Thursday, January 29, 2015

Eagle Bluffs

We've done this hike a couple times with Whiskey but what makes it so strange this year is that Cypress Mountain has no snow! The ski mountain is bare this year and I've never seen it like this, especially in January.
The Cypress Ski slopes in January
Not much snow on the trails either, but a little slippery
beautiful mist on a snow covered pond
Whiskey blends in, this is her land!
Eagle Bluffs is a great short hike if you are ok with a steady incline. The elevation is only 350 meters and is over pretty quickly. Once you reach the top of the elevation climb, there is a nice view from Black Mountain and then you head through a meandering trail to Eagle Bluffs for a beautiful view of the city. It's a great 3-4 hour hike from the Cypress parking lots but be warned you'll need to get a free yellow "hiking pass" to walk past the ski area during the ski season (you can get the pass at the old lodge where the buses pick up and drop off).

A little stream of melting water
Vancouver's mountains are gorgeous
pausing for a break on top of Black Mountain
A view from Black Mountain
the trail is sometimes also the stream
Normally I wouldn't attempt this hike in winter because of the incline and the snow (well maybe with snowshoes), but there was barely anything this year and with only a couple slippery bits, we could easily accomplish it in hiking boots.

markers and trail is very easy to follow
breathtaking view from the Bluffs
the city from the mountain
Whiskey just wants to play with the snowboarders
We had a bit of trouble keeping our curious Vizsla off the ski slopes, as the hike follows the ski slope up. Be sure to keep your dog on-leash if there is any traffic! Whiskey was exceptionally bouncy today and must have ran 3x times the path going up and down like it was nothing. This must be an "extra bouncy" stage of puppy-hood.

At the peak with my Vizsla girl!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Discovering new city parks

One thing when you have a dog and need to get out for walks is that you quickly get bored of your local park no matter how awesome it is (ours is pretty awesome). So when our washing machine broke and we needed to pick a new one out ASAP, we found ourselves in a new part of town we rarely visit. We discovered the Everett Crowley park near the Knight St bridge to Richmond.

It's quite pretty in the rain. I can't say for a sunny day yet.
It's great to have the park to ourselves.
Lots and lots of space! 100 acres
Our crew today is 2 humans 1 princess
At 100 acres the park is a good size to walk an active dog and not feel like you are going in circles. All the inside trails are off-leash and on our very rainy walk, we basically had the whole park to ourselves.

she will climb anything
the inside off leash trails
a little wildlife area
taking some smaller paths
There is a lack of garbage cans around so watch out for them and remember to pick up. There's a beautiful pond in the middle dedicated to wildlife in the area. Aside from the large flat gravel path there are also some smaller trails that criss-cross throughout. We'll certainly come here again when we want an easy stroll and are in the area.

Where does this trail go? who cares!

all tired she decides to sleep UNDER the seat covers

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Pacific Spirit

The Pacific Spirit Park is one of those amazing parks in the center of the city that makes you love Vancouver so much. Like Stanley park, it's easily accessible and intersected by roads while also giving visitors the feeling of being in a real forest just steps away from home. Whenever we're feeling lazy (or it's threatening to rain heavily) we zip over to the park for a short walk.
our puppy is getting older!
whiskey looking for the stick we threw
getting better with her jumping aim
The park connects with one of the best dog beaches in the city -Spanish Banks with an amazing view of West/North Vancouver as well as the downtown city. From here we turned into the forest for a long loop. We've also done loops further in the park without going to the beach (so many options!).

The view from Spanish Banks on a rainy day
Whiskey loves her stumps
happiest place for a vizsla
There is a surprising variation in the paths and terrain you can experience. We've also had less altercations with unruly/aggressive dogs here than Stanley park. Whiskey loves the amount of sticks here to chase after and of course we had to take some photos to share.

she doesn't retrieve yet, she runs with it and chews it
different paths around the park
a mini swamp

Friday, January 2, 2015

Dog Mountain in snow

Dog mountain has been our go-to mountain since we've had Whiskey. Close to town, an amazing view (though not this time), a short-ish length with an interesting trail and dog-friendly...what else do you want? We knew this hike is pretty popular so assumed the trail would have been packed enough for normal boots, although in some places it was icy enough that small crampons would have been an option.

the first 10 mins of any walk with these two is nuts
the gorgeous Millie with her Christmas collar
a conversation
kangarooing through the snow
another version of the raindeer
Whiskey is still all legs
Whiskey and her half-sister Millie ran up and down like little speed-demons. There's a section where normally there is a pond and a small open area that was untouched. They kangarooed through the deep snow and we were laughing so hard! Millie even ran so hard her poor paws started bleeding. It's a good thing her parents had boots to slip on at the peak. As soon as the boots came on, she was happily galloping away again. They puppies also started shivering once we stopped for pictures so we put the jackets on.

No need to throw sticks with these two
flying vizslas!
this trail is so much fun, snow/rain/sun
Whiskey has her Christmas bow on
treats? gimmie!
There was no view because of the clouds but we took a picture anyways. Lets hope these dogs sleep for at least a couple hours now!

Vizslas, kisses, humans

baby it's cold outside!