Sunday, December 18, 2011

Quarry Rock, Deep Cove North Vancouver

What a great way to start the day!

The cookies and chocolate treats are poring into the office  and I am finding the pants are a week tighter than normal, and I am sure I am not the only person feeling this way at this time of year.  So a Sunday morning hike made me feel fabulous !

Meeting up with SJ, MJ, and DE with the dogs. We tied up our hiking boots and headed out along a muddy trail for Quarry Rock. The temperature was perfect and the view excellent at the end.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

First Snow Shoe with a Reindeer Visit !

What a way to start the winter season !
There wasn't any fresh snow but the skies were clear and a full moon was upon us. Breathing in fresh mountain air it was a great first day of snow shoeing.


As we were waiting for the groups to collect for the 7pm start time we wondered over to visit Santa's workshop and the Reindeer - which Reindeer do you think these guys are ?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Grand Cariboo Opry, 6th Annual

The Grand Cariboo Opry with Barney Bentall & Guests (Ridley Bent, Matt Masters, Dustin Bentall, Kendel Carson to name a few) is an annual fundraiser in support of the Potluck CafĂ© Society. Over the last five years, the Opry has raised enough money to feed over 40,000 nutritious meals to residents living in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside.

Back by demand for the sixth consecutive year, Barney Bentall & The Grand Cariboo Opry roll into Vancouver’s historical Vogue Theatre for another highly anticipated performance on November 19th.
The Opry is a highly entertaining classic variety show experience hosted by Barney Bentall, who works through humourous monologues and fronts a big band consisting of the Legendary Hearts and many other talented musicians, augmented with lap steel, fiddle and piano. Everyone plays and everyone sings....sometimes all at once! The show is chalked full of music, humour, warm wit and unique sponsorship promotions reminiscent of another era.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Oktoberfest with Lufthansa at the Alpen Club

A bit of a late post, but better late than never. The photo's were miss filed. And needless to say this was in October !!

Lufthansa marked Oktoberfest by hosting an evening of traditional Bavarian food, music, Schuhplatter entertainment and fun and games at the Alpen Club.

A group of us heading to the Alpen Club, not knowing what the night had in store for us, and it was sure a fun one !

Walking into the Alpen Club was like boarding an international flight, and heading to Germany, without the long plane ride or jet lagg. The Apliners serenaded us as we pick up our German Ale and piled our plates with the traditional Bavarian feast!

After our bellies were full the entertainment began, with a BANG !

A pint of traditional german Ale in one hand and the camera in the other to capture the entertainment of the thigh-slapping Schuhplatter dancing. After the Richmond's Austrian Club put on a show of how to do this thigh slapping, of course they wanted everyone to try. Picking 4 men out of the crowds. It was a contest of elemination on who was the winner !!

The entertainment didn't end there, and this time The Travel Group was not so lucky. Jason and Colleen were pulled up onto the dance floor to learn the German waltz.  Jason rolling up his pants, and Colleen was  spun and twiled around to the music !

A few speaches and thank yous were done while desert was served and the last of the entertainment was the Bell ringing !  This time Cathy was volunteered to head up and pick a bell.

Thank you Lufthansa for a fantastic night !
from everyone at The Travel Group.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Squamish Chief AKA Stawamus Chief

On the morning of August 27th a group of us got up early hopped in the car to explore the Squamish Cheif.
The Chief towers high above the town of Squamish and is a popular hiking destination that offers scenic views of Howe Sound and several mountains in Garibaldi Provincial Park.
Olesen Creek before joining the trail to the Chief.

There are 3 peaks to choose from. We had a last minute addition to our hiking group. It turned out to be an excellent perk !! An experienced hiker who has done the Chief over 15 times !!

Our personal tour guide took us up to second peak, then we wondered across the mountain tops to check out the views of third peak before starting our long trek down hill.

Note: this is not a hike to do for anyone with knee problems. 

The first 45 minutes is spent climbing steadily uphill over wooden steps and a well-worn dirt path. Upon reaching a junction, we stay left which gave us the option of first or second peak.  Another 10 minutes or so we came to another fork where we choose to go right, to the Centre of the peaks (second peak) we’d been told it had the best views.    
The view from second peak. 1.7-kilometre trail with an elevation gain of 590 metres. Sqamish City is to the North, and spectacular views all around.

We met a few of the locals running at our feet and were amazed of the plant life on top of the peak.

After soaking in the view and taking a break,  we headed northward following the ridge just a short distance away. Just around the corner and up another little peake we were at the highest peak of the three of the Chief peaks. The Third Peak, elevation gain of 630 metres. The view from the North Peak gives you sights in a slightly different direction and includes views of several of the peaks in Garibaldi Provincial Park. 

Carefully down the rock we went. And I tell you I was happy it was over.  I would recommend doing some downhill hikes before heading up the chief.  It is hard on the knees and legs.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Quarry Rock, Deep Cove

It was a sluggish Wednesday yesterday and our grouse hiking group had dwindled down to Colleen and David. Feeling too guilty to cancel a hike night altogether they headed to Quarry Rock for something a little easier, or so they thought. 

After getting to the rock and enjoying the view of Deep Cove we continued along the path a litle farther to see if we could get down to the water.  Without much luck, and possibly tresspassing into peoples back yards. Our knees and then a hill to return up !

We decided it wasn't of a break from our weekly grouse hike.  Next time we must bring the dogs.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Seymour Demonstration Forest, North Vancouver


A brisk early morning hike on Seymour Mountain with the dogs ended up being quite the adventure! And history lesson.  

This is the remained of the first bridge to cross the Seymour River, you can see Dakota trying to swim to the other side. It was built in 1907 – 1908 and was dismantled in 1992. The crossing carried a water main across the river and provided east-west access for pedestrians. A second bridge was built just north of the first in 1926 and removed in September 2009. For almost 70 years (1926 – 1992) those “twin bridges” served as a major corridor over the Seymour River.

The current Twin Bridges Trail provided the main access to the bridges and although both have since been removed, the trail name will remain in historical recognition of these early crossings. The current bridge will continue to serve the region as an important southerly crossing for both utility operations and public recreation.

In the late 1800’s logging, construction of a water pipeline and settlement began to encroach upon the surrounding forest. If you take a close look around you will find evidence of this past human activity.

This tunnel was once used for a water pipeline. The trail upon which we were standing was once a 2-lane gravel road.  It was a very narrow trail.

The nearby pool in the Seymour river was once used to store shingles bolts for the Hastings Shingle Manufacturing Company.

Even after this significant disturbance, a new forest has grown back to reclaim the area. These new trees and shrubs now hide many of the remnants of past human activity. We would have walked right by them if there had not been signage for us to read.

Friday, July 22, 2011

We are moving ...

What an adventure ! We're moving !!

We are moving and have some office stuff we no longer need.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Grouse Mountain Weekly Hike - History

Hiking "Mother Nature's Stairmaster" got me to thinking.....what person ever thought this was a"FUN" thing to do. I learned some neat history I wanted to share.

Hikers were first recorded on Grouse Mountain back in 1894 when a hunting party shot a blue grouse bird and named the mountain in the bird's honor.
It wasn't until the 1920's and early 30's, that Grouse Mountain saw the first big wave of adventurous hikers. People flocked to the mountain each year looking to reach the cabins located in the Grouse Mountain Village, at the foot of what is now known as The Cut.

The Grind was first developed in 1981 by mountaineers looking for a challenging, convenient aerobic workout to sustain them for their longer hikes. They began by following the existing British Columbia Mountaineering Club Trail (BCMC) which offers a slightly less strenuous climb, my choice for a hike over the grind any day!  People soon wanted a steeper route and about a quarter of the way up began using well-worn animal paths as their guide. The trail route was completed in the winter of 1983.

In 1996, the original cast of builders, along with a number of enthusiasts from the BC Federation of Mountaineering Club and Grouse Mountain, rebuilt the trail ensuring optimum safety and enjoyment for the high volume of hikers while maintaining the highest level of environmental protection from erosion.

Grouse Mountain Statistics today are over 100,000 people hike the trail annually.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Grouse Grizzly Bears

After a hike up the BCMC, we wandered over to the Grizzly Bears on the chance they would be out enjoying the summer day as we were.
Grouse Mountain renovated their pen over the winter into a figure eight type area, where tourists and people can walk over a bridge and feel like you’re in the same cage as them.


Grinder was orphaned June 2001 in Invermere BC. He was wandering alone on a logging road, dehydrated, thin, weak, and weighing only 4.5kg.

Coola was found orphaned at the side of the highway on June 29, 2001 near Bella Coola, BC. His mother has been hit and killed by a truck. Of her three cubs, Coola was the only one to survive. One cub was hit by a falling tree and the other ran and was not seen again.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Longest Sunday of the Year Walk / Run - 3rd Annual

Thanks to everyone for participating in the
Longest Sunday of the Year Run/Walk.
It was a great success, raising more money each year !
A big thanks to James at Air Canada for their sizable donation.
Vancouver is still waiting for our summer to begin, but all the sun dancing worked. Sunday was a fabulous day!! The temperature broke 20’C and the sun block was needed.

Before heading out on our run or walk we did a quick warm up to loosen the muscles.

The Longest Day’s youngest contestant
took home the fastest walker.
5 year old Sidney, took home the gold medal for 5km


Raul, a first timer, snuck past the finish line a mere milliseconds ahead of the rest of them.

Contestants for Sexy Shorts
Anne-Marie took home the prize for sexiest shorts once again this year.  It was her  complete outfit with sparkling runners, that put her ahead of the rest.


See you all next year !

BCMC - first timer

We took it easy for Anne-Marie’s first hike up grouse, and did the BCMC. With a time of 90minutes, this is excellent for all you non hikers.  It was the first of many hikes.

Up until now we have not had any hot weather this year, and this was obvious when we reached the top of Grouse.

At 3,700’ elevation, on June 27th we found snow!