|We've had so much rain recently that the park's rocky trails have turned into streams. John, Etienne and I did a lot of walking on water.|
|At the bottom of many of the trails, the water pooled into muddy puddles.|
|The rain made it hard to see much from the park's viewpoints. Etienne looks out toward Vancouver Island from the western shore.|
While his wife and toddler are away on a family visit, my nephew Etienne is baching it. What better way of filling a lonely man's weekend than taking him on his first-ever hike in Lighthouse Park? It's in a beautiful part of West Vancouver, the scenery is breathtaking, and on Saturday, after a week of on-and-off torrential downpours, it was very, very wet.
The steep rocky trails had turned into creeks with small lakes at the bottom. The ocean views were shrouded in mist. Mud was everywhere. And the rain just kept coming.
Unlike John, Etienne and I didn't have waterproof shoes, so our feet got wet, and our pants were muddied. But an eagle circled above our heads, an otter popped up from the rocky shore, and we breathed the kind of air that no office building has ever imagined -- the herbal freshness of a rain-drenched forest by the ocean.
As a new father and full-time office worker, Etienne doesn't get a lot of time for outdoor exercise, so I wasn't sure how he'd take this jaunt in the rain. But as we made our final, seemingly endless climb up to the parking lot, he remarked on how good he felt. "My lungs," he said, "haven't had this much oxygen since I don't know when."
|John's photos give a sense of how tricky it was to zig-zag our way down the rocks, roots and water of the trails.|
|Etienne is giving it a good shot.|
|I hang on to whatever's available as I follow.|
|Yes, my shoes and pants were pretty muddy. But at least I stayed upright!|
|Etienne and John at a lookout point. John is wearing his long black raincoat, which has been worth its weight in gold this rainy spring.|