Summer in British Columbia

Bob and Chris McKay friend from grade 1

We finally arrived back in Vancouver on June 1st, staying at the beautiful Eagle Wind RV Park in Aldergrove, for 4 months. We are looking forward to seeing our family and friends during our stay here. Our first outing was a weekend trip to Oliver, BC, staying at The Lakeside Resort, with Bob’s high school classmates for an all men’s golf tournament in memory of Dan Grimble. Myself and two of the other wives came along, Robbie Harper and Dawn White. We enjoyed our time visiting all the fabulous wineries in the Okanagan Valley, as well as shopping in all the wonderful boutiques in the area. The Okanagan Valley is BC’s premier grapegrowing region, with quiet family-run boutique vineyards to world-class operations. Oliver is considered the “Wine Capitol of Canada”, and is home to nearly half of BC’s vines and more than 40 wineries. We were amazed by the growth of the Okanagan Valley in the past 40 years and we will definitely make a trip back here again. Click on thumbnail to view images

Trip to Oliver, BC

Golden Ears Provincial Park

Today we went on a hike in the Golden Ears Provincial Park, near Maple Ridge, BC. It is named after the prominent twin peaks which are referred to as Golden Ears. There is an extensive network of hiking trails in the park ranging from short walks to strenuous back-country trips. We chose the Gold Creek Falls hike, an easy 5.6 km hike R/T. The trail is wide and groomed the entire way to the waterfalls, with minimal elevation gain, through a beautiful stretch of forest before reaching the Gold Creek Falls waterfalls. Some interesting trivia about Golden Ears Park: the movie First Blood (starring Sylvester Stallone as Rambo) was shot here, and the movie Twilight shot some of their outdoor forest scenes in this park. Click on thumbnail to view images

Sea to Sky Gondola

We were so excited to have Eric come and stay with us for a few days, arriving on July 1st, Canada’s 150 birthday celebration. So the three of us walked for miles in downtown Vancouver enjoying all the festivities. The next day we went up to the Sea to Sky Gondola with Jaimie Rogers to do some hiking from the top of the gondola. We hiked the Al’s Habrich Ridge Trail with sweeping epic views of Howe Sound, Skypilot Mountain and Habrich itself. Dotted with granite outcroppings, sub alpine meadows and the picturesque Neverland Trail. Beautiful views from the top as we hiked as far as we could before being stopped by deep snow on the trail. We have been here a few times but love it more and more every time we drive up to Squamish to ride this Gondola and experience all there is to see here. Thanks Jaimie for being a great guide today! Click on thumbnail to view images

Hike up to St Marks Summit

After three days staying with us in the RV, Eric was happy to move in with his friends from San Francisco, Doug and Chris. The 5 of us did another great hike closer to Vancouver at Cypress Bowl Ski Resort on the North Shore. The St Mark’s Summit hike is part of the Howe Sound Crest Trail that spans over 30 km from Cypress  to a point along the Sea to Sky Highway. This hike is 11 km R/T on a difficult trail, and very steep in places but well worth the effort once we reached the summit. From the trail we could see the Lions, and when we got to the summit, at the scenic viewpoint we had views of Howe Sound, the Tantalus Range, and even the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island off in the distance. After resting and soaking in the gorgeous views over delicious lunch, we made our way back to the trail and retraced our steps heading back downhill through the switchbacks, stepping over deep roots and eventually to the parking lot at Cypress Mountain. We were rewarded with fantastic views of Stanley Park and downtown Vancouver on our way down the mountain. What an incredible day in beautiful BC! Click on thumbnail to view images

Visit with Bruce and Karen in Vancouver

Our friends from Cleveland, Ohio, Karen Moyer and Bruce Kahn, came to visit us for a few days on their way to Alaska. We picked them up at the airport and came back to the RV for a fabulous vegan lunch. After lunch we drove into Vancouver and checked in at the Sylvia Hotel, a designated heritage building, built in 1912. Then we walked around English Bay stopping at Morton Park to view the 14 enormous bronze statues, in all different poses, of a shirtless guy laughing hysterically, called A-maze-ing Laughter. We had dinner at the Cactus Club, sitting outside enjoying the sunset across English Bay from our table. The next morning we started our bike ride from the Sylvia Hotel and stopped at Granville Island for breakfast before heading to Stanley Park. What a fabulous day for a ride around Stanley Park, great views of the city and visited many of the sites in the Park. Later we took the gondola up Grouse Mountain to explore the top and have dinner at The Observatory Restaurant. We had two wonderful  fun-filled days with Karen and Bruce, couldn’t have had a better time, full of laughs, eating, drinking and sightseeing, and lots of sunshine. Thanks for taking the time to visit us. Click on thumbnail to view images

Trip to Bowen Island

It was my turn this summer to finally connect with some of my old friends from Vancouver. Bob and I had a wonderful dinner with Diane and Steve Owen in their beautiful apartment in downtown Vancouver. While we visited with them, Diane gave me information to get a hold of my friend Sandy Cunningham. Sandy and I lived together in London for a year in 1970 and when Bob and I were married she was my bridesmaid at our wedding in 1971. I was so excited to connect with her after not seeing her for over 30 years, and needless to say she has not changed at all. We had a fabulous dinner at her place in Vancouver and later visited her beautiful home on Bowen Island. What a great time we had touring the island, visiting her friends and having a delicious dinner at Sandy’s cozy home on the hill. Click on thumbnail to view images

Biking Adventures

While staying in Vancouver we did a lot of bike rides, organized by our fearless leader Ralph White. In July we signed up for the 100 km ride in the Tour de Whatcom, a family-friendly bike ride in Bellingham, Whatcom County, WA. It is hosted by the Boundary Bay Brewery, where we started and finished the ride, perfect for enjoying beer at the end of a long ride. We did several training rides before the Tour, riding to Langley, Lynden, WA, Fort Langley, and Boundary Bay. Well organized, challenging rides, not too many hills, with a wonderful group of friends riding together, enjoying the scenery, and always stopping for lunch before returning home. In August a large group of bikers rode the Snohomish County Centennial Trail, WA, 60 mile R/T, on a paved trail, that follows the original route of the Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern Railway. After the ride some of us went for a swim in Lake Samish to cool off before going for dinner at Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill in Bellingham. Click on thumbnail to view images

Miscellaneous Activities