Day 14 – The Daily Grind

Flying over VancouverFor the second day of exploring in Vancouver, the team again split up. Angus McLeod and David Crispin headed south, out of the city, to Boundary Bay Airport. Both experienced pilots, they hired light aircraft and explored the area from the air although, unfortunately, a low cloud base meant that they were unable to head too far into the mountains. Feet safely back on terra firma, they returned to the hotel for lunch.

What did you get up to, Graham? Bus #2 spent the morning of their second day at the Capilano suspension bridge. This feat of engineering cum eco theme park is just to the north of Vancouver and is set in the temperate rainforests native to the area and its first peoples. Walkways in the sky, high above the 200ft gorge, and educational nature trails culminated in the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge, impressively set above the river.

In the afternoon, the bus set out for the main activity of the day – Furry Creek Golf Club. Here, the Irish (David Calvert and Simon Carson) would take on the rest of the UK (Chris Hockley and Graham Nelson), on a very impressive hillside golf course. The holes were always spectacular, and the views stunning, and occasionally the golf was too. DC remained consistent throughout, with the champagne moment being Simon’s 200yd 2nd shot on the elevated par 5 11th, which found the green and an impressive birdie. In spite of Chris’s best efforts and the inspirational views on the iconic 14th hole, the Irish ran out winners 4 and 2. The drive home was nearly as impressive as the golf course, before a hurried dinner and early night, prior to transfer to Ottawa.

Furry Creek Golf Club

Post-lunch, the diarist and three other members of the team (Angus McLeod, Charles Dickenson and Ian Ashworth) ventured north to Grouse Mountain, a 4,000ft peak and local tourist attraction. The diarist and Angus decided to tackle the “Grouse Grind”, a 1.8-mile long trail up the mountain, involving 2,830 stairs and an elevation gain of 2,800 feet. Charles Dickenson has this to report: Ian and Charles decided the cable car would probably be quicker and less effort and arrived in time for a choice between a talk by a ranger about the mountain’s resident Grizzly bears and a lumberjack competition. The former was the unanimous choice and proved to be the correct one – halfway through the talk, the grizzlies, who had been taking a siesta just out of sight of the public, decided they had had enough of the ranger’s talk disturbing their slumbers and got up to see what all the noise was about, affording some 20 minutes of close observation by the small group that had gathered.

Grizzly bear

Angus and John arrived, somewhat damp from their exertions, just in time to see the bears before they disappeared out of sight. A quick climb up another few hundred feet afforded spectacular views of Vancouver from the Eye of the Wind (a wind turbine with viewing platform near the top). Various refreshments were consumed before all descended the easy way.

View from Grouse Mountain

Lollipop awards (Day 14):

Good – the Irish, for winning the golf.

Bad – Colin Skellett, for asking what the team would be wearing for travel to Ottawa, despite already being told, mere moments beforehand.

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