Island, drive another long stretch of winding, snow-lined two-lane before catching one final ferry to Hornby Island, disembarking in fog and utter darkness for the last interminable backcountry push to the lodge.
Ten hours door to door, covering rather less than 200 miles.
Greeted by roast chicken and warm hospitality, I am singularly happy to stop moving. Just as soon as I drag all my gear inside.