Blankets and pillows of white snow greeted me as I swished open my curtains with both hands. I blinked, stunned. This was new. It took a few seconds of staring at the couple inches of tiny, stacked snowflakes that adorned my balcony railing before the smile spread across my face. Suddenly, I was reliving my childhood, wrapped up cozily in bed and listening for two sweet words to rattle through the radio downstairs: Snow day. I was ecstatic.
Rolling out of my parking spot, my friend and I decided on an early start to our cross-island road trip. This was partially due to the remaining clouds, from which, the weather websites promised, would soon pour rain. Just outside of Victoria though, the piles of snow proved to be thicker than the tiny amount I’d witnessed on my balcony and I was met with sudden inspiration. How unreal would Niagara Falls in Goldstream Provincial Park look in the snow? Unable to resist, we exited the highway and slid ever so slightly and ever so elegantly down the hill into the parking lot. Crunching gently under our feet, the snow gave way to the soft layer of pine needles it had hidden the night before. Unfamiliar in their white coat, the massive firs, cedars and hemlocks threatened to drop snow onto our heads below. Their branches sagged under the weight. Snow creates such a heavy, magnificent silence and our white carpet gave way to an ethereal west coast winter wonderland. When we finally descended to where the waterfall became visible, I quickly realized I’d made the right call in paying a visit. The elegant vision of the falling water was only intensified by the soft white that surrounded it. Mist, hanging off the edges of the rock face through which it cuts, had hardened into opaque stalagmites and glitter. It settled on my face as icy, Jack Frost kisses. I smiled back at my friend over the roar.
My feet were itching to make their way up to the trestle bridge and I ached to listen to them. A snow day on the Island was rare. I’ve always been fond of the way snow could enhance the world’s features in sharp beauty. To see it wrapped around some of my favorite west coast scenery had me wanting to drive all over the Island to the best spots, just to see them doused in white. Unfortunately, the still falling flakes reminded me of just how much farther we needed to traverse to reach the west coast of the Island. So far, the weather channels were proving to be wrong about the rain. Back in the car, we kicked the snow off our boots and cranked up the heated seats. This was not the West Coast Wonderland I had planned on showing my friend, who was visiting Vancouver Island all the way from Italy. Instead, the trip had merely reinforced that it really does snow all the time in Canada, even in the temperate rainforest. As the snowflakes made a mad-dash up and over my windshield as we drove, I couldn’t help but smile regardless. I’d somehow rather be walking in a west coast winter wonderland anyways.
Contributed by: Laurissa Cebryk