Wow, it’s been such a long time since I posted on this blog. Been so busy with a new business using WordPress to design and style websites for small businesses and not-for-profits that I haven’t managed to get to my blog. Also, haven’t been doing anything exciting enough to write about!
But I’m finally taking a break from all of that with a visit to Canada to see friends and family.
We arrived in Vancouver to lots of forest-fire smoke and a brown city devoid of green grass. Unheard of for this temperate rain forest–there had been no rain for 2.5 months. Well, we brought some along and the first weekend was a drizzly and rainy one. Good for clearing all of that smoke out of the air.
Day 1 we went rock climbing (before the rain set in) at one of the first multi-pitches I did way back in 2002. Magic spot on the Chekamus River.
Day 2 involved mountain biking in Squamish, or should I say over an hour of pedaling/walking the bike uphill, followed by a good amount of time walking my bike downhill through the rather technical drops, hairpins, rocks and roots…but eventually we rode several kilometers of BEAUTIFUL berms and sweeping downhills. Biking has never been so much fun! Couldn’t stop to take any photos for fear of being mowed down by the next rider, but I had one taken back at the car just to help remember the day.
Later that week I did the ever-popular Grouse Grind, a 2.9 km hike up Grouse Mountain. Popular because after you grind your way up, you then get the joy of taking the gondola back down to the car park, thus saving wear and tear on the knees. It’s $10 well spent!
Plus they have various activities at the top, including a zip line, a chairlift ride, and a funny and entertaining (and rather Canadian), lumberjack show, a really cool bird show and two beautiful grizzlies that were orphaned and saved by conservationists nearly 18 years ago. Majestic beasts that weigh 750 pounds and 950 pounds apiece. Couldn’t help but marvel at their beauty, but also felt a bit of terror at the thought of meeting one in the wild. Respect.
When in Vancouver it’s well worth a visit to the top of the mountain: https://www.grousemountain.com/#activities-guide
Two days later we gathered a group of friends to hike up the Sea to Summit Trail at the relatively new Sea to Sky Gondola near Squamish. A meandering 7.5 km hike took us to the summit in 2.5 hours, where amazing views of the surrounding mountains and Howe Sound. And another $10 ticket took us back down on the gondola to the car park. It’s getting to be a bit like Europe here! http://www.seatoskygondola.com/ Oh, and thanks to Paul and Robyn for the photos used in this post!
In Calgary now, where the city found itself having an all-too-close encounter with a tornado a few days ago. But really great weather since then. More soon!