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The Main Narrative
Welcome to our web report on our week-long trip to visit and explore on Vancouver Island, on the west coast of Canada. We wanted to combine a visit to Jenn's parents, relatives, and friends, and to also get out into the mountains - preferably something requiring some basic mountaineering skills, like an easy glacier climb.
Baker from Gabriola
Now, the 'mountains' portion of this web writeup was originally supposed to be an account of a climb of Mount Baker by myself, Jennifer, Pu, and Brian. You'll note, of course, that the title of this report says 'Vancouver Island'. What happened? Unfortunately, two ill-timed injuries put our technical climbing objectives out of reach. First, in June, Pu had an errant cyclist crash into him, sending him flying into a utility pole and dislocating and fracturing his shoulder. Ouch! Then, in July, Brian had a bit of bad luck in one of those 'aerial fun parks', snapping his leg just above the angle while doing a slide along a cable from one tree to another. Double Ouch!
Canadian Fins
With less than three able-bodied folks, I am not willing to do roped glacier climbing - therefore, we shelved the Mount Baker plans. Instead, we decided to stick exclusively to Vancouver Island, and get a feel for the higher mountains of the island, doing some non-technical climbs of peaks. Based on my investigations, the island seemed to have a wealth of good medium-height mountains that ran the gamut, from easy walk-up to technical climbing. as well, the higher and more remote parts of the Island seem to be very little visited, a fact I find interesting and alluring.
Mount Baker
We offered for Pu to come along with us on this modified itinerary. Given that we would now only be doing hiking, he could probably manage even though his shoulder was only partly healed from his accident. I think it took Pu about 18 seconds to accept - he was eager to get out and have some fun in the mountains! Unfortunately, Brian was in no shape to join us even for hiking. His leg break meant he'd still be in a cast, and the earliest he could expect to hike again was November. Sorry about the bad turn of luck, Brian - Remember, the evidence is mounting: you are much safer with us than playing around with your family!!!

Jenn wanted to get an extra bit of family visiting in before we started in earnest on the outdoorsy stuff, so she left a week earlier for the west coast. Pu and I followed her one week later, flying into Vancouver on Friday, September 2. Pu has relatives that live in Vancouver, and they graciously offered to let us stay with them in Vancouver for a short while (for myself, that meant just overnight and a bit of the next day, and for Pu, that meant for a few days).
Panoramic seat
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Live Satellite TV
Canada's Western Jewel
Chinese Dinner
We arrived at Vancouver in good time, and we very quickly (much more quickly than Pu could believe) had our luggage and were out at the pickup lanes, waiting for Pu's sister-in-law Shirley. She arrived shortly and drove us to her aunt's house in downtown Vancouver, where we were treated to a lovely dinner of chinese food, including some yummy baked salmon, and where we met a few other of Pu's relatives who were there to greet us. Thank you, everyone, for the wonderful hospitality!

The next day Shirley took Pu and I on a quick tour of Vancouver. We spent a nice hour or two walking around Granville Island, admiring the quaintness of this former-seaside-industrial-area-turned-upscale-market. We then walked along lively Davie street, stopping at Stepho's Greek Restaurant, a local popular spot for a bite of lunch. Then it was off for a walk along a bit of the shore in Stanley Park. A very pleasant day.
courtesy PChen
A bridge as art
Preparing to Busker
Market Produce
courtesy PChen
What Pu Captured
A stroll on Davie Street
English Bay Park
Pu and Shirley then dropped me off at the Seabus station near Canada place in downtown Vancouver, where I bought a ticket for the "Harbourlynx" ferry. The Harbourlynx ferry is a foot-traffic only ferry. It provides a pretty inexpensive and convenient way to get from downtown Vancouver to Nanaimo. I was now heading off to Vancouver Island to Jenn's parent's place, and Pu was staying with Shirley and co. for a few more days.
Cruise ship at Canada Place
The Lion Streaks across the sky
If you would like to see a few more of the pictures Pu and I took in Vancouver, click here to go to an in-depth page with more pictures.
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