It’s the long weekend, so naturally the weather is less than perfect. Not that it’s all that terrible, but here in paradise, we have high expectations.
The weather didn’t let us down on our recent trip to Vancouver. It was glorious, and it’s really hard to beat the west coast in the sunshine.
Saturday morning was dedicated to hiking at Lighthouse Park. The weather cooperated perfectly. Very sunny, with the slightest of breezes and moderate temps for hiking. We started with the Juniper Point Trail.
The first lookout was at Juniper Point. This body of water is called Howe Sound and the land mass is Bowen Island with Indian Bluff on the right.
Then we followed the Shore Pine Trail to Jack Pine Point. The trail was very rocky and steep in places. We had to watch our footing so could only enjoy the splendour of the old growth forest if we paused to look around. Hubby, who walks for a living, only knows one speed – full on trudge, so he often left me behind when I stopped to take pictures or to stare in awe at a massive old tree.
The view from Jack Pine Point. This water is called Merganser Bay (still in Howe Sound). Bowen Island is to the right and if you squint, you can just make out the snow-capped mountain range on Vancouver Island far off in the distance.
From Jack Pine Point, we continued down Shore Pine Trail. We encountered lots of large dogs of every breed running off-leash and because I was carrying Roxy in a sling in front of me, I had some concerns about one of them jumping up on me to sniff her, but they just wanted to romp and enjoy their freedom. Only once did a dog approach me, and his owner quickly called him back before I ended up on my backside with 75 pounds of happy dog on top of me.
This is a lookout we stopped at along the way.
From that viewpoint, we diverted to the West Beach Trail and soon arrived at West Beach. With the tide mostly in, there wasn’t actually much of a beach to explore, but it was picturesque nonetheless. That’s the UBC Endowment Grounds in the background.
Next stop was Lighthouse View Point and one of the few places Roxy actually touched the ground.
Cute story here. While we were lunching just below the view-point, a couple of young men arrived with two large barrels of roses, which they took up to the point. Soon after, a couple of young ladies arrived. Excited female exclamations drew our attention and from our vantage point we watched as one of the young men got down on his knee and proposed to his completely overwhelmed girlfriend. She cried, they hugged and kissed, and the romantic in me cheered them on. So sweet of the young man to arrange an innocent hiking trip, along with best friends, to pop his question at such an idyllic spot.
Picnic lunch and a chance to rest for a few minutes. Roxy enjoyed stretching her legs while we ate. She also enjoyed sharing my peanut butter sandwich.
After lunch we carried on to Point Atkinson, where, if the gates are open, you’re allowed to continue down the drive for a closer look at the lighthouse. It was a lovely setting and I happily got my lighthouse fix while Hubby, the history buff, refreshed his memory about the area where he grew up. Apparently during WWII, search lights and gun emplacements were installed at Point Atkinson, on alert for enemy submarines and ships. And conscripts were billeted in barracks built behind the lightstation.
From there we took the East Beach Trail to East Beach. Hubby decided to wait up on top while I ventured down alone (with Roxy). That little speck in the centre of the pic is him, resting on a rock.
I took a small tumble right here. (It was actually quite precipitous and sandy underfoot) Thankfully, although I caught myself with my right hand (and butt), the only damage was a slightly wrenched wrist. I tried climbing on some of the rocks to see the view, but with Roxy in a sling and my right arm unable to bear weight, I didn’t have much success, so had to settle for a very short stroll down a very small beach.
The next lookout was called Arbutus Knoll and it offered a dramatic view of downtown Vancouver, with snow-capped Mt Baker presiding majestically in the background. (Hubby took this shot with his trusty old Kodak) This body of water is now called Burrard Inlet.
In this shot, you can see Lion’s Gate bridge to the far left, Stanley Park in the centre and downtown Vancouver to the right.
A vast flock of seabirds were feeding on something in the water.
From East Beach, we took Valley Trail to Starboat Cove. I found it enchanting.
Once again, you can see Lion’s Gate Bridge and Stanley Park in this shot.
Rather than taking Beacon Lane Trail, the direct route to the parking lot, we opted to continue on the more rugged Valley Trail on the way back. The trail looks rather flat in this photo, but the grade was actually quite steep.
Because we’d been hiking for about three hours and the trail was all uphill, we took it easier going back and I was able to enjoy the scenery.
I love moss-covered rain forests.
As you can see in this photo, some of the trees were immense old giants.
From Lighthouse Park, we drove to Edgemont Village, a setting in both Show No Weakness and It’s Complicated, my current wip. I wanted to scout out the practicality of some scenes I have planned and was pleased to see they would work as I envisioned them.
A long, fun day was behind us by time we got back to the apartment at dinnertime, and Roxy immediately fell into a deep sleep on the floor.
She never sleeps on the floor at home, so I think she wanted to make the point of just how exhausted she was. I guess it’s very tiring getting carried around for four – five hours. *eye roll*
As if we hadn’t walked enough that day, we left Roxy at the apartment and took a stroll down 4th Ave to see which restaurant looked interesting for dinner. Hubby decided he wanted to eat at Sophie’s, so that’s what we did.
We found it a very eclectic place, crammed full of every kind of collectible imaginable. Food was pretty good too, and reasonably priced. Huge portions.
This was the wall by our table.
On the walk back, I stopped to admire the flowers. Springtime in Vancouver is heady with blossoms.
Please join me next weekend when I’ll share our Sunday walk to Granville Island.