Category Archives: Touring Vancouver

Lighthouse Park West Vancouver

I found an article a while ago called “The Best Easy Hikes in Vancouver” on VanCityBuzz and thought it was pretty good. One of their suggestions is to visit Lighthouse Park.

Chris and I are trying to do two main things this summer:

  1. Enjoy the beautiful weather more & get some exercise
  2. Go new places and trying new things

This article is going to help with both goals. This weekend we tackled our first “easy hike” and headed off to Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver. We really had no idea what we were in for, except that it was very green on the map.

[mappress mapid=”5″]

About Lighthouse Park

This 75 hectare (185 acre) lush virgin rainforest is located on the coastline of the Burrard Inlet in West Vancouver, BC Canada. It marks the point where the Burrard Inlet meets Howe Sound. Lighthouse Park receives more than 50 inches (1,300mm) of rain annually. The park is full of hiking trails that lead you deep into the forest canopy or down to the beautiful coastline.

In Lighthouse Park you will find West Vancouver’s last standing first-growth Douglas Fir trees along with some Western Hemlock and Western Redcedar. Most of the surrounding area has been logged but the park grounds were set aside in 1881 as the Lighthouse reserve. Some of these first-growth trees have grown to 200 feet (61 meters) and are approximately 500 years old.

Lighthouse Park is open year-round, park gates close before dusk and there is no camping permitted. – LighthousePark.ca

Our trip and experiences

So Sunday morning we go up early, sorted out a couple of chores and things and headed to the bus stop. From downtown, the 250 Horseshoe Bay is the only bus to get there. We grabbed it behind the main Post Office and settled in for the 45 minute trip. The weather was gorgeous as we sped through Stanley Park and over the Lions Gate Bridge. The view from the bridge never fails to impress.

After winding along Marine Drive, we arrived at the rather unassuming and nearly invisible entrance to the park and hiked in to the main parking area. We found a map board, and a pamphlet and chose our course. We headed west on Juniper Loop, then south on Shore Pine Trail and it was awesome! The paths aren’t hard but also not “easy” as they are largely a natural path and has plenty of ups and downs.

Bald Eagle at Lighthouse Park

Bald Eagle at Lighthouse Park

After a little while we reached the western edge of the park and had an unobstructed view across to Vancouver Island. It was bright and sunny on the cliffs after being in the forest and the extra heat was welcome. We even saw a Bald Eagle searching the shore for food. It swung by and then reversed course to the north and vanished. It’s only my second wild Bald Eagle setting so it was pretty exciting.

From there we continued south to the actual Lighthouse and stood on the rocks above it looking out at Vancouver and Point Grey in the distance across Burrard Inlet. Quite impressive.

panaramaWe decided to call it a day at this point, about 90 minutes in, so we could head home to rescue Rumble (trapped in his air conditioned room). Unfortunately, as we expected, the hike back up Beacon Trail, teasingly labelled Bacon Trail at one point, was all uphill and I think that caused more sweat than everything else. Eventually the bus came for us and shuttled us back downtown.

Lighthouse

Summary

If you’re looking for a nice easy hike with beautiful views, we can recommend Lighthouse Park. The only disappointment was that our FitBits only showed 7500 steps from the entire excursion!

Not sure what we’ll try next from the list, but I think we’ll rent a car to get there if it’s very far. Translink’s timing is iffy at best on the weekend.

Capilano Suspension Bridge

What I did on my summer vacation – Item 4

Like Rebecca Black said: “It’s Friday.” If you don’t know what I mean, listen to this:

Yeah, it makes me cry too.

Friday rocked. Having finished with the cleaning and organizing, we finally got to the “cation” part of our “stay-cation” and decided to head up to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, which is a bit like returning to the scene of the crime.

Back in 2005, around the time we first started going out (Holy shit – it’s been almost 7 years!) I returned from Arizona on January 1 or 2, and our first “date” upon my return was a trip to Capilano. Chris was a little horrified to be seen with me, I think, as I’d let my step-mother bleach my hair while away. It was a cold day (for Vancouver in January) but bright and sunny. We were excited because not only did we have fun, but we got the BC resident deal and could go back as often as we wanted for a year.

We went once more.

Capilano Suspension Bridge Cliffwalk

Capilano Suspension Bridge Cliffwalk

Spring forward 6 1/2 years and we’re back. This past summer they opened the Cliffwalk adventure. Near the end, I realized that they had an educational theme about the importance of water in nature sprinkled throughout.

Cliffwalk is a semi-circular bridge stuck to the side of a cliff 300 feet or meters (I forget) over the river below. There’s a really cool video on YouTube about the challenges of making it. It’s worth a watch. Along the way you are treated to some small signs about how the valley was formed by rivers, and water cracks the stone. Very informative if you notice them. I didn’t.

So that’s Chris, hanging out high above the valley floor. At various points they have clear super-strong glass panels to walk out on. It really feels like you’re floating.

We also checked out Raptor Ridge (one bird, does not an attraction make) and the TreeTop Adventure, which is a really cool series of bridges suspended between the trees.

After making our way home, we basically decided we’d had enough, and I wasn’t feeling that good. So bad that I actually took a nap. I don’t nap. Whether it’s 10 minutes or an hour, after I nap I wake up all fuzzyheaded, disoriented and useless (no comments) so when I do decide I need a nap, it’s a bit of a deal.

By the time I was feeling better, Chris was on the decline.  We usually work like that. One is sick, the other is better. Then we switch. Not usually within minutes, but you know.

So, we had a quiet evening at home watching TV, playing with computers, iPads and the dog, which was fine.

As I write this, it’s Saturday morning. Rumble dragged me out just before 7am and I stayed up to try to get things done. Other than some blogging, nothing much has happened, but we have a plan! We’re off to Stanley Park as soon as Chris and I muster up the energy to shower. Harder than it sounds, but the weather is enticing!

What I did on my summer vacation: Days 3 & 4

So Wednesday dawned, so did Thursday. As I write this on Saturday, neither Chris nor I are exactly clear what happened on these days. But here’s what we do know…

We finished cleaning up. Everything was returned to it’s rightful spot, garbage was thrown out and recycling put downstairs, the dog got a bath, Chris got beer Corona), we had some ice cream and other bad food, and we hung out.

I was also kicked out of the house for a few hours while Chris worked. He spent many, many hours sorting, organizing, boxing etc while I sat in a Starbucks hard at work on a WordPress plugin. Rumble and Chris had walked me down, sat while we drank a cooling libation (sans alcohol of course) and then they went home.

At several points, we also went on many, many walks across the city, along the seawall etc to take full advantage of the fact that summer decided to return during our vacation! Woot!

We also wrote the email to Mikes Flooring expressing our displeasure in their installer’s lack of care. But that’s another post. A long other post.

Sometime in there, we also finally got to relax. As one is supposed to do on vacation. This made the dog happy as we stopped messing with him, moving things around etc. And he seems to like his new food!

What I did on my summer vacation – Part B

So, Tuesday morning, bright and early, Chris and I slipped out of our warm bed and stepped onto the cold, cold wood floors we had installed. Apparently air conditioning makes the floors really, really cold. (Note to self: need small mats for bedside)

As usual, Rum got his walk and since we’d terrorized him the day before (spending the day driving around), we didn’t do anything too mean. We left him home in his solarium/jungle while we headed out. To Ikea – aka, Land of the Lost. Where we had their $4 breakfast. Actually 4 x $1.00 breakfasts, plus bacon plus drink. This is s decision that haunted us on Wednesday.

The gaping void of the fireplace

The gaping void of the fireplace

The purpose of the trip was to find a new entertainment center/unit/table/bench -thing to replace the horrible fireplace that we had removed. This removal left us with a bit of a mess as it was screwed AND glued to the wall, not to mention tied into the electric.

Yep, ugly, right? About what you’d expect. Paint doesn’t match, hole in the carpet, patches of missing drywall. Not to mention nowhere to put the TV that was previously atop said monstrosity.

So, Ikea proved useless, but we did find a nice area rug for Rumble, a small mat for the fan, a small bookshelf and assorted other things we probably didn’t need.

Then Chris said the horrible words nobody should ever say.

“Hey, do you wanna stop at Walmart on the way home?”

And we did. And it was…. sticky.

But we did manage to find an entertainment center that was quite nice, but didn’t actually exist except for the demo unit. So we moved 4 feet and found another one. And it was deemed perfect. And heavy. Whoa was it heavy. Stupid tempered glass.

Afterward, we spent about 1/2 an hour discussing dog food with Celine at Tisol on the Grandview Highway. The vet had suggested Rumble go on an Kangaroo or Emu diet. $110US per case. I don’t think so.

Instead we settled on NRG dehydrated food as a source of all things different. $30CDN per case. Yeah, that’s better.

The rest of Tuesday was occupied with the ongoing cleanup and also putting together the new entertainment shelves. Ugh. Not bad though, less than 2 hours, only a couple of mistakes. You know that was going to happen with 30 instructional steps on paper, PLUS a 20 minute DVD you are “advised” to watch prior to assembly.

The new entertainment unit

The new entertainment unit

Question: How are you supposed to watch a DVD about assembling the entertainment unit if you don’t have a place to put the TV until you’ve assembled the entertainment unit?

I know, right? Thankfully our laptops work. We watched the DVD at triple speed thanks to VLC media player. Much more entertaining.

So, now we have new floors, new rugs, new bookshelf, new entertainment center and still somewhat of a mess to clean up. This whole “have someone install the floors for you” is not necessarily as easy as it sounds.