A lot has happened since I’ve returned home. Right away I had a session with my personal trainer and then later, I had a birthday party to go to: Little Brother Z turned two while I was admiring the Grand Falls falls and gorge in New Brunswick.
I returned home just in time for his party. Then it was back to work and back to my regular routine of Spinning, workout sessions, kickboxing and the newest thing, photography class and then I indulged at the spa before going to another birthday party. Big Sister B is now three years old.
And finally my first hike since returning from the other side of the country: Lighthouse Park. From my latest hiking experience in New Brunswick, I have taken a few more precautions.
- Checked the website for recent bear and other wildlife sightings.
- Read up on Bear Safety and Cougar Safety.
- Bought a bear bell and attached it to my backpack.
- Notified my sisters about where I was going.
- Notified my sisters when I returned.
- Stayed on the trail and did not veer blindly into the the forest.
As I sit and write this, the news is on in the background and there is a story about a wounded black bear in the Surrey area. Not that I had any interest in hiking in Surrey, but that is definitely a place I will avoid until that bear is captured. I will have to look into carrying a stick or trekking poles, in the off chance I encounter a cougar. But I think my hiking is noisy enough, and the bell certainly announces my presence. I just hope it doesn’t sound like a dinner bell to the wildlife. I thought about playing my music on the iphone, but since there were other people on the trails as well, I didn’t really think it was necessary. At one point, I did stop for a snack and I started up my music: Woodkid’s Stabat Matar certainly captured the drama of the place, but it was also unnatural. I couldn’t hear the surf below and I couldn’t hear the waves. The music was off, once I was back on my feet.
I’ll have to keep up to date with the news. From what I’ve heard, the cougars that had attacked kids in Coquitlam and Belcarra have been captured and put down. Had I known this earlier, I would’ve headed off to Jug Island Beach and Admiralty Point. But I think I’ll feel better if I have a stick with me, if I venture into that part of the lower mainland.
There were several tests today. New backpack: Liked it. I think I’ve found a winner. New hiking shoes: Much better, than the ones I wore in New Brunswick. I had to switch to a pair that was 1/2 size larger. Thanks to the people at LadySport for allowing an exchange on my shoes and for the advice about the socks! After my hike up Mt. Carleton, I did not expect a possibility of an exchange. In my hike today, I followed the path set out by the vancouvertrails.com website. However after looking at the map on site, the trail on the website only takes you through half of the park. It took me about 3 hours to complete the trail. I probably could’ve completed it in the two hours, as indicated on the website, but I was also practicing my photography skills. Usually I just point and shoot using one of the pre-settings, but since I took the photography class, I had homework to do. Take photos in the Aperture mode, Shutter mode, play around with the ISO settings and the white balance settings and work on depth perception. I think I’ll need a lot more practice. I tried to get in some practice at Big Sister B’s birthday party, but I also didn’t want to wreck the birthday party photos, so not much practice there. How do you like my depth perception photo of Big Sister B and Cousin Z?
I don’t know if I actually hiked 6 km as per the website, but I did follow the trail as indicated. Eagle Point was my favourite spot. You really get a great view of Vancouver. The Lion’s Gate bridge is so far off in the distance but the view was just lovely. The weather turned out to be really nice. When I was driving out to West Vancouver, it was actually raining pretty hard. I was prepared for rain, but still, it would’ve been kind of miserable to be hiking in the rain. But I lucked out. The trails were very easy to follow. Definitely well maintained. There are no markers for you to follow, but it was not necessary. At each split, there are markers that tell you the name of the path so you know which way to go. Grab a map before you head out. It’s easier that way. There are so many different trails, that without the map, you could easily get disoriented. I eventually made it to the Lighthouse lookout point. I still preferred the views from Eagle point. It was a nice hike. I would probably do it again, but this time focus on the other side of the park. Next week’s hike will be determined by my personal trainer. I think my friend Nicole will be joining us so, it’ll probably be a long hike with minimal elevation. I’ll keep you updated.