“Once, we were teenagers in love, and since then it’s like we’ve never aged. Together, we found a way to grow up while holding on to every vibrant aspect of our selves ten years ago. Around a frame of fun and laughter we built a life of shared dreams and commitments. With youthful vision we bought adult things, like a house to dance around in, and a car to take us to Disneyland. Today, we wed like grownups do, so that like kids we can live the rest of our lives in joy and wonder. We may have gotten older, but we’re still young, and in that way forever on I vow to let you have the best of me.”
Those were the words I spoke to my wife a year before last Saturday. At the time we were still seconds from being married, but since the proceedings that followed we have spent countless convivial moments as husband and wife. Keeping true to the sentiments of youthfulness conveyed in my vows, for our first anniversary we set off towards the western outskirts of mainland British Columbia, where fun was sure to be awaiting us.
By evening we were boarding the Sea to Sky Gondola, which brought us high into the mountains near Squamish. At the summit was a restaurant with a broad wooden deck overlooking the sparkling Howe Sound far below. We sat down for a meal, letting the vista awe our vision while a young woman delighted our ears with her voice and guitar. Upon eating we crossed the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge to explore the nearby paths through trees, pausing to join lips at each segment marked with a Trail Love sign.
We soon descended and made our way to Porteau Cove, where we settled in at our beachside campsite. Sitting on a giant log beside the water, we topped off our night with a bottle of red wine and the reading of letters we had written each other last summer and kept sealed until now. Warm thoughts and the lapping of waves lulled us into slumber.
The following morning we set off for Whistler, where the Iron Man Triathlon was taking place. On our way we had a firsthand view of the race, cruising alongside the lane of cyclists on the bike portion of the grueling event. Groups of spectators lined the road, waving signs and wearing shirts with slogans of encouragement like IRON MOM or BEES?. Others simply cheered on the dedicated athletes as they peddled past. By the time Brittany and I had checked into our hotel room, Iron Man participants who had been racing strong for many hours had finally begun running to the nearby finish line.
With the triathlon winding down we went for dinner at the Keg, where we embarrassingly ordered the exact same meal right down to the cooked preference of our steaks. The service was excellent and we were pleased. Beer, laughter, champagne, joy. Sleep.
We began the final day of our long weekend with a hearty breakfast at an Irish pub, after which we drove to the nearby Cougar Mountain to soar across the sky courtesy of Superfly Ziplines. The adventure company boasts a set of lines that includes the longest in all of Canada, measuring over a kilometer in length. Hanging by a harness from this was like being a bird, reaching speeds of up to 100km/h while dashing 600 feet high over a valley of pristine forest, with sunny blue above and mountains on all sides. The view from the air was incredible, and the other three ziplines we rode were thrilling like the first. To fly side by side was a perfect ending to our anniversary getaway.
We wrapped up our trip with a clear drive home through the deep and beautifully rugged ravine of Highway 99. On the way back to Kamloops I reflected upon the days that had passed between our wedding day and now, shaking my head in wonderment that we had already reached this milestone of marriage. Some say the first year is the toughest, but for us it was a breeze, and I can’t wait to see what this second year will have in store for us.
– Cory Stumpf