Sea To Sky Highway – British Columbia

The sea to sky highway is a small two lane road that winds its way from Horseshoe Bay near Vancouver to the grand ski resorts of Whistler and Black Comb, this scenic byway hugs the cliffs of a magnifiscent glacier carved landscape. With the Howe Sound to my left and the tree-covered Coast Mountains to my right I piloted my bike through blissful turns. Carefully keeping my eye on the highway was difficult with the dramatic drops to the island dotted waters far below.

My plan was to get to Whistler, spend the night with an ice pack on my aching foot. I dreamed about opening one of those bottles of wine from Washington and a nice dinner. I reasoned to myself that I needed to slowly ease into the rough wilderness of Canada and Alaska and as a premier World-Class ski resort which will play host to the 2010 Winter Olympics, feeling sorry for myself and my bone-head move in Seattle that left me in a precariouis position where I couldn't walk to far from my bike. Normally, I'd pull off in a wayside, hike a bit, shoot pictures. But tethered by my new cane and a brokena and sprained foot, I was rooted close to my new best friend — my BMW F650 GS Dakar.

Rounding a corner and getting within 20 miles of Whistler I soon found myself under the watchful eye of Stawmus Chief, one of the largest granite monoliths in the world sitting high above the scenic village of Squamish. the chief attracts climbers from all over the world. I am happy to wind the road to Whistler just below it.

In Whistler I played on my own personal pity and decided to splurge for one last dinner before I'd once again join the ranks of campers, canned soup and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and decided to dine at Araxi in Whistler's lower village.

The meal was fantastic. Key to Araxi's culinary concept is using all local and naturally grown ingredients and foods in each of their dishes which change daily. I was blown away by my meal and figuring it'd be my last fine dining experience for sometime, I thought I'd share the menu and wine selections and strongly urge you visit this restaurant if you find yourself climbing the sea to sky highway or skiing in Whistler.

Purple & Golden Beat Salad – Buffalo mozzeraella, basil sorbet, beet & orange vinaigrette

Herb Crusted Queen Charlotte Halibut – Globe artichokes, eggplant puree, Across the Creek Farm wax beans (white), verjust, olive oil, grape juice and lemon and tomator vinaigrette

The beets grown locally up the road and the Halibut from just north of Vancouver all were fantastic. My mouth exploded with flavor and that basil sorbet – who would have thuought anything sounding so silly could taste so good. I paired these entries with local British Columbia wines which pleasant suprised me:

2004 Qual's Gate “Limited Release” Gerwurtztrameiner, Okanagan Valley
2004 Gehringer Brothers “Optimum” Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley

I couldn't stop their, my server tempted me with locally grown berries from Pemerton (a town I'd drive through on my way to Prince George)

Pemberton Berry Napolean – fresh rasberries and sable pastry with Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream.

I hobbled my way back to the room and slept in a Murhpy Bed until 6am when my alarm was greeted by my hand for a number (I lost count) of “sleep” slams.

Photos: (1) Queen Chalotte Halibut; (2) Quiet dinner good place for self pity for my broken foot and to catch up on my journaling and notes; (3) Pemberton Berries and ice cream. Yum.