Welcome to a new year! 2022 seemed to pass so quickly… Hope you all had a peaceful and relaxing holiday season and that 2023 brings many great adventures!
If we were being outdoors today I’d be looking longingly at the North Shore mountains as it’s been a few weeks since we were last up there in the snow. They looked especially inviting on my bike ride into work a couple of days ago. The snow that fell in the city just before Christmas made it impractical (if not unsafe) to drive anywhere, and by the time we reached our days off, the rain had returned and was doing an excellent job of washing it all away. But it was actually nice to have some enforced downtime and to have lazy mornings where we didn’t have to get up early to join the crowds heading into the mountains. We spent a few days visiting friends on Vancouver Island for New Year and enjoyed a couple of quiet ferry rides which made us glad we have the sea when we can’t spend time in the mountains.
If we were being outdoors today I’d be marvelling at our exceptional hiking year. I have a summary blog post lined up which has grown too large to be a single post, so I’m working on splitting into a few shorter articles. We finished the year with a trio of snowy hikes, enjoying a wonderful sunset snowshoe on Mount Seymour, an incredibly atmospheric visit to Hollyburn (where we finally made use of our new snowshoes!), and a wonderful peaceful day on a trail near Whistler. Our final tally was 45 hikes over 67 days – we spent over two months of 2022 hiking! I think that’s pretty cool.
If we were being outdoors today I’d say how cool it was to see the king tides flooding the beaches. I ventured out in the rain to catch high tide at Jericho Beach, where I promptly bumped into two friends. We explored the beach for a while, working our way around the giant puddles where the incoming tide had flooded the sand and beyond. It was quite surreal to see the water washing over the path and lapping so far up the beach.
If we were being outdoors today I’d let you know how Stanley Park and the dykes at Boundary Bay are wonderful places to visit in the winter. The park is so much quieter than in the summer and, if the seawall is open, offers wonderful distant sight-lines to reduce that feeling of being cooped up at home. Plus, the waters off the west side of the park are abundant with rafts of goldeneye and surf scoters. The dykes, too, provide a sense of space to counter the claustrophobia of the grey clouds, and are another great area for watching various birds with murmurating flocks of dunlin on the shoreline and northern harriers floating over the marshes, as well as bald eagles and the occasional short-eared owl.
So, what will 2023 bring? January is often a month for planning, especially with the Parks Canada backcountry reservations opening up in a few weeks, so we need to get on that. Apart from that, who knows? Happy New Year!