Monday, August 11, 2014

Weekend Hike: Whytecliff Park

         It's hard to believe that we are actually fully in the month of August- not the beginning but in the thick of August. This weighs heavily on our minds as we seek to enjoy all that the West Coast has to offer while we still have this glorious sunshine- it feels like we are running out of time- sooner or later it will rain. Our weekends have been chock full of exploring new- to us- spots in and around the Lower Mainland- usually this time of year finds us on the road between the Okanagan and the Coast- a long and hard drive that takes a tonne out of our family. This summer we are mixing it up a bit- staying in the city-we are really relaxing and enjoying spending our weekends close to home- with dear friends but most of all with just the four of us.

         This past weekend we made the short trip up the coast to Whytecliff Park- just south of Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver- this park has long been on our list of places to visit and we finally made it! Whytecliff Park was Canada's first marine protected area- chock full of a wide variety of marine life- there are over 200 different species that call this place home. With stunning scenery and a wide variety of activities- from hiking and diving to tennis Whytecliff Park is a very popular spot on a sunshiny Saturday- we made sure to arrive before 10:00 to ensure finding a parking spot!

        With the tide all the way out we made the hike to the island just off shore easily- the Littles enjoyed watching about a half dozen seals playing and defending their young* just off shore while puttering around in the tidal pools that spot the island. The Mr. and I each made the hike/ climb up the rock- separately so the kids were not left unattended- miraculously I made it up as well as back down on my own- possibly the older I get the less time I have to be afraid of things like heights! The view from the top was stunning and I am so glad I chose to not be afraid.

        After a quick picnic and frisbee toss we headed to another of the park's many trails and further explored the other side of the cove- again stunning views- cool coastal breezes- sun on our shoulders- only the sound of the waves to be heard. By 2:00 the beach was packed- the island dotted with cliff jumpers- the trails were getting crowded with tourists- finding our little slice of peace and quiet happens early in the day- we knew it was time to move on. With the kind of tiered that only comes from a day spent in the salt air we loaded back into the truck to head home- bodies heavy with contentment.

* watching the seals protect their young from larger lone seals is amazing- there was chasing and fighting and lots of seals yelling- it was amazing to watch- not something you would see in an aquarium!

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