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Leaving the cares behind . . .

Leaving the cares behind . . .

From Departure Bay . . .

across the Strait of Georgia on the BC Ferry called Victoria . . .

the ferry called Victoria

to a quiet cabin on Vancouver Island . . .a quiet cabin

with a view to the south that looks like this.view south

And a view to the north (with blue heron) that looks like this.view north

It is early morning, a quiet tide pool, a perfect reflection. Cares gone. World on hold. Refilling the creative well.

The Valley Trail

The Valley Trail

Whenever I’m in Whistler, I walk the Lost Lake / Valley Trail loop, often more than once.

From where we are staying (Woodrun) it’s about 20 minutes to Lost Lake, unless I get lost. Bears are everywhere in Whistler but as long as you’re making noise, they don’t bother you.

Lost Lake has a network of trails, some narrow, some wide, all gravel. The Valley Trail is paved and is an “all excess” trail: walkers, cyclists, rollerbladers, dogs, everybody. This trail runs a total of 40 K connecting the subdivisions of Whistler. The main trail in Lost Lake Park connects with the Valley Trail just before the Nicklaus North Golf course. The “loop” is about 10 K and, since I’m a slow walker, I can do the loop in about 3 ½ hours.

Usually, I’m walking alone (a writer’s walk) but on this particular day, I did the walk with Rolf and our friends, Marcel and Gwynne. For years I have walked past the Nicklaus North Golf course patio.

The Den Restaurant on the Lake

Here’s the sign you see when you pass by.

Now, this is the year I discovered iced coffee. Yes, I know it’s wonderful, but it took me this long to figure that out. So as we approached the patio, I was craving an iced coffee and we decided to go in. We found a table looking over Green Lake.

The Den Restaurant on the Lake

Here’s the view.

You can see the float planes belonging to Whistler Air.

Once we sat down, it became necessary to not only have the coffee, but also the food. Rolf & Marcel shared a platter of sushi, and Gwynne and I got the nachos—with spicy chorizo, pepper jack cheese, provolone, cheddar, black olives, jalapeños and the usual sour cream and salsa, plus the fresh guacamole. Heaven.

iced coffee

Here’s the iced coffee.

After breaking for over an hour, we continued along the Valley Trail, along the boardwalk by Green Lake and its lily pads, past Meadow Park with its playground and water park and water fountain. This is about the halfway point of the loop and this is where I usually stop for a snack.

From here, the trail meanders along, following the River of Golden Dreams.  (Yes, that’s really what it’s called.)

The Valley Trail, Whistler

Suzanne & Gwynne on the Valley Trail

Then we approach the Whistler Golf Club, walking along its edge in the shade of the trees, hearing the occasional “fore!” Once we reach the clubhouse, we turn north up to the Village.

This was a hot day, so we required another stop for iced coffee at the Starbucks before walking up the ski hill to reach Woodrun and the swimming pool.

Refreshed from our swim, and with the kinks eased out in the hot tub, we went back down to the Village to the Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub where we dined on the patio and lucked out with an Irish band.

Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub, Whistler

Marcel, Gwynne, Suzanne, Rolf

Yes, it’s the good ole summertime.

I hope you’re enjoying YOUR summer!

Cheakamus Lake

Cheakamus Lake

While visiting Whistler last week, I did a solo hike in Garibaldi Provincial Park on the Cheakamus Lake trail. When I arrived at the parking lot at 7:30 in the morning, the temperature was 11 degrees Celsius. Perfect hiking weather.

This is a 14 Kilometer round trip that follows the Cheakamus River and goes part way along the lake. The trail rolls up and down but is relatively flat.

Cheakamus Lake, Whistler

Cheakamus Lake is a glacial fed lake surrounded by mountains. I stopped here at the trailhead for a lunch of tuna, cheese, cherries and contemplation. By now, it was a quarter past ten and the sun was coming up over top of the trees and filling the lake. I was the only one here.

On the return trip, the sun made it warmer but I was sheltered by the trees for most of the way. I met some late hikers on the trail as I got closer to the parking lot. Some not wearing hats. Some not even carrying water. Some asking “Are we almost at the lake?”

My car’s thermometer gave an outside temp of 32 degrees. Inside the car, my extra water bottle was hot. I was very warm myself but I felt good. I drove back to Whistler with the air conditioning on full blast, parked at Market Place and went to Starbucks for an iced coffee. Then I headed back to the hotel to join Rolf for a swim.

And that is a typical vacation day in Whistler. Do you have a favourite vacation spot?

Kicking Horse Slush Cup

Kicking Horse Slush Cup

Ryan Stengl doing a “360”


Slush Cup was on Sunday, the last day of skiing at Kicking Horse this season. Four thousand feet higher, the hill enjoyed beautiful snow, but conditions at the bottom were getting slushy. What’s a ski hill to do?

Dig a pit and fill it with water. Invite a bunch of enthusiastic skiers and boarders to try to ride across it. My son entered the competition. That’s him up in the air, doing a “360” before splashing down near the end of the pond.

Eagle’s Eye Restaurant

Eagle’s Eye Restaurant

We had lunch here at the Eagle’s Eye Restaurant on the top of the mountain. Riding up the chairlift, we saw Boo, the orphaned grizzly who lives in a huge enclosure on the mountain.

top of the mountain

top of the mountain

Kicking Horse Mountain

coming through a layer of cloud to the base

Conditions at the top were excellent. On the way down, we had to go through cloud.

Kicking Horse Slush Cup

the pool of water

At the base, you can see the pool of water that contestants will try to jump over. A few made it. Would you like to try this?