Into the Wilderness

I would have to say that one of the big pro’s that helped M and I decide on a move to Vancouver was the nature and outdoors on offer. Not that either of us had ever even visited Vancouver before we signed on for moving, but you just get a general impression through people you meet who are from here, others who visit, things you read, pictures and stuff you see on tv. So far, we have certainly NOT been disappointed!

We have been out and done something “outdoorsy” almost every weekend we have been here, whether it has been as small as going for a track run in the rain forest over on the North Shore or around other parts of greater Vancouver (no camera on those days), or going for day hikes, to heading to Whistler during autumn to do some hiking/biking (well, M does the biking, I’m still in the market for a reasonably priced mountain bike). Initially it did take some effort, as we didn’t have a car, and getting over to the North Shore, where there are a lot of excellent options for day hikes, involved between 1 to 1.5 hours travel on public transport (bus, boat, bus usually) just to get somewhere. Now we have a car and the travel is less of a hassle, while the options open to us increase exponentially.

I figured no one wants to be bored with repeat different versions of “we walked up a mountain and saw some wildlife and walked back down”, so I thought I would combine a couple here and put a link to a map where each walk  can be found, and a couple of pictures. But I will tell you when something cool or interesting happens, like the first walk up a mountain I did in almost 5 years that left my legs like jelly, or the chipmunk that climbed into my lap to try and get a bit of my muesli bar using it’s cuteness factor (didn’t work, rule number 1 here DON’T FEED THE WILDLIFE!), or the bird that dive bombed me to try and swipe my muesli bar out of my hand…. and on and on.

1. Lynn Valley Peak. This was our first little mountain hike after leaving the land ground down by glaciers, aka Sweden, and needless to say, my legs were a bit shocked… A sunny day, but somehow a bit hazy from the top. Link to a hiking web site showing where this one is, and that also lists loads of hiking trails, and where we get a lot of our ideas from. Located over on the North Shore.

Looking back towards east Vancouver/Burnaby area.

Looking back towards east Vancouver/Burnaby area.

Apparently it's Mount Baker in the US. Pic taken with a BIG zoom lens going on.

Apparently it’s Mount Baker in the US. Pic taken with a BIG zoom lens going on.

2. Eagle Bluff. While I seem incapable of finding this one on google maps, here is a link to it via the above web site. It involved a bit of uphill rock scrambling in places, but was very enjoyable. We didn’t exactly follow the directions in the web site I linked to, but near enough. Not the sunniest of days, so the pics are a bit blah. We passed by a gorgeous lake on the way back too.

Looking back at Vancouver from Eagle Bluff. The headland you see jutting out is where UBC is located.

Looking back at Vancouver from Eagle Bluff. The headland you see jutting out is where UBC is located.

I think it was called White Lake, but regardless of the name, it was quite beautiful.

I think it was called White Lake, but regardless of the name, it was quite beautiful.

3. Lynn Valley Park take 2. This time not the peak, but one of the easier trails further down. Did this on my own and am a bit embarrassed to say I jump at shadows because I keep thinking they are a bear.

Map of Lynn Valley Park showing some of the potential hikes.

Map of Lynn Valley Park showing some of the potential hikes.

After being engaged in conversation by one of those random but friendly Canadian that live here, I learned that trees such as this one, which grow atop old tree trunks, are known as nursery trees. Sometimes you see 4 or 5 or more small saplings growing on top of a stump.

After being engaged in conversation by one of those random but friendly Canadians that live here, I learned that trees such as this one, which grow atop old tree trunks, are known as nursery trees. Sometimes you see 4 or 5 or more small saplings growing on top of a stump.

Quite evidently rain forest when you see how green everything is.

Quite evidently rain forest when you see how green everything is.

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