Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Winter routines

You can try to negotiate the icy streets of Dunbar, or you can go down to sea level and walk Jericho Beach like John and I did on Tuesday. The bonus at Jericho is the view, captured by John.

As the night falls, the lights on the mountains start showing. Photo by John. 

A  lone paddle-boarder makes his way in to shore at sunset. I hope his wetsuit is very thick and warm. Photo by John.

Dog-walkers are out in force on the beach. Maybe their dogs don't like icy sidewalks either. 
The setting sun turns a spotlight on downtown Vancouver.

An overflowing storm sewer discharging into the ocean digs out a mini-canyon in the sand. 

John and I pride ourselves on being able to fling open our front door and walk (me) or bicycle (him) in any direction to our heart's content. The idea of having to drive somewhere in order to exercise has always been anathema to us.

But this month's weather is forcing us to reconsider. Ever since Dec. 5, our area -- which attracts and harbours snow earlier and longer than almost anywhere else in the city -- has been treacherous for walking or cycling. We've finally admitted defeat; if we're going to get any exercise, we'll have to leave the neighbourhood.

Yesterday we made the 10-minute drive down the hill to Jericho Beach. We saw: A mini-canyon carved out of the sand by an overflowing storm sewer. The setting sun beaming a spotlight of gold successively on the mountains, the freighters, and then the whole city skyline. A lone paddle-boarder making his way to shore from the ocean. Dozens of dog-walkers, with their joyous charges bouncing and playing in the sand. Three substantial rabbits nibbling away at the underbrush. The ocean-front side of the glitzy Jericho Tennis Club, all modern glass and angles. We walked until after dark, when the lights of the ski runs on the North Shore mountains threw a glittering halo into the night sky; the freighters at anchor came alive with lights, and the city's downtown became a mass of sparkling gold.

With an alternative like that to turn to, it's pretty hard to complain about the snow forcing us to change our routine.

Fresh snow in Dunbar a few days ago means our area won't be seeing clear sidewalks for awhile yet. Here, John confers with a passerby about what trails might be walkable in Pacific Spirit Park, which is in the Dunbar area.

The snow keeps melting, freezing and re-melting, creating sidewalks of ice.

Lots of trees keep the snow off some trails in Pacific Spirit Park, where John and I walked a few days ago. 

1 comment:

  1. Great them! I hope you're soon back to walking in your neighbourhood but glad to hear you aren't braving the icy sidewalks. This weather must have been quite hard for a lot of people. We'll have to be careful what we say. When Jim replied to the cabbie's question about where we'd been with "In Palm Springs for 6 1/2 weeks but we usually spend 5 months so miss winter altogether" didn't go over that well.