Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023
Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Thursday, September 21, 2023

A Walk with the Vancouver 'Venturers Volkssport Club in Kitsilano, British Columbia - Thursday, September 21, 2023

Bob and I arrived a few days early for Vancouver Walkfest 2023. Tuesday was our day to rest and recuperate from the Central Oregon Walking Weekend. On Wednesday, we did the Kensington/Queen Elizabeth Park 10 km Volksmarch (see the link to that blog here). 

Today, we are doing a 10 km group walk with the Vancouver 'Venturers Volkssport Club called Kitsilano/West Point Grey - Jericho Beach Park. Our drive from the RV park was enjoyable and took about 25 minutes. 

Vancouver, British Columbia, does not have a freeway through downtown, so Garmin took us to the least crowded streets. As we passed through town, a couple of things caught my eye. 

The sculpture below is so colorful and unique. The tall figures look like cars on stilts, while the short figures look like dogs. Here is a link to an article about this piece of "sidewalk" art.

"PACE IN SPACE!" by Pedro Reyes (2023).

Burrard Street Bridge, Vancouver, British Columbia.

We arrived 30 minutes prior to the walk start time so we could sign in, pay our walk fee, meet the local club members, and receive our directions. There were two walks available, a 5 km and a 10 km. We opted to do the 10 km walk. 

We met so many people all at once! I can remember John, Frank, Dianne, Susan, Suzanne, Aileen, Patricia, and Sharon. They were warm and welcoming to us.

We were unprepared to pay our fee in Canadian dollars; we hadn't exchanged money yet. Bob and I went to the bakery next door to buy pastries and hopefully get change in Canadian dollars. That didn't work, they don't change money at that location. Our walk organizer graciously accepted our American dollars (and we had a pastry to share).

In Texas, we only do a few group walks, usually for a special occasion. Normally, people arrive, sign in, and start walking. 

Not so in Vancouver, the Vancouver 'Venturers have four group walks a week. Today, our group was about 35 people. They said that's a small group; most times they have 70-80 people! 

We divided into groups; one group headed out on the 5 km walk, and we joined the 10 km group. In our group, we split up into medium and fast walkers. 

Wow! I am a fast walker, but not fast enough to keep up with these serious trekkers. If I stopped to take a photo, I found myself a block behind the group, and I had to run to catch up!

Bob and Patricia.

At the beginning of the walk, we passed by some beautiful homes. 

The Vancouver 'Venturers Volkssport Club walkers.

Pretty homes on a hill.

Throughout the neighborhoods, Bob had been chatting with Patricia right behind Aileen and me. They even corrected us when we missed a turn. It was when we got to Chancellor Blvd. that I realized Bob and the rest of the medium-paced group weren't behind us anymore.

I walked along busy Chancellor Blvd. with Aileen for a short distance and then we turned right onto Spanish Trail. After a short distance, we turned onto Chancellor Trail. We were in Pacific Spirit Regional Park.

Spanish Trail, Pacific Spirit Regional Park.

When the large group ahead of us reached the washrooms, they were going to wait for the rest of us. However, after everyone in the fast group used the facilities, no one else showed up. The leader of the group decided they needed to press on. 

Signboard and map with trail info.

Swooping owls? Really? How exciting!
We didn't see any, though.

I had a dilemma. Bob wasn't anywhere to be found. Where was he??? I had the directions and he didn't. I thought he was with people who had directions.

The group took off from the washrooms and I decided I'd better keep up. I called Bob to find out where he was. He wanted to go faster than the group he had been with and split off from them. He was somewhere in the park; he wasn't sure where. I explained to him where we were. It's a huge park and he didn't know if he was anywhere near us. 

Meanwhile, I was texting him, talking to him on the phone, and trying to run down the trail to keep up with everyone. I wasn't able to take many pictures today and the ones that I did take, I took on the run!

I finally made it down East Canyon and Admiralty Trails. Once I got out of the trees, I crossed Marine Drive to the gravel trail by the water. At that point, I could see the group about 1/4 mile ahead of me. I called Bob again and told him where I was. Somehow, he got ahead of me and had to walk back to meet up with me. At least he was ahead of the group and not behind us. When he got back to me, we were the last ones in the fast group. We had 4 km left in our walk and we spent 2 km walking along the water. It was a gorgeous day!

Looking across Burrard Inlet toward West Vancouver,
British Columbia.

Looking across English Bay to Vancouver,
British Columbia, from Jericho Beach Park.

There were little cafes at all the beach parks.

Looking across Burrard Inlet to 
West Vancouver, British Columbia.

Looking across English Bay to Vancouver,
British Columbia, from Jericho Beach Park.

We walked from Spanish Banks Beach, past Locarno Beach, and through Jericho Beach Park. The rest of the group was so far ahead of us, we could barely see them. There was a "sweeper" who stayed with us to make sure we got back to our starting point. 

Thank you, Vancouver 'Venturers for a walk in Kitsilano. This is a place we wouldn't have walked this trip if it weren't for you. The views from along the Inlet were wonderful.

When this group walks, they usually go to lunch afterward. Today was the exception and no one planned to go to lunch. Aileen volunteered to go with us since no one else was going to. 

We had some errands to run and there was a place near the RV park we really wanted to try for lunch. We went to the Savary Island Pie Co. in West Vancouver. One of their pies of the day was Chicken Pot Pie. Bob and I each had a slice and it melted in our mouths.  

In West Vancouver, in addition to lunch, Bob exchanged some U.S. currency for Canadian dollars, loonies, and toonies. It had been a fast-paced morning, so we took it easy in the afternoon. 

Sailing mural in West Vancouver.

This cool mural is on a fish market.

The totem pole at the entrance to
Capilano River RV Park where we're staying.

In the evening, Bob wanted to explore on his bicycle. He rode bike paths all over West Vancouver and loved it!!

Tomorrow, Bob and I will do the 10 km Downtown Vancouver "Canuck City" walk on our own. That way we can take all the time we want to explore, have lunch, and take photos.

Keep on trekkin'!

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Queen Elizabeth Park 10 km Volksmarch in Vancouver, British Columbia! - Wednesday, September 20, 2023

After leaving our Bend walking weekend on Monday, Sept. 18, we spent the night in Woodland, Washington, on our way to Vancouver, British Columbia. The sunset was lovely, even if it was subdued.

Columbia Riverfront RV Park, Woodland, Washington.

Sunset over the Columbia River.

Our site is at Columbia Riverfront RV Park.

Tuesday, September 19: Because we wanted to make it through Seattle before the major rush hour traffic, we left Woodland, Washington, at 4 a.m. on Tuesday. We had only two slow-downs on I-5 due to accidents (which we never saw). In both traffic jams, we kept moving albeit slowly.

We arrived at our RV park in Vancouver, B.C., at noon. It was an afternoon of relaxation and recuperation from our hikes in Bend. That evening we had a big rainstorm pounding on our RV roof. It sounded great.

On Wednesday, September 20, after Bob finished working in the morning, we decided to do a 10 km Volksmarch in the Kensington neighborhood to Queen Elizabeth Park. 

A unique skyscraper
in downtown Vancouver, B.C.

The start box for our walk was in a bookstore in downtown Vancouver. Bob sat in a parking spot at the curb while I went into the bookstore to register and pick up the instructions to our starting point in the Shaughnessy area of Vancouver, B.C. 

It is hard getting around a huge city when you're not familiar with the roads. Thank goodness for Garmin! She routed us to the community center where there was a large, free parking lot. After using the washrooms, we started walking. 

It's fun to see the personality of neighborhoods. There was art high up on wires in the trees at one intersection with a bike path. 

Art high up in the trees. You've got to look up!

Art high up on lines in the trees.

A pocket view of the mountains north of Vancouver, B.C.

Bob pointed out these mini rubber duckies
in a car windshield. Cute!

The trees up north are getting their fall colors.

Mountain View Cemetery.

Fall colors.
Chinese lantern (Physalis alkekengi) used
as a sidewalk border in someone's yard.

At this point, we entered Queen Elizabeth Park at the Little Mountain Disc Golf Course where a group of young men were playing disc golf. We were surprised by the number of discs and colors in their bags.

There are lots of things to do in Queen Elizabeth Park!

As we walked the forested park with interspersed lawns, Bob pointed out the black squirrels. We aren't used to seeing these! I got a short video.

We continued up a hill to the Rose Garden. A surprising number of roses are still in bloom. 

These roses look like camellias!

A lovely red rose.

Must stop and smell the roses!

I particularly like the yellow roses!

Tobacco plant (Nicotiana sylvestris).

This very beautiful display is still in bloom.

In my opinion, these are the prettiest
roses we saw today.

Mountain bluet, Mountain cornflower, or
Bachelor's button (Centaurea montana).

Showy yellow/orange rose.

Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnalis).
Used to remove the pain of gout.

From the rose garden, we made our way to the Queen Elizabeth Plaza. Normally, there is a "Dancing Waters" fountain, but it was not on. The Bloedel Floral Conservancy is in the dome-shaped building on the left in the photo below. We did not go in. I've heard it is loaded with tropical plants and birds. There is an entrance fee.

On the left, is the Bloedel Floral Conservancy.

"Knife Edge," by Henry Moore.

The Lions Clock was made by the Ross &
Howard Iron Works Co. Ltd. 

This tree has golden fall colors! 

Exploration was the name of the game in this part of the park. Our eyes were immediately drawn to the North Shore mountains of downtown Vancouver. What a day!

The two rounded peaks are called The Lions.

The Lions tower over downtown Vancouver!
West Lion is 5,400'; East Lion is 5,269'.

The city is in a lovely setting embraced by Vancouver
Harbour, the Fraser River, and the Burrard Inlet.

Bob and I loved the color of this tree!

While on the plaza, we could walk to the far left for a view of the Large Quarry Garden.

An overview of the Large Quarry Garden.

An overview of the Large Quarry Garden.

An overview of the Large Quarry Garden.

A photographer was doing a photo shoot of
this girl in a Cosplay or manga outfit.

When we walked to the far right of the plaza, we had fun taking photos with the "Photo Session" statues, by Seward Johnson.

"Photo Session" statue fun.

Goofing around at the "Photo Session" statue. 

From the statues, we could look down into the Small Quarry Garden, AKA the Anniversary Garden. In 1993, at Seasons in the Park Restaurant, President Bill Clinton and President Boris Yeltsin (Russian Federation) dined there.

The Small Quarry Garden.

Seasons in the Park Restaurant in Queen
Elizabeth Park.

Next, we investigated the Small Quarry Garden by walking around it.

A perfect profusion of posies.

Brilliant Stonecrop, Upright Sedum
(Hylotelephium spectabile).

Hardy fuchsia.

Italian arum (Arum italicum).
*Poisonous noxious weed.*

Profusion Cherry Bicolor Zinnia.

Blyton Golden Girl (Dahlia).

From the Small Quarry Garden, we walked to the Large Quarry Garden. The flower displays are very impressive!

Bob is standing next to a bird in flight planting.

These colors are spectacular together.

I can't believe there are cacti here!

We took a detour up some steps to see "Love in the Rain," a sculpture built for the purpose of attaching "Love Locks." Love Locks have become a problem around the world when people attach them to bridges. This is a new idea to give people somewhere to put their love locks other than city infrastructures.

"Love in the Rain" Umbrella People.

Umbrella People sculptures designed
for love locks.

The locks are not supposed to be attached to the 
umbrellas, but people do it anyway.

An explanation of the concept behind "Love in the Rain."

This receptacle is for the keys people
throw away when they put on their love locks.

With the detour finished, we returned to the Large Quarry Garden to finish the circuit.

Big Leaf Hydrangea - Lacecaps
(Hydrangea macrophylla).

Himalayan honeysuckle
(Leycesteria formosa).


Black-eyed Susans
(Rudbeckia fulgida).

Fuchsia Annabel.

Another view of the bird in flight planting.

We headed out of Queen Elizabeth Park and walked past some funky-looking sculptures. The informational panel had been vandalized, so I had to do some research online to find out what these sculptures were. 

Here are three of the nine raven sculptures.
The rest of them are on display here as well.

From the City of Vancouver's Public Art Registry, I found that these sculptures are the artist's depiction of ravens. The artists are the Manitoba Aboriginal Arts Council, Inc. The sponsor donor was the Aboriginal Art Program for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. This was their Grand Entry. The artists worked individually and collectively on their concept for a series of nine raven sculptures portraying a collective cultural history and perspective. Each of the nine figures represents their respective artist's expression of the raven's spirit.

We continued on past the Nat Bailey Stadium, "The Nat" for short. Here is where the Vancouver Canadians play baseball. This is known as Rogers Field.

Bob is in front of Rogers Field. He was bummed 
that their season was over. He would have liked
to see them play.

"Leads to fish habitat. Do not pollute."

This friendly Siamese cat came to say hello.

On the way back to the car, we walked through the Mountain View Cemetery.

While driving back to the RV park, Bob pointed out two totem poles at the entrance to a building.

When we returned to our 5th wheel, it was time for dinner and we were hungry. In our neighborhood, there is a restaurant called Milestones that has good reviews. We headed there for dinner and had a wonderful meal. 

As we were leaving the restaurant, I noticed that the Dodger game was playing in the bar. When I pointed that out to Bob, he took me back to the 5th wheel and returned to the bar to watch the game. He was disappointed because the Dodgers lost. Bummer.

Milestones Restaurant.

Tomorrow, we are going to do a group walk with the Vancouver 'Venturers Volkssport Club in the Kitsilano/West Point Grey area to Pacific Spirit Regional Park, Jericho Beach Park, Spanish Banks, and Locarno Beach. 

Have a good night, y'all!