This was the view for Sharon, Amy, Cody, and I on Sunday afternoon. I took this picture with my phone from the top of Mount Gardner on Bowen Island. From this vantage point, we could see Keats and Gambier Island, and Gibson, BC just across the way from that.
I don’t always love living in Vancouver, but I do love the hikes and views that living here gives me such easy access to.
For the curious, this is a hike you’ll want to be prepared to spend some time and effort on. It took us 4.5 hours (approx.) round trip, and the hike to the summit was largely uphill. And by “largely uphill” I mean, steep slopes upward and lots of them.
We started out on an old gravel logging road (not the best way there according to some other hiking reviews I read, apparently we should have taken the Skid Trail to start) and then there was more uphill work that required some scrabbling around in the dirt on all fours, crawling under and over various fallen trees, and one actual climb involving a very steep slope of rock and roots via a vinyl-covered braided chain.
You will also want to start out early. The rough passage up is hard enough, and to add to the difficulty, the paths are not obviously or clearly marked in all places. You will likely have to do a little looking around to find the path up, so start out early and finish before sunset. This is not a safe twilight or night-time hike.
That being said, once you clear the gravel logging road, the ground is nicer to walk on, and the hard work of the climb up is worth the view at the end. There are two helipads near the top; I recommend visiting both. They both have spectacular views and are a great place to take a lunch (so long as no one is trying to land a helicopter there).
I also recommend taking more water than you think you would normally need. It’s a very thirst-inducing hike, and you’ll sweat a lot. If you’re taking your dog along, take extra water for them, too. We saw some large pools of rain/ground water (and a few dogs romping around in them to cool off), but I have no idea how long those last once things warm up.
All in all, a great day out with great friends. There is public transit to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal, and the ferry ride – return trip! – is about $11. If you haven’t gone yet, don’t wait for six years like I did to see Bowen Island for yourself.
May 21, 2013 No Comments
My latest goal has been to get more exercise every week. To make sure this happens, my friend Ms. Von Bossypants and I go hiking together once a week (and we’re doing great at that so far), and I also wanted to do more geocaching this year and eat better. Eventually all this healthy behaviour will pay dividends that include being in better shape (less wobbly bits, better endurance), and going hiking along Hadrian’s Wall sometime in the next two years.
This past weekend, I didn’t get my hike in. Ms. Von B was off visiting her Mum, and I was busy feeling crappy and running errands, so I decided to make up for it today by going geocaching around North Vancouver.
For the uninitiated, geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt using GPS coordinates. People hide caches (sort of the way squirrels hide nuts) and these caches might be anything from a simple log book to a decent sized box where you take a treasure and leave a treasure.
I managed to find four this morning before the thunderstorm hit:
Un deux trois CAT SANK (GC1BMKN): This one was very cleverly hidden, but simple to find. I got a little yellow car and left a LEGO man. I was slightly worried that the businesses across the street thought I was skulking around and up to no good (esp. as getting at the cache required disappearing behind a parked car).
NS Spirit Trail: When the Saints Go Marching In (GC2C4P7): I marked this as a DNF (did not find) after digging through a bunch of thorny weed piles and worrying that I was trespassing on private property. Turns out, I could have saved myself the aggravation and scratched hands: it was very easy to find, you know, after reading all the old logs about it and realizing I’d been over-thinking it. I wish I could have left a Benadryl tablet with this one, my hands are very itchy after all the contact with weeds.
Spirit Walker 2 (GC2AC3D): This was a very easy find in a lovely park with a lot of interesting history. I picked up a cute little felt heart (see above picture) and left four very shiny and pretty stickers.
Ganoush Family Tree (GC2W67G): This was a pretty easy find in a lovely little wooded area and had a very cool cache container – I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything so inventive. I would have posted a photo of it, but I don’t want to spoil it for any geocachers who might come looking. Just trust me, it’s cool.
There are a lot of great things about geocaching: it’s good exercise, you get to find treasure (sometimes, anyway – sometimes you just have the thrill of the hunt), and you get to see parts of the city you might not have bothered with otherwise.
I got home and made myself some tea to drink while gloating over my new treasure. I highly recommend the tea – White Pearl of Fujian, available at Blue Teapot at the Lonsdale Quay – if you need more incentive to go, there are a couple of caches near the Quay!
May 13, 2013 No Comments
And Joe is one of those guys.
Others may write sweet notes that say things like “I love you, honey-bunch” or “Can’t wait for tonight! Rawr!” and slip those notes unobtrusively into a wallet, or a purse, or their sweetie’s lunch bag. I write stuff like this, wrap it around a chewy bar, and stuff it all willy-nilly into mon petit chou’s backback.
You gotta go through the crazy to get to the snacks. That’s how I roll.
May 9, 2013 No Comments