A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE ON VANCOUVER'S CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE
With a worldwide reputation for a
thrill a minute, a walk on the wild side across Capilano Suspension
Bridge's narrow 137 metre wobbling length, suspended 70 metres above
the Capilano river, is one of those 'must do' experiences for all
visitors to Vancouver.
On a recent trip and a crossing of the
canyon I ventured an occasional fleeting look into a dense fir-filled
abyss. With a long standing fear of heights and a determination to
further torture myself with an upcoming 'Treetops Adventure Walk'
deeper in the forest, I scrambled, with a gasp of relief, onto the
receiving platform at the bridge's furtherest point.
crossing, the fact that 26 tons of concrete (the combined weight of 4
elephants at start and finish) anchoring the reinforced steel bridge,
proved to be of little comfort to my fragile sense of security.
The bridge, when erected in 1899 by
George Mackay, a Scottish engineer, was a favorite venue for city
dwellers. Each weekend on the densely treed hillside leading up to
Grouse Mountain, families, courting couples, the aged and children
enjoyed nature at its most beautiful.
Lively entertainment by local musicians must have filled the surrounding valleys with
music and laughter. Over a century later, a rollicking rendition of
vintage melodies by the 'Pioneer Players' was a re-enactment of that
As the years passed life evolved on
the flanks of Grouse Mountain to include aboriginal people. In the
1930s they were encouraged to display their story poles in this
dramatic setting. More than 70 years later those same poles are
still on view. Each exquisitely carved treasure tells a tale of the
past, a subtle combination of myth and reality. In Kia'palano, the
First Nations Cultural center, native wood carvers labour steadily
restoring old poles and carving new.
In a setting surrounded by colourful
totem poles the Strong Wind Dancers provide a further view into
native American culture as they weave a mysterious magic with tales
of spirit legends and a wild dance to the haunting throb of drums.
Photos copyright Anne Gordon
Posted by Anne Gordon on Wednesday, 25th July, 2012.