72 Hours: Vancouver

I’m Alive is a series about traveling to 14 cities to film a two-and-a-half minute YouTube video. We spent 72 hours in each city. Vancouver was our third stop, where we found suspension jungles and nude beaches.

The trip from Seattle to Vancouver along the pacific coast was definitely one to remember. Amongst all of our chaos from the previous week in Seattle and at The Gorge, we caught a five hour break to backup our footage, research Vancouver, and mingle with random train passengers — all the while having incredible views of the coast from a train car. Time passes quickly on these rides though, and we arrived in Vancouver sooner than expected. Fortunately, we booked an AirBnB ahead of time, which was a camping trailer in someone’s backyard. We had a grill, but no time to use it. Damn.

After settling into our camp and coming up with a plan, we set out in the morning to explore the city, grab breakfast, talk to locals, and get a feel for things. We headed over to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park to get some great scenic footage since the weather was nice. We setup running shots across the bridge and got yelled at for running by a speaker system. Who puts a speaker system on a suspension bridge in the forest? We went further into the park and discovered a network of suspended walkways. Although they were crowded with other tourists, running on pathways suspended between giant trees was surprisingly fun.

One of my favorite experiences from a previous trip to Vancouver was renting a bike and exploring the city and waterfront. Vancouverites treat summer weather like a three month vacation. People in towels and swimsuits carrying guitars, drums and weed litter the beaches. It’s a lot to take in, and talking to people always leads to an interesting experience. So, Nic and I rented some bikes and headed out for a long afternoon of exactly that. We probably cruised ten or fifteen miles around the area, including Stanley Park. I got yelled at by an aggressive cyclist who appeared to be doing professional training in a crowded park, full of tourists for riding my bike and taking pictures.

We grabbed a bite to eat and chatted with an off-duty bartender. He gave us recommendations to go out for a night on the town, ended up joining us until 3AM, and got disappointed when we weren’t on board to rage on until 4AM. The next day was a peaceful recovery though. We headed over to Wreck Beach, a popular hangout for college students and old people where drugs and questionable scenery take place. We managed to get some amazing shots of Nic skim boarding that made it into the final cut.

Places we stopped:

There were numerous other places, but those were a few of the highlights. Vancouver was certainly one of the better cities to just be in and be entertained by without feeling the need to plan activities and organize shots. The Car2Go community was also rather abundant and supportive, which definitely facilitated our mission and our transportation.

We flew from Vancouver and arrived in Calgary for Olympic bobsledding and mesmerizing helicopter adventures.