Maria had dance practice, and since I’d dropped her off in East Van, I continued on and went for a walk along Lynn Creek, following the route described in the `109 Walks’ book. Surprisingly there was snow from the beginning and I only had my trainers on…. So a fair bit of slipping and sliding became the order of the day. I started along the banks of the creek, here quite wide and shallow. A few exposed rocks had a dusting of snow. As I headed upstream, the snow became softer, deeper and less icy. The place was crawling with dogs and their owners – it’s a big dog-walking area – but eventually the trail narrowed to, well, a trail as it entered the forest and I left all the dogs behind.
At this point I had no idea how far I intended to go, I just wanted a walk. But I quickly became hooked on just being outside and kept going. You know that feeling, `Just until I can see around the next corner…’ :-) In the forest it was quiet, apart from the rushing stream. Snow covered everything and icicles and icy droplets were everywhere. I stopped to admire a big-leaf maple festooned in moss and ferns now all covered in snow, as if someone had emptied a feather pillow over it. Moving on at a reasonable pace, the trail was easy to follow, and of course wet and/or icy and slippery. I paused here and there to look at snowy trees, tiny creeks and peer down to Lynn Creek itself whenever possible. The trail became boardwalk in places, and the uphill stretches became harder and more slippery. But I kept going, always thinking I’d turn round `soon’.
Of course, `soon’ became `I wonder how much further it is to the half-way point’ at which point I would be committed to completing the loop, not merely going back on myself. The Baden-Powell trail came in from the right and I thought I was further along that I actually was, so I made the decision to keep going. In reality I was still quite a way off the half-way point but now I had committed myself. Passing old logging stumps sprouting new growth and slip-sliding my way down a series of steps, I came to the small flat area and was able to get down to Lynn Creek. A hint of blue sky made for a nice photo-op. The trail carried on over boardwalk, and rose away from the creek again into the forest.
Before long I came to the jewel of the hike: Twin Falls. I had never been there before, and I didn’t even know they existed. I thought they’d be a little waterfall, a couple of rapids or something, but no: Twin Falls is an absolutely gorgeous waterfall. The creek squeezes through a narrow gorge upstream of the falls before cascading over two roughly equal drops into a large open pool. Wow! How come I was not aware of these falls? They were just beautiful, and I took the chance to go down the slope to get a better view (while remaining behind the chain-link fence). I was mesmerized, and it took some effort to drag myself away and get going again. I crossed the bridge and up the bank on the other side for the boring bit of the hike, a long stretch along sidewalks and roads. Well mostly boring. There was the interesting spectacle of seeing a tank parked in someone’s driveway, though it was covered in tarps and I didn’t think it was polite to point the camera over the fence into their garden :-) Then back into the woods along Hastings Creek, a very pleasant (and typically North Shore) creek, before emerging on another short stretch of road and rejoining the trail alongside Lynn Creek.
Soon I was back at the car – I’d been out almost three hours, just a little longer than expected… But it was worth it.
Distance: 9 km
Elevation gain: 100 m
Photos on Flickr