Every January since 2011 I’ve written a list of places I want to visit in Canada. For a couple of years, I made the mistake of publishing said lists on this blog. I can officially say that I’ve been to 0% of these places. This year I left BC for the first time for a week in Edmonton with work, but I didn’t see much and it wasn’t my plan or choice so I don’t really count it as a ‘seeing more of Canada’ success. The first half my 2014 has suggested that the second half will go in much the same direction, so I’ve decided to take a stand. No longer will I waste away long weekends ‘relaxing in the city’, looking at Tripadvisor reviews for places I don’t get around to booking, or complaining that nowhere is pet friendly (lies). Ladies and gentlemen, I have a plan for the summer. And it looks a bit like this:
June 13-15 – Bowen Island
Yes, that’s today. We’re heading to Bowen Island after work for a weekend with my brother and his girlfriend, and of course Dave is coming too. I’m very much not looking forward to the horrific Pet Area on the ferry, but am thankful that the journey is only 20 minutes and know that the outdoor hot tub on the deck of our beach-side guest suite will be more than worth it. I’ve been to Bowen Island before, but only for a day and it was a couple of years ago, so I’m looking forward to more exploring. It’s been an intense week for me as I completed a 5-day intensive personal development course in a basement with no shoes on, so I’m looking forward to some fresh air and relaxation.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how little I’ve seen of BC recently, and made the first step to putting this right this month by embarking on a day trip to the very beautiful Bowen Island. Bowen is just a 20 minute ferry ride from Horsehoe Bay in West Vancouver (a day trip in itself), and is known for its hiking, trails, scenery and all round ‘quaintness’. We decided to partake in all of the above and picked a sunny Friday to make our escape.
The bus to Horseshoe Bay is only 30 minutes (and $3.75 one way) from Downtown Vancouver, and the ferry just $10.75 return. This brings the total commute time to just one hour, which is ridiculously low when you realize that you’d be hard pressed to get further than Coquitlam in that time if you headed East instead of West. The ferry was small and the ‘ferry terminal’ at Snug Cove even smaller, consisting of one sign and a ramp. The foot passengers crowded around the cars and were let off first, and we headed straight up the hill to Snug Cove picnic area where we found our first trailhead. I’d spent a lot of time researching some short but moderately challenging trails that would give us the opportunity to see some views and get in a half-decent workout, and Dorman Point was the all round winner. The 2km climb took us approximately 30 minutes, and there were a few steep sections which I knew I’d be feeling in my glutes the next day. The rocky summit at the top was the perfect place for a picnic lunch, and we could clearly see across to Whytecliff Park on the mainland. The walk back down was even quicker, and the copious amount of ferns gave the trail somewhat of a Jurassic Park feel.