Sunday, November 30, 2008

Birthday Lunch Club

David had his 'Birthday Lunch Club' lunch at the Boathouse in Horseshoe Bay today. It was a late lunch for Lorella's birthday back in July but postponed as she had been back in Ontario for most of that time.
This was the view from the restaurant with the wispy clouds hanging over Howe Sound.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Thanks to everybody for their kind birthday wishes this month. We had a nice day. I had a few showings late morning but we had the afternoon & evening at home and were joined by a couple of friends and had indian take-out.

Charlie, who was in particularly good spirits that day, seemed to forget whose birthday it actually was as he busily got stuck in unwrapping presents.

Jay Brannan

We went to see Jay Brannan in concert again last week. We first saw him at the Media Lounge downtown last January and he returned to Vancouver to play at the Biltmore Cabaret on Kingsway. This time 11 of our friends joined us so it was a really fun night out and he played a great set.

Monday, November 24, 2008


As most of our readers probably already know, we've had a very tough month as Charlie was diagnosed with a very rare strain of leukemia called megakaryocytic leukemia. While we don't yet know a likely course of action that we will take, nor even a prognosis due to the rarity of the condition, this is the reason for the lack of posts.

In obtaining the diagnosis Charlie became quite poorly for a couple of weeks recovering from biopsies and bonemarrow explorations.

However, over the weekend we did manage a small walk with Charlie, taking him to Beaver Lake in Stanley Park. This was a good choice of place to walk as it's almost completely flat and there are many interconnecting trails so we were able to make the walk as long or short as he wanted. We made it an approx 30 minute gentle walk and this was clearly quite enough for him.

Here he is at Beaver Lake with David.

To be honest we haven't done much else for the past few weeks, although I have had a birthday and we went to see Jay Brannan in concert so we will post a couple of photos from those in due course.

We will keep you updated of progress with Charlie.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hungry Bear

As it's been a slow news week for us (and we're waiting for it to stop raining - it started on Wednesday 5th!) this is a news clip from a couple of weeks ago, where a black bear walked into a Subway Restaurant.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Hollyburn Peak

Cypress Provincial Park is approximately 10 minutes drive from home and is one of the big ski resorts during Winter months. Spring, Summer & Autumn it's a great destination for hiking, wildlife watching and so on.

I decided to take a hike to Hollyburn Peak within Cypress Prov. Park as it was a quick enough return walk that I could still hold an open-house during the afternoon and with the good weather I was promised some nice views from the top.

Driving up Cypress Road I was worried that we would be engulfed in cloud as we entered mist about halfway up. However, we soon pushed through the cloud level and by the time we entered the Nordic Ski parking lot we were well above it.

Here you can see the ski runs carved out of the forested mountainside across on the alpine ski area slopes

This is the view South along Powerline Trail where the cloud hangs in the bay but we were enjoying clear sunshine above it.

Soon we turned off Powerline Trail into the woods. Unlike the woods close to home these are alpine woods so the trees are smaller and there are greater clearings

These wide trails are for hiking in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter.

There was lots of wildlife in the forest areas, we came across this pair of gray jays.

The first of several pristine alpine lakes

Then we met a quite brave sooty grouse (thanks Mum & Dad for managing to find out what it was !). It waddled along the trail for some way before Charlie eventually gave in to temptation and chased it off

Ahead was our destination, Hollyburn Mountain.

Views on Cypress as we walked initially up the Baden Powell trail and then onto the Hollyburn Mountain Trail.

'Is this bridge safe ?' Charlie's always game to test them for us.

Charlie admiring the view

Views from a lookout, probably about 3/4 of the way up Hollyburn.

Another alpine lake

More mountain views

This lake was high enough that it was still frozen

View over the alpine meadow, so beautiful with the lakes and creeks.

Then we were treated to a view West across Howe Sound and Bowen Island to the Sunshine Coast beyond.

Another ski run with the chalet below

These next few images are views of the surrounding mountains from Hollyburn Peak.

On our way down we followed the Hollyburn Mountain Trail but then took a diversion along more of the Powerline Trail to take a more direct route back. This brought us past yet another peaceful lake.

Now, if dirty paws are a sign of a good walk.......this one was definately OK !

Washing off in our last lake

Then drying off in the sun.

Finally, we head back down the last stretch of Powerline Trail and the carpark comes into sight.

Cypress Provincial Park is an excellent location for walking, close to home with great views. We shall certainly return both for snoeshowing this winter (now that snow has arrived since our walk a week ago) and more summer walks next year.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Varley Trail at Lynn Headwaters

On this Saturday I had an open house and the weather wasn't too promising so we looked for a shorter simpler trail and found the Varley Trail at Lynn Headwaters.

Starting from the usual carpark location you walk South instead of North along the river until you reach the Rice Lake Road bridge which you cross, skirt the Seymour Demonstration Forest and then return on the East side of the river back into Headwaters.

Being a Saturday the carparks were busy.

Charlie's ready to go

Views downstream of Lynn Creek

And upstream

We had access to the water in several places.

A quick clip of video from the waters edge on Lynn Creek

The Rice Lake Road bridge is high over the canyon, this being the view down to the creek from it.

Small tributaries form waterfalls as they crash down the canyon walls to the creek below

Views through the park

Despite being a Saturday and the carparks busy, the trails were still nice and quiet

Eventually towards the end of our walk the sun did come out, shining through some lovely yellow leaves

The Varley Trail was an easy, circular route which took only just over an hour is a great alternative when we don't have hours to dedicate to a long hike. It also has the advantage of not being such a backcountry walk so there will be less snow in the winter and less chance of meeting wildlife.