A different perspective
There are so many ways to experience the wonders of nature. Daily we travel into the wilderness by boat, truck and foot but there is a lesser known way to see the area that is somewhat faster...yes, you guessed it, helicopter! Seeing the beauty of your surroundings by air can be a humbling experience and something that not everyone gets a chance to do. It can be hard to find the words to describe what you feel when you see this vast landscape laid out beneath you. Well, we have tried and below is a story about one morning we were lucky enough to visit a few different environments in the space of a few hours.
If you’ve ever flown in a helicopter you will understand the complete and utter disbelief you feel just before you leave the ground. “How can this tiny machine with a spinning blade lift us into the sky?” It can be a little daunting, but that all melts away as soon as you are above the treeline and see the Broughton Archipelago laid out before you. The endless trees, islands and ocean that only stops when your eyes reach a wall of snow capped mountains has a way of diminishing your fears and leaving you desperate to see more.
One June morning we took a trip with West Coast Helicopters to see a bit more of Vancouver Island; with no plan in mind, we headed west. Leaving the ocean behind we traded it for views of snowy mountain tops and sweeping valleys. We flew high over ant like herds of elk (although we never wildlife view from a helicopter), eagles nests and small towns before deciding to make our first stop on the top of a particularly beautiful mountain. The blades slowed to a stop and we hopped out into the snow and what can only be described as deafening silence. It was peace, quiet and a vacuum all at once and it was magical. After wandering a little and taking some photos we jumped back on board to see what was next!
How could this be topped you ask? We headed even further west, as far as you can go, to a beach on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island. Here we walked along the flat sand, watching a storm churn up the Pacific Ocean and deliver it to us in the form of huge, crashing waves. We enjoyed a little snack and embraced the strong salty winds. However after a while and in need of a little peace again we headed inland. The next stop was a complete contrast and took us from harsh, west coast storm to soft, gentle estuary breeze. When we opened the doors we were greeted by sounds of bird song, swaying long grasses and buzzing of insects.
Then, just like that, it was time to head home. As we flew back across the island we spotted one more stop that we just had to make. It might have been the most magnificent of them all. We circled another mountain top and saw not one, but two(!) glacier fed lakes that then became a waterfall cascading into the valley below and decided we had to try and stop. Our brilliant pilot managed to land on a tiny piece of flat ground and we were able to explore. It wasn’t until we stood at the water's edge that the sheer scale of it all could be appreciated. It was a very special way to end such an extraordinary morning and we couldn't recommend enough trying it for yourself!
-- By Rebecca Crilly