Saturday, October 29, 2011

New Brighton Park and the Fraser River

As our renovations continue in the basement we had to order the fixtures & fittings for the new laundry. We had managed to order and arrange delivery of 95% of the cabinets, cabinet doors, sink etc from a certain well known Swedish furniture outlet.  However, when ordering our cabinetry from our nearest store in Coquitlam a couple of items were out of stock.  After checking what we needed was available from the other store in the city located in Richmond I decided to head over there this week to ensure we had everything required for our contractors to install on Monday.

After setting out Mojo seemed a little restless in the car, perhaps because I hadn’t walked him before we left home.  So I pulled into a park en-route to let him stretch his legs and do his business.  This was a small city park I had never visited, located just West of the Second Narrows Bridge right on the shores of Burrard Inlet in East Vancouver, called New Brighton Park.  It turned out to be a really lovely little dog-friendly park in amongst the urban industrial neighbourhood.

Gorgeous fall colours of the maple trees in the park.



New Brighton Parks history actually goes back further than the rest of the city, being the original location of Hastings Townsite, established in 1865 it housed the citys first post office, dock, stable, playing field, customs office and museum. 

The dock and sea oriented history of the city is still very visible from this location, being surrounded by water, a container ship terminal to our West and immediately to the East the Viterra terminal which exports by sea feed for cattle and poultry using grain grown in Saskatchewan and brought here by rail.



We are close to the Second Narrows Bridge.


Views from the waterfront park to the West down Burrard Inlet towards downtown and West Vancouver.


Across to North Vancouver with The Lions on the left and the ‘bump’ of Mt Fromme on the right.  In the centre the dry ski-runs are visible although at the time of writing the local mountains have just had their first snow of the season so winter is definitely on it’s way !


Zoomed in on Grouse Mountain and Mt Fromme.


Panorama of the view from New Brighton Park.

After a good chase around after a stick and a couple of other dogs we head back towards the car, views here as we leave New Brighton Park.


We continue the approximately 40-minute drive across town to Richmond, passing this colourful street scene on the way.


We reach the Richmond branch of Ikea.  This particular store is almost directly under the flight path for Vancouver International Airport.  If you have ever approached YVR from the East you have most likely flown right over the top of them.


After spending absolutely ages in Ikea sorting a few of their administerial errors we collect the missing items we required and then get back to the car and Mojo who is still waiting patiently in the back.  I had seen on the map that there were a couple of small riverfront parks near to us that we could stop in for another run around before returning home.

Views here across the North Arm of the Fraser River, looking at Vancouver from the Richmond side.


Views West along the Fraser River.


More views across the river.


Finally a panorama from the riverfront park before heading home.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Week of Local Walks

Over the last week our contractors have been working diligently in our basement with the renovations which will hopefully be complete the first week of November.  In the meantime there is much incentive to get out of the house with the noise and interuption more for Mojo than myself.  However, with other work commitments of my own and the need to stay in touch with the contractors we have stayed close to home and walked only in North Vancouver.  No new walks here just retracing some of our usual steps in bright fall weather.

Lynn Headwaters.

We completed the long loop at Lynn Headwaters and added the Varley Trail to the route for an extra few kilometres.  The Varley Trail as it winds through the forest.


Views up Lynn Creek from the bridge at the picnic grounds in the park.

IMG_5968 The couple of weeks before this had been extremely wet so the forest trails are already soaked….it’s not even November yet !  The stepping-stone-logs are coming in handy.

IMG_5971 A paddle and a drink – all of the seasonal creeks are flowing fully again.

IMG_5972 After a couple hours walking we reach 3rd Debris Chute and nice views across Hanes Valley.


IMG_5976 Beside the river at 3rd Debris Chute.

IMG_5980 We then return on the faster and easier riverside trail getting these views along the way.


Buntzen Lake.

Another day last week we met up with Sig and walked the dogs at Buntzen Lake.  Three sitting dogs here waiting for the rewards for their efforts.

IMG_5987 Mystery Peak, Mt Seymour.

On another bright clear day recently we walked on Mount Seymour to Mystery Lake and Peak.  I had hoped to actually do the Mt Seymour Peak route this year but on this day we didn’t have time for the longer hike and it won’t be long before the first snows arrive….so that will probably have to wait for another year.

We first walked the Mystery Lake and Peak route about one year ago.  Today started sunny but clouded as the day progressed so the photos aren’t as great as last time.  Still a lovely change of scenery, alpine vs forest and being so exposed plenty of chance to enjoy the October sun.

From the main parking lot on Mt Seymour the trails head off in different directions, left to Dog Mountain, straight ahead to Mt Seymour or ahead and right to Mystery Lake.


As we climb the trail winds back and forth under one of the stationary chairlifts, awaiting the upcoming ski season.


Gorgeous fiery reds mark the colour of the season.


We had intended to stop and have a paddle in Mystery Lake on our way to the peak but our unfortunate timing meant a couple had just sat for a peaceful lunch right at the beach area of the lake and I didn’t think they would appreciate the sights, sounds and smells of a disgusting, wet Australian shepherd bouncing all over them.  So no photo op at the lake today we just headed on up towards the peak.

At the top of the last steep scramble the clouds have rolled in to the south so no views over the city today but we still have a nice aspect West across the lower slopes of Mt Seymour.


The peak of Mt Seymour, we’ll try and get there in 2012 !


Snowy peaks to the North, probably on the edge of Garibaldi Provincial Park.


Having missed out on a drink in Mystery Lake Mojo settles for a small pond we found near the top of Mystery Peak.


More views from Mystery Peak before making our return walk down on the other half of todays circular walk.



Quarry Rock.

Another recent walk was to Quarry Rock in the village of Deep Cove on the Eastern end of North Vancouver.

We park in  the village and set out across Panorama Park, views here along the waters edge into Indian Arm.  The ridge on the opposite side of the water is in the Buntzen Lake Recreation Area and contains the Diez Vistas Trail we walked back in August.  Click here for that post.


Mojo waits patiently for his off-leash walk.  This whole taking photos business seems so unnecessary !


The route to Quarry Rock uses the Baden Powel Trail


The trail climbs up through the forest, mostly second generation with a few impressive old-growth stumps left.

IMG_6069 Lots of fall colours in amongst the evergreens.


The Quarry Rock lookout was very busy when we got there so we only stopped for a few minutes.  The high cloud meant there wasn’t going to be an impressive view anyway.  We took this quick snap looking back down at the village of Deep Cove before returning the way we had come.


Monday, October 17, 2011

A Day Trip down to Washington

Yesterday I didn’t have any work commitments and David needed a few new clothes for the christening in November so we decided to have a day out in Washington to visit the outlet mall and enjoy the forecast good weather.

Setting out around 8am there was an inversion so while it was gorgeously sunny at home down by the water thick fog lay.  The drive down was misty in patches across fields streams and the bays.


We stopped for breakfast in Bellingham and then continued on.  This real estate agent had a cool license plate…..”email me”


Our first shopping stop was Seattle Premium Outlets. We get our coupon book and hit the three stores we know we needed, Gap, Banana Republic and Levi. 



We then continued on a little further South to Lynnwood where the Alderwood Mall is located. This mall contains a non-outlet branch of Banana Republic which had the specific coat David was hoping to buy.

Alderwood Mall

After another successful visit here we headed back North on the I5.  It had been cloudy over Marysville (where Seattle Premium Outlets is located) and Lynnwood but once again we returned to sunshine as headed North.  Views here from I5 as we drove back towards Bellingham.



Having spent much of the day in-and-out of shops we decided to stop at Lake Padden Recreation Area, just south of Bellingham.  It had been recommended to us by our friend Sig as a great place to walk the dog when in the area.

The late afternoon sun cast a lovely light through the trees on the road into Lake Padden park.

IMG_6012 Views of Lake Padden.  It was certainly a beautiful place to stop and very conveniently only a few minutes drive off of I5.


Mojo was very grateful for the chance to run around, fetch sticks and have a swim.  While he had got out for brief breaks during the day most of the time he was ‘car-sitting’ for us at the malls.


More views of Lake Padden


A couple going for an evening paddle.


Evening sun over the lake.


There was an easy trail which circled the lake together with a network of more strenuous ones through the surrounding hills.


A great spot to stop when we are in the area and perfect for Mojo with a dog-beach and off-leash areas. Thanks for the recommendation Sig !


After our walk we continued North on I5 and crossed the border back into Canada.  We stopped for delicious ribs at The Keg in White Rock before continuing home.  A fun day out and with savings of around $250 on what we would have paid for all these goods in Canada (David’s coat alone was $60 cheaper than the identical product at the same store in Canada and 4% less tax !) it very comfortably paid for itself.