Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Grouse Grind...

I We did it! Perched 4100 feet above the city of Vancouver is Grouse Mountain.


With amazing views of the city, the wilderness, and the Cascade and Olympic Mountain ranges...more than 880,000 people take the skyride to the top annually. Then there are another 100,000 every year that take the alternate route...


...the Grouse Grind. I'm not sure why 100,000 crazy people would attempt this steep, mountainous trail annually...but we did it ONCE! People come from around the world to try to reach the mountain peak in record time. For us...it was just about getting to the top...and enjoying the journey. We soon figured out that the only enjoyable moments...were those where we were resting...or taking photos...or having a drink. Yup...it was pure torture...all 2,900 upward steps.
We moved aside to let many hikers by...and were so thrilled to actually pass a few people near the top. And once we arrived...it was worth every moment of pain. We sat on a deck...enjoyed a snack...

...and took in the amazing views...the city of Vancouver...

...the harbour...

...and a few paragliders taking a joy ride down.

The wildflowers are in full bloom....

...and the bees and butterflies had found their way to the mountain peak as well.

We have some amazing artists in this area...

...and the wood carvings on Grouse mountain are incredible!

Once we finished our 'breakfast'...we decided to do a little mountaintop exploring. Once you have conquered the Grouse Grind...everything else is gratis. We were not expecting to see grizzly bears...

...but as luck would have it...the two grizzlies that reside in the Grouse Mountain grizzly bear habitat...were just waiting for visitors!

It was rather hot...and so one of them decided to take a dip...

...and the other one put on a show for us. They weigh between 750 and 900 pounds...and are about 8 years old. Both were orphaned cubs...and have been raised right there...at the top of Grouse Mt....in a five acre retreat centre.

They are amazing...and agile. I took lots of pic's...since Ryder will want to hear every detail about the bears!

A little further down the trail...we discovered we could take a scenic chairlift...

...with more amazing views (no tickets required). I'm not sure why I had this fear...that I might not be able to dismount at end of the ride...but everything turned out just fine!

Oh yes...and there was even a little snow...here and there.


Grouse Mountain will soon be home to a wind turbine...and the bits of pieces of the first tower lay on a pad...ready to be assembled.

We returned from our scenic chair ride...

... just in time for the famous lumberjack show. Logging in British Columbia may not be what it once was...but these loggers are good!

This guy knew how to give us all a good fright...


...I'm hoping his wife was no where nearby.

We spent many enjoyable hours on Grouse Mountain...and know we will be back again...soon. I think we will take the easy way up next time...but who knows?

On the way home...

...we made a quick stop at Capilano Suspension Bridge.


The 450 foot long suspension bridge spans the 230 foot deep canyon. They happen to be celebrating their 120th birthday this year...

...and since neither of us had been here since we were kids...we thought it was time! As you can see...we were in good company. Once across the bridge...

...we took a short 'walk in the park' hike through a forest of ancient Douglas fir and western cedar. And before we left for home...we sat down in the shade to enjoy a nice cool ice-cream cone. As I was nearing the final lick of my cone...I looked up to see a crow perch on the shingles above me.


Oh yes...I have lots to crow about. It was a great day!

18 comments:

  1. Wow, what a great day out. All the photos are super!! I would have loved to climb to the top. It certainly was well worth it.
    Love the bridge.

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  2. That was marvelous. I love these kinds of photo stories. Your photos are so good and bright. Ya, you got a lot to crow about and a lot of stories to tell. The more I hear the Canadian stories, the more I want to come there. Blessings
    QMM

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  3. What a lovely adventure Judy..good to see you smiling after crossing the suspension bridge or was that before??
    I love how you ended with a crow picture:)

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  4. I must say . . you do have something to crow about. I am a jealous of your outing. You pack so much fun into your days. .
    I've never done the grouse grind. ..we've talked about it lots but somehow I have been convinced that I couldnt' do it. . .but maybe I can.

    It's been years since I've been to capilano too. .in fact I can't remember. We always did the free one .. Lynn canyon suspension bridge.

    Great post Judy .. .I love it.

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  5. I would say you definitely have something to crow about. I can imagine that was a grueling trek up the mountain, but the destination is awesome.

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  6. OK! You described it perfectly.
    Once and only once. We won't even talk about timing....

    I'm glad that the rest of the day looked much more beautiful and relaxing...

    I will do Cheam annually, but Grouse Grind is purely for those who want stay perfectly fit....The beauty is at the top, not during the climb.

    But we do everything once.

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  7. What a day!! Grouse Mountain is a place I'd love to visit some day. Such stunning views! and my Dh would love the lumberjack show. Looks like you had a perfect day!

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  8. It looks like an amazing day to be sure! You certainly do take advantage of your location, which is wonderful. Glad that you overcame your nerves for the ride. As you may imagine, I'd be all for the ride and not much for the climb.

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  9. Often scarey these rides but always so worth it. Thanks for sharing these beautiful views Judy.

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  10. Thanks for sharing about this day! I like to get ideas of what to do when our kids come home and this all sounds perfect - escept for the hike (with little ones in tow)would not work. Maybe Papa and Grammy will take the grands on the lift and let the kids take a hike.

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  11. So the 900 pound bear and the flimsy looking fence kinda made me nervous for yah!!

    What a spectacular day. You are apparently in great shape to get up that mountain girl...good for you.

    Again I marvel at the beauty of your country.

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  12. I am so proud of you. You are sooooo much braver than I am to venture out on the suspension bridge. I see that my horrible fear of heights restricts me from many a beautiful sight. Thanks for your bravery and pictures.

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  13. What a wonderful way to spend a summer day, Judy! It is certainly a fantastic view! I would never be able to do that climb...my knees hurt just thinking about it... so the tram would be my way to go to the top! The ski life ride looked like fun too -- I've been on those in many locations and they are a relaxing way to see the top of a mountain.

    Thoe bears look happy! Seeing them behind a fence is the only way I'd like to meet one...lol

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  14. Oh! And the suspension brdge looks like a interesting walk! Did it sway and bounce? I'll never forget the one I walked across in Northern Ireland.

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  15. Such beautiful views from up there!

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  16. Way to go, you two!! You could be an advertisement for 'living fit in Beautiful BC'! The photos make me want to go over and give the grind a try. The last time I went across that bridge was 1972 - maybe it's time to try it again.......

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  17. What glorious pictures! It must have been breathtaking up on that mountain. I especially enjoyed that carving. You take the greatest trips and thank you for sharing the beautiful pictures. Awesome.

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  18. what a fabulous day! haven't been to either place in years-thanx for sharing :)

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