This month saw Loopers reconnecting on the trail (!), at least partially. We also include a report this month from our new European branch of Loopers.
Since we were in Step One of BC’s Restart, we could walk in groups of up to 10, and gather post-walk in the same-sized groups. It seemed fitting to revisit the walk we did the last time we came out of more restrictive lock-down: a loop comprising Salop Trail and the Lynn Valley Link, fleshed out with some extra walking. For reference, the previous outing was in July, 2020. Because this year’s theme is “Into the Forest”, we replaced the more urban walk down the original Link Trail with a newer option that included Hastings Creek.
We had 16 walkers this month, split into 3 groups. To maximize connections while still fitting in with the provincial guidelines (or are they rules?), we had two groups start and end at Sutherland School (at 10:15 and 10:30), walking our route in a counter-clockwise direction, and one group start and end at Bridgman Park (10:30), walking in a clockwise direction. This meant that the groups travelling in opposite directions would meet up twice during the walk. As it turned out, the groups travelling in the same direction also met up twice!
The weather didn’t cooperate as we had been led to believe it would, so the two Sutherland groups were huddled in their cars until the last possible moment while the Bridgeman group assembled under a convenient shelter in the park. Once all had arrived, Group 1 (SG1) headed off south-bound on the Salop Trail and SG2 followed 15 minutes later. Around the time SG2 departed, the Bridgman Group (BG) headed out north-bound on the Salop Trail.
The first meetup was partway down the Salop Trail where SG1 encountered BG. There was enough catching up to do, that it didn’t end until SG2 showed up! More chatting ensued.
The second meeting was on the trail along Hastings Creek (in Hunter Park). SG2 and BG met up, with a surprised “What happened to the group in between us?”! We didn’t have to worry much, as SG1 appeared soon after the meeting. It turned out they had opted for Lynn Valley Mall rather than Waves Coffee Shop, and modified their route a bit because of that. With all the Loopers now together there was more catching up and chatting.
Eventually, BG continued in their clockwise direction and the two Sutherland groups merged into one (still within the Covid number limits!), since SG1’s iPhone with the route on it had run out of juice.
The following are descriptions from the individual groups.
Sutherland Group 1 (SG1)
Larrie, Janet K, Bruce, Alan and Julie set out in a counter-clockwise direction from Sutherland Secondary School after discussing various ways of dealing with rain. Umbrellas and a rain-jacket loaner from Angela helped bolster our confidence.
Alan led the way with a track from Dave supported by Larrie’s experience and Janet’s previous domicile in Poet’s Corner; however it was discovered after a deluge or two that cold wet fingers and phone surfaces make navigation sometimes challenging. Julie, with hat and not much else, took the offer of Bruce’s poncho happily and stood still while he tucked up her hem so she could square dance. Bruce also had the opportunity to review the interpretation of whistle signals. One for attention (wait up!) and two for alert (bio-breakers, woman with dogs approaching!).
The trip through the parks was otherwise enjoyable, with rushing streams and lavish ferns; likewise the neighbourhoods’ quiet and peacefulness. We arrived back to warm cars and breaking sky. A most enjoyable route, though we might want to do it again on a dry day.
Sutherland Group 2 (SG2)
Adrienne, Janet S, Carol, Sandy and Dave met up in the Sutherland School car park. Shortly after our arrival, there was a torrential downpour, so we sheltered in our cars until it had eased off a bit and headed out north-bound on the Salop Trail at about 10:30 We met up with the Bridgman Group (BG) talking to Sutherland Group 1 (SG1) partway down the Salop Trail.
Being Loopers we presumably all walked happily past any “Trail Closed Ahead” signs, put in place to warn us about an outage on the Hastings Creek Trail. A walk-around existed since we’re not the only ones to have ignored these signs over the last couple of years. Coming out of the Hastings Creek Park on 27th, SG2 ran into SG1, who were taking a bit of a break. Some welcome, though unscheduled, chatting ensued and then SG2 waited a bit after SG1 departed before continuing.
The weather being much damper and colder than planned for, SG2 opted to stop at Waves Coffee Shop in Lynn Valley for a hot beverage (mostly hot chocolates, but also coffees and chai lattes) before continuing.
After the meeting of all the Loopers in Hunter Creek Park the two SG groups combined forces and proceeded. As the joined Sutherland Group entered Princess Park, two of the group broke off to take a more direct line back to the cars. They looked very comfortable when the groups rejoined, sitting in a (dry!) car with the seat-warmers turned on.
Everyone being damp and cold (gloves were used by many on this walk!), there was no enthusiasm for afters in the park. One of the walkers headed to Grand Boulevard to find a solitary non-walking Looper waiting for us under an umbrella, summery cocktail in hand.
Bridgman Park Group (BG)
Liz, Jon, Joette, Fred, Jean and Michael gathered under shelter at Bridgman Park in the midst of a steady rain. Fortunately, as we headed out up the Salop trail the rain let up and then stopped for a while. About half an hour into our walk we encountered SG1 and stopped for a brief chat. Just as we parted company with SG1, SG2 arrived and another brief conversation ensued.
We pressed on and about when we passed Sutherland School the rain started up again. We continued on to Princess Park where we took advantage of the picnic shelter there for a brief rest and snack break. After descending along the powerline we turned back into Hunter Creek Park where we encountered SG2 closely followed by SG1.
As we crossed Mountain Highway, tempted by SG1’s tales of hot beverages we contemplated a stop at Waves Coffee but decided to carry on. Along this more urban part of our walk we passed a little free library, which of course had to be browsed (Liz even borrowed out a book). Shortly thereafter we encountered a giant hedge worm.
From there we descended again to Hastings Creek, ignoring the “Trail Closed” sign and as with the others, bypassed the small section of trail that was actually closed. As we neared the end of the trail we were passed by a flying heron which made Jon happy.
Report from the Netherlands
Hi All from The Netherlands!
Yes, I’m here now and have put together a few pictures of my arrival and our June walk.
After many preparations and TWO… yes 2…. Negative covid tests … I was allowed to depart Vancouver with KLM for the Netherlands. I arrived in Amsterdam on Sunday, May 31st. Jos picked me up at the airport and when we rounded the corner of our street there was a beautiful Welcome Home sign posted in front of our door by friends of Jos.
Jos had also put up a poster of the Capilano Suspension bridge so it would feel like home.
After 5 days and another negative covid test we were allowed out of quarantine, although I have to say it was much easier than quarantine in Canada. It was more of an honour system since no one checked on us. So, we were able to participate in the Sunday, June 6th Loopers walk-at-a-distance… and I guess this was a real distance 😉
We walked in our neighbourhood. The starting selfie is at the Middle point of the Benelux, along the Reusel, approximately 400 meters from our home. We walked along the Reusel, through the fields and woods to the Natural Monument site Groot Speijk. Groot Speijk has a Visitor Centre with a cafe where we had rest, enjoyed a Hoegarden Radler, a Weiss Beer and some snacks. See link below, just ask google to translate it if it doesn’t automatically translate for you.
We walked just over 10 kms, below is a map of the area but not quite our walking route since google doesn’t know the walking trails.
I hope you enjoy the pictures and a little information about my new neighbourhood.
Cheers, Karina & Jos
Words by Dave, Julie, Jon, Karina
Photos by Dave, Bruce, Larrie, Michael, Liz, Jon, Karina