2021 March 7

This month Loopers were once again constrained to walking alone or in family groups. 24 individuals headed out, spanning the lower mainland from the North Shore to Delta and from Crescent Beach to Agassiz. Participants were challenged to photograph trees of interest and proved to be up to the challenge.

Individual outings are documented below.

Later that afternoon a number of the group participated in a Zoom de-briefing of the day’s activities.

Derek and Myra

Myra and I began our walk in dry but misty conditions from Inter River Park.

The mist seems to silence the forest and highlight the contrasting colour of the moss. Our destination today is this tree that is nearing the end of its life. At some point insects had nested in the lower trunk and was recently clawed away for food, most likely by a bear. I like the life cycle story it tells.

Our walk ended in heavy rain.

Angela and Dave

We opted to walk on the North Shore again, beginning at the north end of Berkley Road in Blueridge.

Angela has a knee problem, so the route we chose was in two parts. We walked half the distance together — a 6 km loop rooted at Hill Road and made up of various pieces of Mary Kirk Access Trail, the Baden Powell Trail and Bridle Path — and Dave then walked the second part on trails from Hill Road to Deep Cove.

In the first part, there was some exploring of minor, unnamed trails (the exploring being sometimes intentional and sometimes not) while moving between the main trails. The woods were busy (not surprising on a Sunday in the time of Covid), so being on the minor trails helped. Canyon Creek was the water feature in the centre of our walk.

It was a very enjoyable, slightly rainy woods walk. We paid more than the usual amount of attention to trees. Our nomination for significant tree of the day is the one that reminded us of a Nazgul helmet from The Lord of the Rings.

And we got home, luckily, in time to watch from inside the house a couple of dramatic showers of hail.

Bruce and Janet

Janet and I stayed close to home, and hiked from Parkgate to Bridle Path and up to Baden Powell and down Old Buck back to Parkgate. We had a nice mix of weather; rain, sun, rain and hail.


Every morning Maki and I take an amble around our backyard. We enjoy the daily nature changes – buds appearing on shrubs and trees, flower blooms swelling to ready for opening, breezes whispering through trees in the ravine, birds busy at the feeders and squirrels for Maki to chase.

These are some of the trees behind our backyard. Innes loved to go on solo explorations in the ravine so these trees, especially one of them where his ashes are buried, will forever be extra special to us. 

Fred, Joette, Jean, and Michael

We started out at the usual time of 10:30 and headed east from the foot of Boundary Road on the north arm of the Fraser River. The weather was mixed with a few showers at the start and then it settled down with even a little sunshine on the return leg.  This is an urban walk that nevertheless moves through wooded areas and provides some very pleasant vistas across the Fraser River, including long log booms moving downriver at a leisurely pace, a scene that could have been viewed in virtually the same way two centuries ago.

The walk itself has changed significantly over the last few years, with a series of recent upgrades that have lengthened it and provided a separate parallel trail over a significant portion, providing needed breathing space and better access for bikes and wheelchairs.  A bonus feature is the large picnic area about halfway in that has all the amenities you would expect, including washrooms and picnic tables, certainly an attractive proposition, especially around sunset!

Gordon and Joanne

This month we went to the Richmond Nature Park, just off Westminster Highway.  The weather was sunny and spring is in the air.  We walked all the trails – Bog Forest Trail, Quaking Trail, the Time Trail and the Pond Trail.  Some of the trails close to the Nature House are elevated boardwalk to enable those in strollers and wheelchairs access to nature.  Other trails had new bark mulch and occasional mud!  We saw lots of birds, several squirrels and a rabbit at a place with lots of bird feeders. 

We learned what happened to the area many millennium ago and the impact of the highway on the area when it was built – loss of water.  We came across a group of volunteers endeavouring to get rid of invasive blueberry bushes by covering them in black tarp cloth – basically cutting off their light source.  The forest is a mix of silver birch trees and Shore Pines.  We chose a baby Shore Pine Tree because first and foremost it was easy to photograph and we liked its bonsai shape.  A great walk!

Alan and Julie

Our original plan was to do a loop up and around SFU – basically the long circuit walk 61 from “109 Walks”, with maybe a little extra walking around SFU.  But Sunday morning Julie was feeling a bit under the weather and decided something shorter would suit her better.  So we walked apart-together-apart.  Julie dropped me off at Dalla-Tina Avenue at the base of the mountain, then drove up Centennial Way to the Centennial Pavilion parking lot. She walked around the park for a while, while I hiked up the TCT, taking the nature trail route.  It was a bit wet and muddy but very foresty – and deserted. 

We met up by Horizons Restaurant, then hiked together along the TCT to SFU, and part way around.  Then Julie headed back to the car, via the SFU Academic Quadrangle, while I continued on the TCT to Cardiac Hill, through SFU, the park, and back down to the starting point (taking the more direct, less interesting but less slippery bike route) where Julie picked me up.

Liz and Jon

We did a two loop walk today.  We drove to Everett Crowley Park and began our walk with a clockwise loop on the perimeter trail around Fraserview golf course.  Although it was drizzling as we left home, by the time we started walking the skies started to clear and the sun poked through a few times.  The southern part of the Fraserview trail is quite wooded, and the trail had fresh cedar mulch on it for part of the way.  The northern part of the trail is more open to the surrounding streets.

Having completed the loop, we crossed Kerr Street and entered Everett Crowley Park.  It is a very popular dog walking spot and we encountered many four-legged friends out enjoying the day.  We did another loop heading east along the north side of the park and then descending to Avalon Pond in the middle of the park.  From there we continued south and west, finally looping around to our starting point.  We encountered a brief shower just before getting back to the car.

Janet S

I walked the Burnaby Mountain loop, climbing the 500 steps at the end of the walk. I left later than I meant to and got soaked in a long rain shower, in the afternoon. I saw very few people on the trail, so it was nice and quiet.


As I mentioned, I walked thru McCartney park with Heather and Kim early Sunday but decided to cheat and do Norvan Falls on Tuesday which is now completed. 14.3 km in 4 hours was a fast pace considering the slippery snow sections and a little time spent hanging out at the falls and metal bridge. At 8:30 start we saw very few people until the return when we saw about 20-25 heading up.  Several tree pictures of which one makes me think of my beard when I dye it green, the face in the tree, and the dinosaur toes.

Carol and Sandy

We set out for Crescent Beach, stopping at the amazing Fieldstone Bakery https://fieldstonebread.com/ along the way to buy many loaves of their Italian Pugliese bread.

At the start of our walk we were met by a welcoming tree, silhouetted against a clearing sky.  It was so cold that we really had to bundle up.  Luckily, Sandy had an extra pair of gloves for Carol, who was grateful to borrow them.  After a nice walk along the shore, we spotted an unusual evergreen tree with deciduous-looking leaves – already forgotten the name, and no photo. (But kudos to Joette for helping to identify it later.)

We had fish and chips for lunch, half-way, and then made our way back to the car more inland.  We walked down an interesting alley where a crow looked down on us, and a seahorse met us along the way. We then peeked into great old Camp Alexandra – to relive summer camp memories.

Carolyn, Anne, and Maurice

An adventure in pictures…….

As three loopy loopers, we we set out on an afternoon of indeterminable weather, but undaunted we searched for a new adventure. As luck would have it we came upon Syéxw Chó:leqw, translated from Halq’eméylem meaning ‘rockslide in the forest’.

Here in a beautiful, mystical setting on 33 acres of Stolo land, midway between Agassiz and Hope lies an adventure park containing nearly 6 kilometres of multi-use walking and cycling trails.

Upon entering, it became clear that the spirit trees are always watching 

and there would be much to see, feel and experience: at viewing platforms along the water,

little places tucked away for enjoying a quiet reflection time, 

and amazingly carved trees, whose spirits have been brought to life as Stolo legends, along the winding paths. Many times we looked over our shoulders as we passed by the watching eyes…

During our explorations, the afternoon light was soon obscured by the passing clouds which blew in dark and ominous (perhaps by some signal from the mysterious ‘tree’ spirits) and sent us scuttling for shelter under the last majestic cedars, to escape from the sudden storm of falling sleet. We huddled under the towering mother trees…….

(few of which are left since early loggers cleared the biggest and mightiest of them, the giant stumps of which are seen all along the trails).

This gave us pause to take in the grandness of the giant moss covered boulders of the rockslide.

As we continued on along the way, we discovered that if nature called, we could rest assured that we had a pit stop……

After we left the forest delights and entered the final clearing, we paused in awe of the towering and haunting vision of Th’owxeya, the Cannibal Woman, who came down from the mountain to steal children and throw them into the basket on her back.

And as we scuttled away from her, the sky brightened once again and we discovered we are never too ‘mature’ to enjoy the whimsy of a playground!

By 4:30 we returned to the starting place of our Sunday exploration and the time to say goodbye to our spirit friends…..

But in the end, the lure of another adventure was too much for Anne and Maurice, they hopped on the complimentary bikes and off they went, back into the mystical forest ……….

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