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Hiking vs Walking

Monday, April 14, 2014

Today, April 13th, all of the elements seemed to line up. I had a day off (well . . . I'm retired . . . most of my days are days off), the sun was out (that fact alone may cause celebration here on the Wet Coast), the temperature toyed with that magical line on the thermometer. It ALMOST reached 20 degrees (68 for my friends to the south ;-). This demanded something more than my walk through the streets of my town. But which walk should I do today.

I decided to take a 15 minute drive North to a small lake situated right beside the highway. Brohm Lake. This area is not classified as a park, but as an interpretive forest. You wouldn't know any difference.

The lake is a narrow mountain lake. The part that is visible to highway traffic is a shallow marsh like pond with cat tails, water grass and lily pads with a wooden foot bridge connecting to trails on the other side. What the driving public can't see is the gem that is Brohm Lake, hidden further into the hills. A deep clear mountain lake lined with trees and granite cliffs. There isn't any resemblance of a beach, but there are plenty of surface rock, solid granite that create clean bench lands suitable for picnics, sunbathing, cliff jumping, diving and a myriad of unregulated rope swings hang by the trees that line the cliffs. (I don't do rope swings from those cliffs even IN the summer).

My goal today is those trails on the other side of the lake.

I chose the southern most trail, The Cheakamus Loop Trail and the High Trail. The trail information seemed fairly straight forward with only a 400 foot elevation difference. What the information failed to mention is the fact that the cumulative hills and descent leads to 1000 feet of combined elevation gain over the course of the trail. Over the first hill that holds back the lake water. Over the 2nd hill that is just in the way, and then the floor drops away 800 feet to the valley below. And beyond that, . . . the Tantalus Range Mountains with its year round glaciers.

About ½ of the trail was a leisurely walk. The trail was well marked and in places I could walk side by side with my sweetheart. Other areas were strictly single track and steep, in places, pushing aside underbrush was a requirement as we walked. 'Gentle inclines' seemed to be absent from the trail builder's vernacular. It was either an easy stroll or a cardio vascular workout combined with thigh busting endurance as we climbed the hills. On the return loop to Brohm Lake, we descended one particular hill which required the agility of a mountain goat. The pitch was greater than 50 degrees and the speed was slowed to a snails crawl as we selected our footing on this rock or that rock, this root or that clump of grass, steadying ourselves with a tree branch, a fallen log or a nearby cliff. The walk lasted 1 hour and 46 minutes and we managed to cover 8 km (5 miles). As a walk, I burned about 700 calories. As a hike I burned 1,300 calories.

Who cares! It was a great day out. It was great exercise. The views were amazing and it was ALMOST summer like weather.

Cheers . . . hope to see you on some of the trails this summer

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNNIERN 4/19/2014 12:11PM

    I'm not usually jealous of many things because I live in a great town with lots of things to do but I would love to have these views and really close hiking trails near by my home.

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CHEDDARSMAMMA 4/14/2014 10:43PM

    Wonderful pictures, thank you for posting. I can't wait to get out myself and start my season. Hopefully this weekend.

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HOCKEY47 4/14/2014 7:51PM

    beautiful blog and so detailed!

love it, maybe one day i am able to do this,

i want to do rocky point this summer in deep cove emoticon

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THERLDL 4/14/2014 7:05PM

    So jealous.. those sites are breathtaking.

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JAMIRBLAZE 4/14/2014 10:34AM

  Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

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LALALOVELY76 4/14/2014 8:49AM

    Great job! And right, who cares with all of that beautiful scenery!! Awesome!!! Thanks for sharing!! emoticon

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RUBYSNANA 4/14/2014 7:11AM

    Wow! Thank you for sharing your pictures. The hike sounds pretty rigorous but the pictures are beautiful. emoticon

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2WHEELER 4/14/2014 6:48AM

    Beautiful. Thanks for taking us along on your hike.

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BABYSOX 4/14/2014 6:43AM

    What a beautiful area. We are really so lucky to live in a country where we can hike this in our back yard.

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MADAMES 4/14/2014 5:03AM

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us. What fun to combine great exercise with such pretty scenery!

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ROXYCARIN 4/14/2014 1:19AM

  Great emoticon

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KESTRYLL 4/14/2014 1:15AM


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Fast Food and Hiking

Thursday, April 03, 2014

. . this is why I am training to walk faster

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WONDERGALE 4/9/2014 11:28PM

    No hiking for me! emoticon

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AMIEMICHELE 4/7/2014 2:25PM

You just need a slower walking partner

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MYLIFE4LIFE 4/5/2014 10:32PM

    I would be soooo terrified of all those bears! How close have you been to one? Were you born and raised there?

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2WHEELER 4/4/2014 8:15PM

    emoticon emoticon

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IDLETYME 4/4/2014 4:41PM

    I don't think fast "walking" is going to get it!!!! RUN!!!!

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LYNNIERN 4/3/2014 11:37PM


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RUNMOREMILE 4/3/2014 10:38PM

  Too funny.

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POINTAFTER 4/3/2014 8:47PM

    You just need to run faster than the other guy emoticon

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SHERYLP461 4/3/2014 5:49PM

    That's a good one. I have actually been pretty darn up close and personal with a momma bear, she walked the other way, but not before I got a good photo

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THERLDL 4/3/2014 5:31PM

    emoticon Nice... lol

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MADAMES 4/3/2014 2:29PM

    Too funny! This is one reason I walk mostly in town.

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DOUGLYE 4/3/2014 1:43PM

    Inspired by WALLAHALLA fast food entry

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March in a nutshell

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

March 10 through 31, 2014
7 pounds lost
79 Miles walked (127 Km)

A huge thank-you to my accountability partners. You are an encouragement to me as you struggle and succeed day by day.

I finished off March with a great walk. ¼ mile from the house I entered into the woods and completed a 7.45 mile walk in 2 hours + 6 minutes. The trail was still a bit muddy in places from recent rains, but it was a beautiful sunny day, peaking into the 60's. The trail starts at 100 feet above sea level.

¼ mile from my house I entered into the woods. Jack's Trail is a well known and well used trail that leads to Alice Lake Provincial Park with camp grounds, swimming and hiking. Being close to the city of Vancouver, this is a very popular spot in the summer. The trail to this point has been very quiet. I passed one other person in a 4 mile stretch.

Alice Lake

The next mile takes me to the highest point of the trail at just over 1,100 feet.

Just outside of Park Boundaries I meet the first set of mountain bikers and pass by an active logging area. Over the next 3 miles I pass by multiple groups of mountain bikers, joggers and groups of walkers. I'm stopped twice to give directions to people who are just learning the trails in this area and i enjoy the decent back to the houses with a choir of song birds darting about the underbrush. Further down in a swampy area there is a loud croaking of a hoard of frogs and the skunk cabbage is coming into bloom (grows in the marshy damp areas, smells like a mild skunk and its among the first food the bears eat coming out of hibernation)

I am going to enjoy walking this Spring.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIGIT00 4/2/2014 6:49AM

  What a beautiful place! Once out there, I would find it hard to go home. emoticon

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LYNNIERN 4/1/2014 11:39PM

    Oh my gosh, you had a great March and how lucky are you to have that great (and beautiful) hiking area in your backyard! Sweet!!!

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NEWCHINELO 4/1/2014 4:25PM

    Lovely . . . Thanks for sharing

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RUNMOREMILE 4/1/2014 8:31AM

  What an awesome walk "right in your backyard." I'm looking forward to exploring some nature areas near my neck of the woods this year. I've tried to talk my teenagers into hiking, but they're not interested at this point. I think they will be in a few years, but I'm not waiting...too much to explore. It will be my hubby and I exploring the wild. Can't wait to see your next adventure :)

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THERLDL 4/1/2014 7:33AM

    Such awesome scenery, I would find it hard not to want to walk out there! Keep it up!

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SIERRAGOLD 4/1/2014 2:24AM

    I love how you wrote this blog! Very descriptive and I felt like I was there with the birds, frogs and skunk cabbage. It's quite the hike from 100 to 11oo feet. I'll bet that's a good workout. I'm so glad you shared photos for us.

emoticonon your weight loss this month!

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OCEANWIDE 4/1/2014 2:05AM

    Wow, such beautiful landscapes, thank's for sharing !

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Help Needed

Thursday, March 27, 2014

I have been trying to track the right amount of calories for this event. I was helping my son move. As things often are, it was a bit hectic on the final day of moving. My grandson was fascinated by all the action, his crib was dismantled and there just wasn't a proper place to put him down for his nap.

About 1 ½ hours AFTER he was supposed to be sleeping, I took a turn carrying him. I walked into the laundry room, shut out the lights and within about 30 seconds he was zonked . . . lights out in more ways than one.

'Moving boxes' just doesn't seem to fit the calorie count for what I was doing. Should I try to count the calories or just count myself lucky that this sweet little guy slept on my chest for 45 minutes?

Honest - I only slept for ½ that time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MADAMES 3/30/2014 4:10AM

    What a cute little guy!

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WALLAHALLA 3/29/2014 7:47PM

    Now that is a win/win! Count both!

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CERIUSLY 3/29/2014 7:22PM

    Nothing better than a baby on a chest! good suggestion to enter both and see what comes up. emoticon to the party! oops I mean challenge.

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LYNNIERN 3/28/2014 11:09PM


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SIERRAGOLD 3/28/2014 10:30PM

    I agree with DRAGONDAWN or do the heavy house cleaning. Put them both in and see what the calorie burn is. I love that pic... so cute! Thanks for sharing!

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DJ4HEALTH 3/28/2014 1:52AM

    I too would count it as heavy housecleaning and that is a nice break too.

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CARRIE925 3/27/2014 2:16PM

    heavy house work, lifting,and wakling will help. just take time to cuddle with your little guy.

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SIEGRID 3/27/2014 12:33PM

    I'd count it as heavy housework, and even if it doesn't give the right amount of calories tracked. Your body knows they are. The reward is more time spent with your adorable grandson!!!


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AALLEY2 3/27/2014 8:37AM

    emoticon as long as you track it, count yourself lucky to have cuddled with the little guy! Very precious! emoticon

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RUBYSNANA 3/27/2014 6:53AM

    Maybe count it as heavy housework, but……who cares when you had the sweet little one sleeping in your arms. Some times those quiet times are as valuable as our exercise.


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DRAGONSDAWN 3/27/2014 4:49AM

    I would probably count it as moving boxes and walking at a slow pace. Put those together and it should be close.

Good luck

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Nature at its finest - photos

Monday, March 17, 2014

I managed to witness an event on Saturday that does not happen very . . . . well . . . this is the first time in the 35 years I have lived here that I have witnessed it.

A group of between 100 - 200 Pacific White Sided Dolphins swam into the Squamish Harbour. The activity of these dolphins churned the waters as they leaped and arced, racing around the blind channel (a narrow channel that dead-ends further in, where the municipality has a marina for small ocean going pleasure craft)

This photo shows only a very small portion of the entire group.
The reason for this activity so close to shore is plain when one looked a little further out into the ocean.

A pod of Orca (Killer Whales) was looking for dinner.

Apparently the orcas have been following this group of dolphins, and wether the dolphins chose the blind channel as a place to hide from the Orca, or the Orca corralled the dolphins into this confined area for easier feeding is not clear to me.

What I do know is the sight of both of these magnificent creatures in the wild was awe inspiring and to see both of them so close to shore is incredible.

(disclaimer - not my photos, but they are of what I saw)
(Bottom photo is an Orca, breaching, with a full size dolphin in its mouth)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIERRAGOLD 3/24/2014 3:19AM

    This was a great blog! Dolphins and Killer Whales are very special to me. I've seen them myself many years ago off the coast of California. It's very rare to see them, so you're super lucky! You sure can see how giant that Whale is in proportion to the Dolphin.

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CASTIRONLADY 3/17/2014 7:25PM

    What a miracle that you were able to observe this amazing act of healing! That make you a witness and what an exceptional witness you are to have shared this with all of us. Thanks for the sharing of something most of us will never see or even hear about. God bless.

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THERLDL 3/17/2014 10:50AM

    This is awesome!

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MKMMARTY 3/17/2014 10:46AM

    Of all times for my choice to go to Vancouver... I missed it.
To rub insult to my injury I heard people talking that a couple of hours after I had been there - Yes I was there earlier in the morning with binoculars and camera hanging from my neck walking Dalhouise.
Sighting s were spotted of these amazing creatures.

- I walk here often not 35 years but I live in Squamish now over 5 years and I am always looking out over the water for signs of whales.. and the day they came I was not.....
-- but there is hope they will return as you said the Streamkeepers organization are working to improve the environment and so we might begin to see life come back.

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WINTERSSIX 3/17/2014 9:43AM

    That is just awesome! I love the pictures too. How amazing to be able to see something like that first hand! You are blessed :)

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DOUGLYE 3/17/2014 3:29AM

    About 20 years ago a chemical plant situated on the ocean shores of Squamish shut down. They made caustic soda (I didn't want to say lye 'cause that's my last name), chlorate, chlorine and a bunch of other chemicals.
About 10 years ago a nearby pulp and paper mill shut down.
About 4 years ago, a treatment plant was made for a stream coming from an abandoned copper mine. This stopped the toxins from washing into the ocean.
2 years ago, a group known as "Squamish StreamKeepers" wrapped the creosote pilings of the docks of the Squamish deep sea port. This wrapping stopped the toxins of the creosote from killing the herring eggs, resulting in a incredibly improved hatching of herring.

Judging by the dolphins, orca, humpback whales and seals that have ventured into the waterway known as Howe Sound this year, I would say this small area of ocean is beginning to heal.

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