Saturday, July 31, 2010

A walk on Cypress

While Mum & Dad were with us we took a walk in Cypress Provincial Park.  There are several peaks accessible from the out-of-season ski resort but we took the trails in and around the Nordic Ski area made up predominately of the various cross-country ski runs.

Thanks to Mum for the pictures in this post.

The entrance to Cypress Provincial Park.


We stop at the lookout on the way up for a view over the city.

Looking over North Vancouver.


Burnaby, East Vancouver and the edge of the Lions Gate Bridge.


Downtown and Stanley Park.


City of Vancouver and Vancouver Island on the horizon.


Pacific Spirit Park, University of BC and on the coast Spanish Banks beach where we had walked a few days before.


We drive and park at the Nordic ski parking area then take the trails in through the forest.  The trails are wide and light by comparison to many of the North Shore forested trails.  Most of the trails are actually the Nordic ski runs in the winter and just used for hiking in the Summer & Fall.  In the background you can see one of the downhill ski runs.


We reach First Lake.


Mojo having an explore.


Hollyburn Lodge which is closed during the summer but offers a cafe and importantly hot drinks during the winter.  It also looks a lot better under a few feet of snow !


We disturb a heron on the lake which takes flight and mum captures this excellent photo.

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Another view of First Lake.


Mojo gets a good swim in the still clean water.


We walk on the trail to the opposite side of the lake to ascend away from First Lake.  View back from the lake as we leave.


Before Cypress became a Provincial Park a number of cabins were built on parcels of land in the area and are still privately owned today.  Mojo took a particular liking to this one, appropriated named ‘The Doghouse’.


The trails are wide and natural, pretty much unkempt during the summer months.


We then reach West Lake.  Another chance for a swim for Mojo but the number of mosquitoes in the area stops us from staying long.


The park is very quiet this time of year.  Of the few people that come most head to the nearby peaks such as Hollyburn Mountain.  We saw virtually nobody on our walk.   It does however increase your chances of seeing wildlife and we were warned by someone in the parking lot before we set off that a bear was currently on the Hollyburn Mountain trail.

IMG_0348 We loop around and pass back close to First Lake, this time from higher up and looking down on one end of it.


The boys !  Dad, Mojo and I.


Mum and I.


The occasional flood lights are one of the few tell-tale signs this time of year that the area we’re walking in is not just wilderness park.  Night-skiing is a big part of the business so it’s well illuminated here during the winter months.


Eventually we make it back to Powerline Trail which leads us back to the parking lot.  This view across the bowl to the downhill skiing area on the other side.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Spanish Banks Beach & Queen Elizabeth Park

On another day while Mum and Dad were visiting we headed over to Vancouver’s Westside to stroll on the beach.

However, the day started with a stand-off between Mojo and one of the resident squirrels in the tree in our backyard.

He is not aggressive he just wants to chase and play with it but the squirrel definitely does not get the game.  Mojo seen here looking up the tree at the squirrel which is on the trunk near the top of the photo.

IMG_2004 A piece of video of Mojo trying to entice the squirrel down, but doing exactly the opposite.

We head off to Spanish Banks Beach.  We had particularly decided to go there as there was going to be an unusually low tide so there would be loads of sandy beach to walk on – and it’s off leash dog friendly.

The day started overcast but was still very warm and indeed by lunchtime most of the clouds had burnt off.

View towards the city across the beach.


The next couple of pictures were taken by Mum.  A heron in a pool of water.

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We gave up our shoes and splash through the lovely warm water.


David took this photo of me, Mojo, Mum and Dad


Mum took these great photos of Mojo charging through the water



And back again…..


The Burrard inlet has such large flat sandy shelves it seems impossible it can get deep enough for the huge tankers.


After lunch we head over to an excellent bird shop on Oak St to buy a couple of new hummingbird feeders.  Once we’re done there we realise we are close to Queen Elizabeth Park so head up to take a look around.  It is a very formal park with a restaurant and large conservatory.

This is Seasons in the Park the restaurant.


A flower bed grown into the maple leaf flag design.


The park is elevated and has terrific views over downtown with the North Shore mountains behind.


A tourist makes a beeline for Mojo, doting on him. She didn’t appear to know a word of English but soon grasped ‘sit’ so she could fuss him.

IMG_2023 Far, far away Mojo will one day appear in someone’s photo album !


A wide view over the city.


There is a statue of two tourist couples, one of them taking a photo of the other three.


But look around the back and one of the husbands has his hand on the backside of the other guys wife !

IMG_2029 There are also large beautiful formal gardens


And finally the Bloedel Conservatory which was threatened with closure during the recession but has just been given the green light to stay open.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Buntzen Lake & Ambleside Dog Beach

The next two interesting walks with Mojo were at Buntzen Lake in Anmore and the dog beach behind Park Royal Mall.  Thanks again Mum for these photos.

Buntzen has a large beach at the south end, the majority of which is dog-free but a section is designed off-leash for dogs. 

Mojo is straight in the water but cautious about getting in too deep to begin with.  He’s not as brave as the ‘dot’ on the water in the distance…..that’s a golden labrador fetching a ball


Soon enough though he’s belly deep and swimming.


We then start along the trail towards the much quieter North Beach.  There are numerous bridges over creeks, although many of them have dried up over the summer season.


Although the trail hugs the side of the lake it is still in trees which offer a welcome respite from the hot sun.


We stop for lunch at the North Beach.


Views south down the lake from North Beach.


There is a small suspension bridge in the North West corner of the lake.

IMG_0244 Views from the bridge to the North.


On the way back Mojo takes every opportunity to cool off and swim.  Here, he’s found a huge stick to fetch.



“Paw’s off this is my stick !”


The next day we have some errands to run at Park Royal so we take Mojo to the dog beach behind.

Views here of the Lions Gate Bridge from the beach.


What a surprise……more swimming !


Views North across the beach.


Views North East up the mouth of the Capilano River.