Words: Sam James,
Photos: Geoff Livingston
The North Shore is a special place, it's a place we're proud to call home. It's a place with a storied history, born of the natural beauty of the landscape and built upon the exploitation and extraction of natural resources. Once covered in virgin rainforest, virtually untouched by human hands. Towering stands of ancient Cedar, Fir and Hemlock rose up out of the earth, eclipsed only by the rugged coastal mountains they clung to. The mountains intercepting marauding storm clouds, drenching the land, providing water for those ancient giants. The annual salmon runs during the first rains of fall bringing nutrients to the land from far away, feeding everything that grows here.
The first westerners to arrive here wondered at the beauty of the land, but wasted no time in harvesting the natural resources that seemed almost endless in abundance. Trees that had stood for hundreds of years came crashing down within minutes. A landscape that had remained unchanged for millennia changed dramatically in just a few decades. Those resources spurred the economic growth that made BC and North Vancouver what it is today - one of the most amazing places on earth to live.
The bustling city of North Vancouver sprung up in place of the trees, and the trees higher up the slopes and in the creeks and parks eventually grew back. Remnant stumps of the giants that once stood in their place still litter the landscape, a reminder of what once was. The same thing that drew the first settlers here is what now draws so many people from all over the world once again, to make their homes here. A longing for adventure. An amazing mountain-scape in our back yards.
The first settlers came here to exploit the forest. Now with more knowledge of and respect for the landscape that surrounds us, we've learned to conserve and protect it, and people come here from all corners of the globe to revel in the majesty of the tall trees and enjoy the spectacle of nature. After all, the natural landscape is what the community and lifestyle that we rely on for for our friendships, our happiness and our health is built upon. Without it, the North Shore would be a wholly different place.
The thick canopy gives a clue as to its existence. The rain forest can't exist without the rain that the mountains bring. The first line of defence between the vast pacific ocean and the dry lands of the interior, the coastal mountains create one of the wettest places on earth. North Vancouverites are a hardy bunch, and have no choice but to embrace the rain. Spring here can bring several different seasons in just one day, and so the folk that live here know never to leave home without a jacket, no matter how sunny it looks.
Ultimately, the mountains and the weather are what shape the beautiful place that we live in, be it generations old trees down to rich green carpets of moss and fern. Raging waterfalls feed the creeks and rivers that make the coastal waters rich and full of wildlife. We're grateful to live in such a beautiful place, and wouldn't be anywhere else.
Thank you to 7Mesh for supporting us and for keeping us warm and dry through every season, every year.
Steed Cycles acknowledges that we operate, live, and recreate on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. We are committed to bettering our relationships with the indigenous peoples of Canada and working together for a harmonious future.