About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A is for AN AWESOME ADVENTURE ABOVE


And AWAY we go! We're now on Round 3 of ABC Wednesday, courtesy of Denise Nesbitt at Mrs. Nesbitt's Place. It's ACTUALLY my second go-round as I began at the letter B during Round 2. It's a lot of fun to challenge yourself with not only photographs of something that begins with the weekly letter, but also to write a narrative to go along with the photos. I did have an idea to do something different, but since I just went UP one of our local mountains (Grouse Mountain) with my UK visitors on Sunday, I just "had" to post about our ADVENTURE ABOVE the city.

Grouse Mountain was named by the first recorded hikers to reach the summit in October 1894. In those days, climbing Grouse Mountain was a three or four day epic journey - there was no bridge across Burrard Inlet and no road to the base. The hardy group of hikers slogged through snow, scrambled over rock and up through the dense forest. Along the way, they hunted a Blue Grouse and honoured the plentiful game bird by calling the Peak "Grouse Mountain".

The mountain is also the location of a very popular hiking trail known as the Grouse Grind. It's an extremely steep and mountainous trail that climbs 2,800 ft over a distance of 1.8 miles. The trail is known for being notoriously grueling for its hikers because of its steepness and mountainous terrain . It is popular among outdoor enthusiasts in Greater Vancouver, and hikers will often time themselves to see how quickly they reach the top. The Average time is approximately 90 minutes, although hikers who are physically fit can finish it in 45 minutes.





(Be sure to click on the photos to see them in a larger format.)

We opted instead to use the famous Grouse Mountain Skyride that took us high above towering Douglas firs. We had breathtaking views of the city of Vancouver, the sparkling Pacific Ocean, the Gulf Islands, and a few leftover snowy peaks.
















A mile up the mountain, we disembarked to begin the next stage of our ADVENTURE. The first thing I noticed was the new zipline. It's not very long right now, but there are plans to enlarge its route through the area. I was wishing I could give it a go, but decided it'd be a bit foolish considering the condition of my poor aching back. I was also wishing that one of my friends would try it out, but they didn't so we watched lots of young people scream as they let go and zipped to the end.



Next, we went off to see the lumberjack show, which was incredible. Those guys are extremely talented! They raced up bare 60-foot poles, rolled logs to try to throw their opponents in the water, and one fellow even went up one of the poles and did a bunch of tricks up there. (e.g. stood on his head!!!) After that, we strolled further on into the mountain to see the Birds in Motion show. The handlers used an owl, a hawk, and a falcon to demonstrate the birds' abilities. While watching, we were treated to an incredible view of Mount Baker over in Washington State.




The new Grizzly Bear Habitat is incredible. This home to orphaned grizzly bears, grey wolves and a host of other species is a research, education, and conservation centre. You MUST click on the link to view a short 3-minute video showing this huge habitat, the two cubs that currently live in it (Grinder and Coola) and about the work being done here.




Strolling along the pathways we saw many gigantic statues depicting the local wildlife and the customs/traditions of Vancouverites. There were lumberjacks, sports figures, bears, and eagles along with totem poles and other native art forms. Cathy and I posed with the hockey player while Don and Jane posed with the basketball player. There's also a lacrosse player. I had to show you these to demonstrate how ASTRONOMICAL they are!



















Here we have a grizzly and eagle catching a fish.










Here are hikers (left) and lumberjacks (right).










When we went into the Spirit Gallery gift shop, both Jane and I were attacked by a grizzly bear! He got his sharp claws around Jane's neck and wouldn't let go, but I managed to talk him into scratching my head instead.






After walking around enjoying the shows and the scenery for several hours, we then went for dinner at "Altitudes," one of the four restaurants on the mountain. We had a table overlooking the city and Burrard Inlet, which flows into Georgia Strait, which in turn flows into the Pacific Ocean. We watched the sun set behind the mountains and the lights of the city come on below us. Descending the mountain via the Skyride was even better than ascending as the city was alive with sparkling lights. The weather was great that day and we didn't even need the light jackets we'd brought with us. For more information about what else you can do on Grouse Mountain during the winter go to http://www.grousemountain.com/Winter/ and for information about what you can do in the summer go to http://www.grousemountain.com/Summer/

If any of you come to Vancouver, Grouse Mountain is an ADVENTURE you will never forget!

13 comments:

Michelle said...

First visit...That was some amazing scenery. I would have passed on the zip line too..GG

LUIZ SANTILLI JR. said...

Leslie,

Do you remember me? I'm returning to blogos!

Interesting sequence of photos!!

(My english is poor, to comment post so long, escuse-me)

Have a nice week

Luiz

Paulie said...

What a wonderful adventure -- enjoyed my computer seat tour!

Jo said...

Leslie, WOW!! No wonder you're pooped now. What a busy person you've been. That trip up Grouse Mountain looks fantastic. I've never been up there!

Great post!

Texas Travelers said...

Great post of A.
Wonderful adventure.

Amazing array of photos.
Well done.

Come visit,
Troy and Martha

Your EG Tour Guide said...

What a wonderful adventure! How long did it take for you to get to the top on the Skyride? Sounds like a fabulous place to take vistors this time of year. The view must be spectacular!

me ann my camera said...

This sounds, and looks like you had an incredible visit and a fantastic place! Great blog, love the information you have included.

A for ann at varying seasons

CaBaCuRl said...

Thanks for taking us along on a great day out. Owls & raptors are favourite animals of mine...how wonderful to see their skills.

ellen b. said...

All the extra photos here for your adventure are great Leslie. Looks like a fun time!

starnitesky said...

I enjoyed your adventure with you, what a great place to visit and those views are breathtaking.

Digital Polaroids said...

What an awesome adventure! Lucky you!

CherryPie said...

What a lovely set of photos, really interesting :-)

Katney said...

We took the lift to Grouse Mountain for dinner in January of 1970. The night was so clear we could see the lights of Nanaimo.

The next morning when we got up, we found that a storm had come in after we had come to our hotel. There were many inches of new snow and it took us hours and hours to get back to Seattle.