Birds of a Feather – Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival, Nov 19 – 20

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Photo: Rob Weiss

From my first sighting, I have been fascinated with Bald Eagles.  I am inexplicably drawn to the sight and sound of these majestic Raptors.  Their calls stir something in my heart and the sight of them catching an updraft and soaring simply mesmerizes me.  To my great delight, my love for Eagles is a shared passion and this November 19 – 20, eagle enthusiasts and aficionados from around the world will be congregating in the Fraser Valley to share their passion.  It’s time for the 21st Annual Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival, celebrating the Season of the Eagles and Salmon.  This is the lower mainland’s fastest growing festival and home to the largest recorded number of eagles in an area that is only 2 square kilometres in size.

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Birds of a Feather – Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival, Nov 19 – 20

Whey-Ah-Whichen – Fall Kayaking at Cates Park

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Indian Arm Photo: Rob Weiss

Although the dog days of summer are long behind us, I simply can’t bring myself to put away my paddling gear. Fortunately, Vancouver is not only a world class water sport destination, but our mild climate means any day is a great day to paddle. Granted cooler fall and winter temperatures mean it is extremely important to be safe and sensible, but with proper preparation and good judgement year round paddling is a treat that can be enjoyed by all boating enthusiasts. Recently, my paddling partner and I saw a break in the weather and planned an afternoon trip out of Cates Park in North Vancouver. Known as Whey-Ah-Whichen, the Tsleil-Waututh ancestral name for the land means “faces the wind.” This area is the largest waterfront park in North Vancouver and one of my favourite launch spots. During the summer, the sandy beaches are full of beachcombers in search of treasure and the playground and picnic areas are teaming with families. Cates Park is also home to Takaya Tours and the Cates Park Paddling Centre. Open May to October, Takaya Tours is a First Nation owned eco-tourism company and one of Vancouver’s premiere cultural tourism businesses offering an exciting and authentic interpretation of Coast Salish culture.

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Whey-Ah-Whichen – Fall Kayaking at Cates Park

Stanley Park Mystery – The Case of the Incredible Shrinking Lake

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Beaver Lake Photo: Rob Weiss

Almost everyone loves a mystery, and what could be more mysterious than a disappearing lake?  Vanishing lake, you ask?  Yes, it is true.  Stanley Park is home to Beaver Lake, Vancouver’s incredible shrinking lake. Clue Hunters, interested in cracking the case, will need to venture off the seawall and head deep in to the forest to explore the inner wonders of Stanley Park.  Granted, the stunning views of mountains, sky and ocean along the famous seawall are difficult to leave behind, but an “off-trip” to explore Beaver Lake is worth the short detour. My favourite access point to the lake is via a stone gateway beneath Stanley Park drive.  I feel like I am entering a whole new world when I pass under the gateway, hike along the Ravine Trail adjacent to the salmon bearing Beaver Creek and emerge into the lush rain forest featuring cedar, fir and hemlock trees.

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Stanley Park Mystery – The Case of the Incredible Shrinking Lake

Vancouver’s Love Affair with Coffee – I’ll take mine with a Splash of Nature

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Horseshoe Bay Photo: Rob Weiss

I adore coffee, and like many Vancouverites, my morning cup is a daily ritual and my local Barista a trusted friend.  Fortunately, when in Vancouver, you do not need to look far to find a coffee shop.  From your basic double-double to exclusive gourmet roasters, the city has much to offer.  For many, the simple surge of caffeine is the draw, but in neighbourhoods throughout the city, the local coffee shop reflects the fabric of the community.  These welcoming spaces have become neighbourhood hubs so to speak.  From Gastown to the Drive, it is apparent that we love our Java.

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Vancouver’s Love Affair with Coffee – I’ll take mine with a Splash of Nature

Quarry Rock, North Vancouver – Selfies on Steroids

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View from Quarry Rock, North Vancouver Photo: Rob Weiss

Searching for that iconic “Vancouver Selfie” for your Instagram feed? Look no further than Quarry Rock in North Vancouver. Arguably, this natural, rocky outcrop has become a destination of choice for those seeking a relatively easy day hike through dappled, lush west coast rain forest to a scenic viewpoint. In truth, scenic viewpoint doesn’t adequately describe the panoramic views of Indian Arm and Deep Cove that are the rewards for those who complete the climb. Spectacular, breathtaking, awe-inspiring and quintessentially Vancouver comes to mind when describing the Quarry Rock views. However, in my opinion, this little hike is so much more than an opportunity to snap a selfie. Be sure to slow down and absorb all of the sights, smells and sounds along the route!

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Quarry Rock, North Vancouver – Selfies on Steroids

A Vancouver Newcomer’s Observations Vol 4: Falling Forever

Photo: http://stylebykimxo.com

Photo: http://stylebykimxo.com

Hello Vancouver! I’m Britanny, and I am new to the city. Join me as I uncover new reasons to fall in love with Vancouver each week!

In lieu of Thanksgiving having just passed, I’d like to start by saying that I cannot express how thankful I am to call this wonderful city home. As we speak I am currently experiencing my first fall in Vancouver, so as you can expect my mind is being blown daily. Fall has always been my favourite Continue reading:
A Vancouver Newcomer’s Observations Vol 4: Falling Forever

Salmon Smorgasbord – Kayak the Harrison River

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Eagles feasting on salmon Photo: Rob Weiss

Against all odds, each and every fall, millions of BC salmon fight an epic and awe-inspiring battle.  These fish courageously make their way from the mighty Pacific Ocean to travel upstream on their quest to spawn.  Rivers and spawning channels across the province team with life.  Like the salmon, paddlers, photographers, and fishermen also flock to the rivers to partake in this natural phenomenon.  My paddling partner and I find ourselves joining this annual migration and our destination of choice is the Harrison River.

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Salmon Smorgasbord – Kayak the Harrison River