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Early Saturday morning involved motivating everybody to get up and grab their things as we make our way out the door at 6:30 am. First stop was the local gas station to top up the tank to make sure we start on a fully prepared to make it to our destination, Pemberton valley, and more precisely the beautiful Joffre lakes.
Heading over the Port Mann bridge with little to no traffic, I thought this is going to be a breeze. Hit the Ironworkers memorial bridge and then a full stop, where did all this traffic come from? Inching our way up the cut and it finally started to open up again. The Expedition was equipped with an Eco, Normal, and Sport mode settings. I put it in Eco to save on fuel, and instantly it felt like we were driving with an underpowered 4 cylinder engine. Switching back to normal was a noticeably improved driving experience. Driving through upper West Vancouver on a clear sunny day with a beautiful view of mountains on Vancouver Island, entering the Sea to Sky highway I switched to sport mode to tighten up the suspension as we head into our first curve paying close attention to the speed limit to make sure we avoid the temptation of pushing the vehicle to its limits.
It is amazing how fast people drive this highway, at the speed limit I was being passed by vehicles that are 15 years older with blue exhaust smoke pouring out of them. Anyway as we just passed through Lions Bay we come across an accident on the side of the road where two cars swapped paint as they jockeyed in for a better position. The police were there handing both of them tickets. Short delay and back to driving. The new 10-speed transmission on the Expedition is paired with a 3.5L EcoBoost engine producing 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque and the transition from full stop back to highway speed was smooth and seamless. In Sports mode, there is very little body roll for a full-size SUV. We entered Squamish in what seemed very little time, much of which was attributed to this fun to drive SUV.
A quick stop for some food and supplies and we were off again. Climbing a little higher with the breathtakingly picturesque Tantalus Mountain range to the left. Dropping down into the Cheakamus Canyon and around Daisy lake to Whistler where a different form of traffic appeared as many people were out riding their bikes on this warm spring day. Green lake comes into view; I know why they named it green lake wow is it ever green! At this point, I asked everybody how they felt the trip was going so far.. the kids were sleeping and my wife kept saying I was driving too fast.
I decided to rid myself of this annoying cabin noise and put the Expedition into cruise control where the vehicle took over with its advanced technologies including a lane assist reducing unintentional drifting of the vehicle. The adaptive cruise control utilizes radar and cameras to monitor traffic to maintain a set distance between vehicles. Collision avoidance systems help to avoid other vehicles or pedestrians, blind spot system that monitors outside the driver’s view. The cruise control was certainly put to the test with the steep mountain grade and the accelerating and deaccelerating caused by the barely roadworthy Volkswagon van we got stuck behind. As we entered the town of Pemberton and stopped for lunch at the Pony restaurant which was a great choice that my daughter made, we decided that was enough and headed back without ever making it to the final destination of our expedition.