The Suspense: will he or won’t he cross?

Our adventure today had me a little curious as to just how Cameron would take it.

He’s normally an easy going little guy, but new experiences take some getting used to. Take the water park, for instance. He wasn’t too keen on getting right in there the first time. Hiking? Good lord, he was worried he’d get eaten by a bear if he walked between two trees for a while there. So when there’s something BIG and NEW, I expect he’ll sit on the sidelines the first time he sees it.

We were headed out and about this afternoon, when I had an idea. He’d made a comment about the Lion’s Gate Bridge – for those of you who aren’t familiar with Vancouver, it’s one of our major bridges, and the one most recognizable by architechure. “Hey, Cameron? You like bridges, don’t you?” This was met with a definite, “Yeah!” I asked if he liked going over them, and if maybe he’d like to walk over a special one. He sounded enthusiastic … but given where I had in mind, I wasn’t sure he’d go for it. Still, I grabbed the Adventure Bag as we went out the door, and his eyes got big. He knows what that means.

After our usual hot chocolate and latte start, we headed for the North Shore. No, not by the Lion’s Gate – by Seabus. Just as good, in Cameron’s eyes. We saw a tug boat ‘herding’ a big ocean freighter into the docks, watched planes landing, and saw a yacht like I’ve never seen before. “Mommy, why does that boat have a helicopter on it?” The only answer I could think up was, “Because the owners have more money than they know what to do with.”

Once off the bus that took us up the mountainside a little way, we lined up to get into the site. I pointed up high to some pictures of the bridge. Pictures that are enough to make some adults’ heart rates increase. “Wow, Cameron. Look at that bridge. What do you think,” I asked? He said it looked cool, and I asked if he thought he could walk across that bridge … still not indicating that that bridge was /this/ bridge. He gave an enthusiastic yeah!

I still figured when he saw the bridge itself he’d balk. Freeze. Dig in his heels. After all, look at this. It’s the Capilano Suspension Bridge, for those who don’t know it. Yeah. No problems, he just headed straight for it, happy as a clam, pushing past adults who were protesting that they had no idea it would move.  That’s right, the whole bridge wiggles underfoot – watch closely! He balanced, surfboard position, when he stood still, and agilely weaved while the bridge swayed and twisted beneath us.

And a view down:



The other side is quite developed as well, giving urbanite tourists a view of the west coast rainforest in a gentle way. Cameron spotted the cliffhanger boardwalk from the bridge, and requested, “Ooh, Mommy, can we go there?” I said yes. In fact, just about everything on that side was a yes. We did that boardwalk, then up into the canopy on their treetop adventure. Not quite canopy, actually, still quite sub-canopy, but hey. It was up. With swinging suspension bridges between trees, and I guess it’s not quite everyone’s cup of tea as it was nearly empty.

IMG_3291My little Cameron was fearless on the bridge, letting go of my hand and happily skipping ahead. Up in the ‘treetop’ he raced around laughing himself silly. Throughout the walk in the woods there wasn’t even so much as one mention of bears. I’m so proud of him! His only moments of fear were 1) when he thought I might drop my camera over the bridge (it was looped around my wrist), 2) when we walked past a pond he was concerned that I would fall in, and 3) walking past a wedding photo shoot on the bridge. That one was my fault. I saw my little boy with good healthy forest dirt on his hands, and warned him to NOT touch the woman in the white dress. Yeah, he for some reason thought this meant she was poisonous and he’d die if he touched her. Go ahead. Make jokes about his future. It’s okay, I’ve already laughed myself breathless over that one.

IMG_3303Now, a word about the Capilano Suspension Bridge. At $30 a visit for non-residents, I honestly have to say you can give this adventure a pass. Head to Lynn Valley, there’s a good bridge there with a less-tame, more exciting forest. But if you live here, it’s $20 for a membership that’ll give you free admission until the end of 2010, you get a discount on all purchases and on visitors you bring with you. I figure if we go another couple of times in the next year-and-some, it’ll be worth it.


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