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

Hike Upper Shannon Falls – the Sea to Summit Trail

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Shannon Falls Photo: Rob Weiss

Do waterfalls capture your imagination?  A waterfall, almost any waterfall, is fascinating mesmerizing, awe-inspiring.  We stand for hours listening, admiring, photographing, painting.  For centuries waterfalls have inspired poets, artists and musicians. Today we post pictures to Instagram and tweet on #WaterfallWednesday.  Personally, I find myself inexplicably drawn to their power and beauty.  Something about the thundering roar of water cascading down a mountain stirs me deep inside and energizes me to follow the trail toward them, as if drawn by their sheer energy.

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Hike Upper Shannon Falls – the Sea to Summit Trail

Ewok sighting at UBC? Greenheart TreeWalk – Vancouver’s Suspended Eco-Attraction

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Greenheart TreeWalk Photo: Rob Weiss

Swinging high above the forest floor on the Greenheart TreeWalk, I began to imagine myself as a heroine in a Star Wars movie. With every twist and turn I fully expected to encounter an Ewok, one of those diminutive furry species first made famous in Return of the Jedi.  If you recall, the Ewoks made their homes in the forest canopy, 15 metres above the ground.  Their Bright Tree Village was connected through a series of ladders, bridges, vines and catwalks. Unlike the imagined land created for the big screen in Star Wars, the Greenheart TreeWalk located in the UBC Botanical Garden is a real world eco-adventure.

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Ewok sighting at UBC? Greenheart TreeWalk – Vancouver’s Suspended Eco-Attraction

Cruising Vancouver’s False Creek – Aquabus Style

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Aquabus tour of False Creek Photo: Rob Weiss

What comes to mind when you think about cruising?  Cocktails on the Lido deck, gourmet meals, shipboard entertainment and exotic destinations?  Well, reimagine cruising and conjure up the image of a little engine that could chugging through the waters of False Creek.  Now add a Canadian flag, a rainbow coloured exterior and voila – Aquabus.  These ferries have been plying Vancouver’s waters since 1983, transporting passengers between stops located along the banks of False Creek.  I decided it was time to discover my inner mariner and spend a day with Aquabus, a staycation so to speak.

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Cruising Vancouver’s False Creek – Aquabus Style

Vancouver Mini Escapes: Half-Day Trip to Bowen Island

BowenIsland-8Summer’s almost over … but not quite yet.

If you’re looking for one last getaway from the city but are short on time, consider the little island that’s practically in Vancouver’s backyard: Bowen Island.  You get a taste of Gulf Island living, beautiful forests, a small town and pristine beaches – and you can be back home in time for dinner.

I checked out Bowen over a recent weekend and was amazed at how much there is to do. Getting there is relatively easy.  Ferries leave regularly from the Horseshoe Bay Terminal in West Vancouver.  The quick, 20-minute trip will set you back $11.65 for a roundtrip ticket (add an extra $32.90 if you bring a car).  I drove on this time, but I’ve biked on in the past. (Bowen’s mountainous topography makes for dramatic – if somewhat exhausting – cycling.)

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Vancouver Mini Escapes: Half-Day Trip to Bowen Island

PHOTO ESSAY: Vancouver Daytrip to the “Gates of Hell”

HellsGateEssay (1 of 13)In 1808, explorer Simon Fraser – while canoeing the river that now bears his name in interior British Columbia – came upon a terrifying sight.  At one point, the massive river narrows to just 34 metres and churns through a ferocious set of rapids.  He wrote, “This was a place where no human being should venture, for surely we have encountered the gates of hell.”

Despite Fraser’s warning, I decided to venture to Hell’s Gate over the weekend.  Located about 2.5 hours northeast of Vancouver along Highway 1, the site is now home to the ever popular Hell’s Gate Airtram, which whisks passengers safely across the rapids without even having to get their feet wet.

Here are a few photos from my descent into the infernal depths of Hell’s Gate:  Continue reading:
PHOTO ESSAY: Vancouver Daytrip to the “Gates of Hell”

Top 5 Victoria Day Long Weekend Daytrips from Vancouver

Photo credit: jvde | Flickr

Planning a staycation for this Victoria Day Long Weekend?  Don’t worry – You can still get out of the city, soak up B.C.’s natural splendours and be home in time for dinner.

Here are five long weekend daytrip ideas.  All of these options are within a 90-minute drive of downtown Vancouver and emphasize the great outdoors.  Got more ideas?  Please comment below.

  • Whytecliff Park: This 15-hectare waterfront park in Horseshoe Bay is only 30-45 minutes from the concrete jungles of downtown Vancouver.  It features a small, sandy beach, cliffs plunging dramatically to the brisk waters of Howe Sound and even a little island you can swim to that sits just offshore.  For families, there’s a large grassy picnic area with changing rooms.

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Top 5 Victoria Day Long Weekend Daytrips from Vancouver