... and into the Desert
When Cuppa and I visited Vancouver and British Columbia two years ago, we rented a car for the whole time and got around quite a bit. This time, we decided to stick close to home base for the most part and limit ourselves to Shank's mare and public transit. However, with the girls, we also took a quick two-day trip into the dry interior and back.
It's a 400 km trip from Vancouver to Osoyoos (see blue squiggle on map below) and a total change in geography. Right on the Pacific, Vancouver and the windward slopes receive abundant precipitation, but the interior, leeward side is in a rainshadow to the point where parts of it can be considered desert or near enough.
While travelling, especially in scenic BC, one wants to take many pictures, but there are very few opportunities to stop. So, we made the most of our situation and snapped away to our hearts' content whilst travelling at speed, which is why I called them the Fuzzy Mountain in the title. Taking photos became even more problematic on return trip with the windshield liberally bespattered with bug carcasses. Nevertheless, I'm going to inflict some of my attempts upon you.
The mountains are never far away in Vancouver, but I'd say we were definitely in them somewhere around Abbotsford or Chilliwack (click on the map to enlarge it). At that point they looked something like this: heavily forested with trees from the summits to the valleys.
The next two photos were also taken in the windward, rainier regions.
Soon, however, perhaps somewhere between EC Manning Park and Princeton the vegetation changed noticeably with trees becoming sparser and the surroundings beginning to look dry.
Of course, this change continued until we were in a desert or extremely close to such as we neared Osoyoos, which is about a stones-throw to the America border. We picked Osoyoos because we wished to visit wine country and heard that there was a unique native-run winery there. Perhaps, I will say more about Osoyoos at a later date. In the meantime, Cuppa has mentioned it here and here.
While I have known about windward and leeward slopes and rainshadows for a long time and always seemed to be referring to such in my geography classes, it was quite interesting to drive through the transition myself.