Friday, March 27, 2009

Night time at the Junos Party March 27, 2009


Since it wasn't raining I headed down to the Entertainment district to see what action was taking place at the Juno Street Party - I hadn't thought to bring my digital camera but did use the camera on my blackberry for a few shots - some came out - others were blurred - then I spent some time trying to figure out how to upload them to me computer - then it finally click in my brain - they are saved to the media card - so once I transferred the media card to my computer and edited them they are ready for posting here.

The street was busy - I took in a free concert at the Westjet stage - a group from Victoria called Velvet were playing - most upbeat rock - while the crowd was on the youngish side there were a few grey and balding heads there as well - I stayed for most of the performance - I enjoyed the music and was even clapping my hands with the rest of the assemble crowd.


Tomorrow I will be attending a Persian or Iranian New Year's Party in conjunction with the Y Connections program - over 100 people are expected according to the sign up at


Another Canucks victory tonight - they are now within one of the division leader Calgary and have a game against them at the end of the season that could decide who will win the division and get some home ice advantage in the early rounds of the playoffs - just think in January most people had written off the season and wanted the coach fired - amazing how the bandwagon has become overloaded of late but they are playing good team hockey and getting scoring from more than one line and are injury free at the moment.

More later



Thursday, March 26, 2009

Juno Fest '09 and looking for the first sgins of spring


One of the events taking place in Vancouver this weekend is the 2009 Juno awards - recognizing the contribution that Canadian artists have made to the world of music - it is held in a different Canadian city each year - this is our year to host it - in additional to the formal awards ceremony at GM Place on Sunday night there is also a street block festival along the Granville Entertainment strip - there will be some free open air concerts but most of the events will be inside these tents - a $30.00 wristband gets you access for the entire weekend - should be quite the scene there this weekend - along with the thousands who usually come down to drink there will also be the visitors taking in the action.

Yes I intend to make an appearance sometime on the weekend.


Today I took along my camera as I went for my walk - I took it for a specific reason - to see if there are any signs of spring given our continuing cool weather here on the coast and I am pleased to report that there are a few and only a few signs of it. The Cherry Blossom festival is slated to start next week and there is little sign that the trees are ready to bloom - they are about three weeks late.

Did find this blooming tree in the courtyard of my condo complex.

A couple of lonely daffs in the courtyard as well.

A great array of crocus near Sunset Beach in Vancouver.

A unnamed flower near the beach as well.
This isn't a flower - it the sun dial capsule at English Bay - from here I headed for lunch - a visit to the Gym and then proceeded to Granville Mall to see the setup for the Juno Street Party that starts tonight.

More later



Strange places to meet old friends

In my many years of employment and membership in outdoor and political clubs I got to know a fairly large group of like minded individuals most of whom I have long ago lost contact with so imagine my elation when in the course of a few days I renew my friendship with two of these old chums.

The first meet took place while I was out hiking on the Bunzten Lake trail on Sunday when a couple and their dog passed me on the trail - while I saw the individual I didn't think anything of it until he stopped and said -" do I know you from somewhere back in the 70's" - as soon as he told me his name - Andrew - I remembered where we knew each other from - the outdoor club at the YMCA in Vancouver - he reminded me that he was the one that came up with our club name - The Hygh Tymers - after introducing me to his wife and me becoming friends with their dog - we chatted for a few minutes until they had to leave to get back to trailhead and another engagement.

The second chance meeting happened last night - after dinner I often go for a walk along the Granville Entertainment district - I was just about done when I heard my name called at the corner of Davie and Granville - I look to see who it was and it was Peter - he was a long time member of the health club at the YMCA and I hadn't seen him since the building closed over two years ago - he was one of those members I frequently spent a fair amount of time chatting to in the HC lounge on a wide range of topics.

Anyway - we retreated inside the Blenz coffee shop at that corner where we spend more than an hour updating our activities and reviewing the state of affairs in the City, the Province, the country, the world, sports etc.

Even after we left the coffee shop we talked for another 30 0r s0 minutes on the street - he is really looking forward to getting back to the Y when it reopens next May.

So you never know where you will meet some of your old friends.


After the long bike ride yesterday I will be taking it easy today - a short walk along the seawall - lunch - a visit to the gym and then this evening a Y related event at our Langara site where I will probably see some more old friends.


Need to finish off the work party report for the FOYPS and do a little spring house cleaning - also need to figure out how to use the GPS function on my Blackberry.



Central Valley Greenway rekkie - March 25, 2009

Today I started out in search of the upgrades that have been made to the Central valley Greenway which is to link downtown Vancouver with New Westminster following a route used by our rapid transit line and the the main CN rail lines - much of the route has existed in one shape or form for several years but recently moneys were allocated to finished the project.

I started in downtown Vancouver - first on the False Creek seawall and into Science World where I picked up the new route which brought me onto the existing route near Broadway station - this part is well signed and generally follows the old Grandview Highway until it reaches Slocan St.

From Slocan it picks up the Skytrain route and follows it through to the Rupert Station.

This is where I have my first challenge - where is the route - didn't find the proper route so I took some of the lesser used roads and ended up at Boundary Rd - while looking for the start of the Burnaby section I found the proper route - its starts behind the station - it was closed for final payment anyway.

It was in Burnaby that I had the most trouble following the correct route - while a detour route suggested either Henning or Still Creek Drive - it still didn't lead to the correct route so I used local roads to reach my turn around point at Burnaby Lake.

One of the major and most expensive projects is the building of a bridge over the rail line at Sperling - this has long being the most dangerous crossing on the route - here's a picture of the overpass as it starts to take shape.

It is when I leave Burnaby Lake and end up on the Kengistion urban trail that I finally have found a section of the trail - it follows Still Creek - which forms in the Renfrew Heights area of Vancouver and then meanders through East Vancouver and Burnaby before flowing into Burnaby Lake - the Burnaby Lake to New West part of the route is basically finished as it uses an established urban trail.
Riding along the Greenway in Burnaby before it reaches the new Costco store.

This section isn't quite finished - Still Creek is seen in both of these images.

Returning back to Vancouver I stop for lunch at the McDonald's on Boundary Road and then take Boundary to the Adanac bike route and follow that all the way to back into the downtown core.

In all it was a great ride and good exercise - almost 40 KM on the odometer when I got home .



Sunday, March 22, 2009

Buntzen Lake walk to North Beach March 22, 2009

Today taking advantage of a nice and fairly warm spring day I head out to the Tri-Cities area and to Buntzen Lake for some hiking - as I did a bike ride yesterday I like to alternate my workouts when possible.

Buntzen Lake while not a regional park mostly because of the fact that it is a water storage reservoir for BC Hydro and thus is maintained by them - has a great selection of easy, medium and more difficult hikes, bike and horse trails and a fenced off doggy beach which I swear must have had every dog in the area there today and on the trails as well.

The one thing that I hadn't expected was that two of the three parking lots were still closed because of SNOW and the area around the trailhead still had some snow cover.

The plan was to hike about 4km along the east side of the trail to the North Beach picnic area and suspension bridge and then return by the Powerhouse Road for a total distance of around 8KM.

The Buntzen Lake trail is a well maintained gravel trail that alternates between lakeside and hillside and that has all of the creeks named in alpha order - you don't get a lot of views until you get to a viewpoint about 1/3 of the way along. It took me a little over an hour to reach the beach and suspension bridge.

Before the suspension bridge was put in you had to continue another KM or so and cross by the powerhouse to access the trail network on the west side of the Lake.

One of the nice things about this trail is that there are numerous other ones branching up and climbing to Eagle Ridge or up and over into Belcarra Regional Park and Sasamat Lake.

I take a short break at the beach and yes cross the suspension bridge and then turn around and follow the road back to the main parking area - the first lot was full and people where parking in the closed lots - there wasn't a lot of snow just some stuff that has been around for two month and is hard and compacted.

There were also a few trees down on the Lakeside trail but most had been bucked and were off by the side - also because of the warmer weather many of the creeks where cascading down the trail and road so that added an extra dimension to today's trip.

After a late lunch I headed home with a stop at the new Walmart in Vancouver for a few grocery items and then collapsed onto the sofa - tired from the walk - didn't have the best of my shoes on today either.

More later