Breathtaking views. Seaplanes. Modern architecture. Historic Gastown. Body art. And, strangely, the most Dodge Vipers you’ve ever seen in one city. It’s got to be Vancouver.
There’s also a 2011 Boxster Spyder waiting for us in the hotel parking garage.
Our plan: Drive the Spyder to Kelowna, British Columbia to visit our old friend — 12 Hours of Sebring winner and factory Le Mans 961 driver Kees Nierop — in his hometown.
Of course, we took the long way, heading for Whistler first then back towards Kelowna via Kamloops. Note #1: The Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler may be the prettiest freeway on earth. Note #2: Skip Whistler and keep going, for ahead lies one of the greatest two-lane roads we’ve encountered in a long time, with scenery that makes Yosemite and Yellowstone feel small. Note #3: The road after Lilooet is a lot less interesting, resembling nothing if not a high arctic desert. It’s still beautiful in a life-size HO trainscape kind of way, but, if you’re not heading to Kelowna to see Kees, turn around at Lilooet. Note #4: There’s a reason they call Kees’ hometown “Kelownafornia” — because this lakeside town is big on boating, watersports, and wine-making.
There are also some great roads, which Kees was all too happy to show us: