Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hopkins Landing - Feb 19, 2009

After a string of beautiful sunny days, I finally made it out with the camera. Hopkins Landing is a short walk from my house and a lovely place to spend a sunny afternoon.

There is a bench out on the dock which stretches far enough out into Howe Sound, that you get the feeling you are actually out on the water. You can gaze back at the public beach that stretches 5km all the way into Gibsons. You can sit, relax, listen to the birds and the constant ebb and flow of the tide.

In the summer, this is a popular swimming spot and dock for both recreational purposes and for those who live on the nearby islands. It is a very walkable stretch of beach with lots of driftwood for a campfire.

Then of course, you can look the other direction and simply enjoy the North Shore Mountains. Grace Island is the very small island in the front of the picture. Gambier Island is just behind that, and then the mountains.

Snow levels are fairly low for February, a sign of the warm weather we have had of late. It is interesting to watch the white make its way lower down the mountain after a storm system, only to recede to higher elevations after a few sunny days.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Dakota Ridge - Feb 2, 2009

How to escape winter gray of the Pacific Northwest? Some head south in search of sun and tropics, but I like it right here. We spent a wonderful Sunday up on the mountain where rain was replaced with beautiful snowfall the entire day. There is something magical about trees covered in a white blanket.

Dakota Ridge is a recreational area near Wilson Creek on the Sunshine Coast. It is run mostly by volunteers who absolutley love the outdoors. A big thank you to Alpha Adventures - Outdoor Adventure Store who hosted their annual equipment demo day. We took their shuttle to the top of the mountain and tried out snowshoes and cross country skis. It was our first time to try these winter sports and Alpha's guides were fantastic.

This is me finishing up my first cross country ski session. Note the fact there is no one else in sight. This is skiing in nature...not with thousands of people jockeying for a spot on the slopes. There were a about 20 cars in the upper parking lot, but once out on the trails we were on our own. There is a warming hut and a washroom which make for a nice break in the day.
I can't wait to get back up on the mountain and do it all again.