The Suspension Bridge

Every once in a while, I find it necessary to face some fears. Facing fear is never easy but I never want to become one of those travelers who becomes so paralyzed by a phobia that it starts to determine how and where I travel.  Recently on a drizzly morning in North Vancouver at the Capilano Suspension Bridge, I reminded myself that sometimes confronting fears can not only be invigorating, it can also enrich one's perspective of a destination.

Prior to my trip to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, my impression of Vancouver was quite urban. Vancouver is a bustling city with a lively, clean, and inviting downtown area so it is easy to make several flights to the Vancouver and never even consider venturing to the outlying areas.  After making an impulsive decision to join a tour of North Vancouver I discovered that a mere 20 minutes from downtown, a lush temperate rainforest surrounding a deep gorge was waiting to be explored, and my perspective of Vancouver was permanently altered and enriched.

There is plenty to see and explore at Capilano Suspension Bridge besides its namesake which stretches 450 feet across the gorge at a height of 230 feet above the river.  The newest attraction, Cliffwalk, is certain to pump some adrenaline into the bloodstream, especially in those of us with a health fear of heights. A walkway was bolted into the side of the granite cliff, suspending it out above the gorge and offering a view previously enjoyed only by birds and squirrels with a death wish. A few spots along the pathway are glass and visitors are encouraged to walk out onto these viewpoints and look down. I wearily walked out and stood for a quick picture but I definitely did not look down!

After conquering the Cliffwalk, I decided it was time to brave the suspension bridge. While the bridge was most certainly lower and wider, it had one element that the Cliffwalk did not- the swaying. At first, it wasn't all that noticeable but once more people joined me on the bridge found it fun to take heavy steps, I decided there was no time to be a show off and stop to enjoy scenery. The wobbling bridge gave me a case of wobbly legs and as soon as I reached stable ground, my legs gave out and I myself on the floor, laughing with delirium at both my success and the silly scene I must have created. The bridge had been conquered!

Luckily, there was much more waiting for me on the other side of the bridge besides solid ground. The Treetops Adventure trails take guests up into the rainforest canopy, offering incredible views and perspectives which just aren’t available from the forest floor.  Complimentary guided eco-tours are offered on the hour and explore both the geology and the spirit of the forest.  

The journey back across the bridge was much more relaxed after enjoying the peace and tranquility of the rainforest. I even took the time to stop and take in the views, ignoring the swaying and instead focusing on the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.  Fear conquered and perspective gained.


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