School was delayed by a week due to COVID and then the weekend before school started the smoke came into Vancouver for real. We had been watching the fires all down the west coast of the US. It seemed almost too good that we hadn't had a smoky season in Vancouver for the second year in the row and I guess it was. As we drove across the Lions gate bridge we could barely see the North Shore mountain and I wondered if we should be going at all, but the forecast called for clearer skis further north and the webcam on whistler showed mainly valley smoke. Maybe we would be better off in the mountains.
Driving up the road to Brandywine meadows it sure seemed like it. Only a very slight haze, so we happily parked just before the worst of the waterbars and hiked the last stretch up the road and the short distance into the meadows. The huckleberries were abundant on the trail and some of the best we have had. The kids were excited to arrive at the meadow and learn that the hike was already done and it was time for playing. I took the opportunity to hike up to the summit of Brandywine. I did my best to keep my breathing slow and steady despite the limited smoke. As I neared the summit I could literally see the smoke roll in from the south and a thick haze slowly surrounded me as I hiked down. I was back in camp just as dark fell to a cold and very overcooked pot of Mac and Cheese. I passed and had a bit of lunch before heading into the tent with the kids.
We woke up to very smoky skis and decided to head down and home right away. Christian had been up summiting Brandywine basically before the rest of the family had left the tent. On the way down we munched on the delicious huckleberries and was surprise that how short the trail is. We were down on the road in no time and quickly covered the 1km of road we had opted not to drive. In hind sight it would have been find for us to drive the rest of the road, but the walking was nice and easy too... and maybe we should have brought respirators.
Say Nuth Khaw Yum
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