Thursday, June 25, 2015

A weekend on the mainland

(click on image to enlarge)
Skill-testing signs
Watercolour and crayon
©2015 Charlene Brown

The trip to the mainland is at least as spectacular as any cruise you’ve ever been on, but it has its bewildering aspects, at least the first few times you try it. 

First, there may be an electronic sign telling you the ferry you thought you’d be on is full... and what, you might ask, is entailed in a ‘1 sailing wait’? Well, it turns out a 1 sailing wait can be pretty terrific, with a nice restaurant and a craft market! A 2 or 3 sailing wait, not so much. 

Then somewhere in the eight-tollbooth jousting for position in the parking lot, or the eventual 2-lane race up the ramp to dive onto Deck 4, you might notice the enigmatic instruction to avoid using your GPS... though anyone who has ever tried to follow GPS instructions to board a ferry (Recalculating route. Make a U-turn as soon as it is safe to do so) will understand that one. 

The green destination sign, on the other hand, is a huge relief – it lets you know, in English and a Coast Salish language, that you are still on the right road. This reassuring sign is on the Sea-to-Sky Highway a few kilometers past West Vancouver, just around a sharp bend immediately after the TransCanada Highway you have been driving on has darted off to the right down a cliff.