On my last day in Vancouver, and still desperate to hike after a day washed away by heavy rains, we headed to a place not too far from the city. While driving up to the trailhead, clouds were still lingering around the mountain which was not fully visible, and we had no choice but to assume they would lift in time. It was a little cold when we started hiking up a wide trail which appeared to be a green/blue skiing slope in winter. Soon, we took a narrower trail leading to the left. While there was quite a lot of water coming down the mountain, and we had to walk through small streams sometimes, we were surprised there was not much more mud around. Hiking proved easier than expected, and we advanced quite quickly up the mountain. There was some sun sometimes, but then again, we also saw clouds around us. Several times, we stopped to enjoy the view of clouds lifting from the forest: a spectacular scene.
We noticed we were close to a big city: many people were hiking here on this Sunday. One group coming down told us about a bear sighting, which got us a little excited. Would we really be so lucky as to see a bear today, where the last days there had not been a trace of them? Just when I forgot about the bear alert, we entered a small, open field of bushes and rocks. Then, suddenly, we saw him - a black bear! It took time to sink in to me - I was actually, really, looking at a full-grown black bear in the wild! And how different from my previous sighting a couple of months before, when I had walked right into a bear who turned around and ran before I was able to recover from the shock of his appearance. This time around, the bear seemed very relaxed, and was busy stuffing his stomach with blueberries without caring much about the people watching him, even when there was an increasing number of persons who stopped and some of us approached him slowly to get an even better view. The sight of that big black animal with its cute ears, working the branches of the blueberry bushes and eating constantly, was irresistible. Unfortunately, though, we had to move on and continue hiking, so we said goodbye to Paw (as we named him) and got started again.
The trail got steeper, which meant we were gaining altitude fast now, and soon, we reached the turn-off for the First Pump Peak, one of the peaks on the summit ridge. Instead of going up that peak, we continued hiking, past the Second Pump Peak, to the third. The landscape had changed: we were out of the forest now, and were sometimes scrambling on rocks and boulders, past small lakes, bushes in yellow and red dresses, and almost constant views of the surrounding area. The last climb took us right to the top of the Third Pump Peak, where we installed ourselves, trying to seek shelter against the wind. But wow - the views were great from here! We could see more mountains around us, as long as the clouds did not hide them from our eyes, we could see the other peaks along the summit ridge of Mount Seymour itself, and we also had an awesome view of Vancouver, the harbour, airport, Burrard Inlet and the Strait of Georgia. It was windy though, so we decided to descend again, hoping to see our bear friend. But he was not there anymore, and the hike down proved easy and fast. We were soon back in the city, which made me realize what a great city Vancouver is: so many options for outdoor activities on your doorstep are an asset to treasure!
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Mount Seymour (Canada). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Mount Seymour.
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