Thursday, September 8, 2011

Once upon a Sunny Sunday

Two weeks ago, on our first Sunday back in Vancouver, we knew our adventure tank was feeling low and we had to make some deposits.  It had been awhile since we had done a good long hike, so Mike did some research and found a hike on "Dog Mountain" in North Vancouver.  To get to the trail-head, you drive up,up, up, up Mount Seymour.  It's a long way up.  You realize this as you pass many bikers peddling their way up slowly on one side of the winding road, and careening down the other side.

We parked at the Mount Seymour ski hill parking lot and got ready for some action.  We've been here long enough that a few bear sightings in the area don't cause much fear and panic anymore!

Our fearless leader checked the map one last time and declared us "good to go"!

And we were good to go.  Except for the fact that there were one million black flies swarming around us, as well as a good number of horseflies stalking us at the same time.  This is the first time bugs have bugged us on a hike.  We weren't prepared. 

The hike involved a nice steep start with lots of rock, roots, and .....MUD. 

There was a lot of snow pack from this winter at this altitude.  Some of it is only starting to melt.  We guessed that the wet conditions were the perfect breeding ground for all of the black flies.  It was pretty fun to stand on a little snow hill in the middle of summer on a plus 25 day!  Just reminds you of how high up you really are!

We slugged our way through the slippery mud and the pesky bugs.  Finally we reached the first view-point of "First Lake".  We stopped and admired it and thought for 5 seconds about whether we wanted to continue on.  We all agreed that this was the least fun we'd ever had on a hike and made the group decision to head back the way we had come.

And the way we came was full of... you guessed it - lots of mud!

At the end we could see this Mount Seymour ski-hill in all of its green glory - just waiting for the first snowfall of winter.  The girls and Mike are already starting to get excited about swooshing down the slopes again.

After the hike we drove to Lonsdale Quay for lunch and the afternoon.  Ellie and Hannah have a favorite fish stand at the market that they say makes the best halibut they've ever tasted.  They were happy to try it out again just to confirm their feelings.  Then it was time for some ice-cream to cool down.

It just so happened that an awesome cover band called "Dr. Strange Love" was playing outside at the market all afternoon.  Even Mike had to agree that they were really good.  My favorite part of the day was listening to the band play and watching two men with developmental delays enjoying them.  One of the men was dancing his heart out to every song - playing air-guitar and shaking what his momma gave him.  The other man enjoyed them just as much, but he stood perfectly still - right in front of the stage staring at the band with the biggest grin on his face not moving a muscle.  They did this for the whole set.  It was awesome!

Ellie and Hannah were thrilled to have a venue to try out all of the moves they learned at their school's "jive Night" from last winter.

                            Dancing makes you hot.  Good thing you can cool off in the fountain!

A beautiful summer day with blue sky, hot sun, and the beautiful cityscape of downtown Vancouver behind us.  We need to make the most of every Sunday, just like this one.

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