Leapin’ Lizards!

3 October 2016 – Little Orphan Annie had no idea just how much leapin’ they could do — once transformed into a range of the Canadian Rockies. Neither did I. In fact I’d never heard of the Lizard Range, but here it is, with peaks soaring to 2,360 metres (7740 feet).

lizard Range in dusk silhouette

The range enfolds the town of Fernie, BC, along with the cold & fast-running Elk River. I’m getting to know all this because, after more happy days in Vancouver & the Lower Mainland, I’m up in the mountains with my Ottawa friend DJ. She’s now a winter-time resident of Fernie, and we’re making a quick fall escape to the family chalet.

First full day, we’re out of town, on up through Mount Fernie Provincial Park to Island Lake and our planned hike around the lake. Brilliant sunshine, & more beauty thrown casually around than seems possible. Except … there it is.

Island Lake, nr Fernie BC

We read the Trail Condition notices. We do not want close encounters with any wildlife larger than a red squirrel, definitely not with moose — whether angry (lower right) or merely mating (upper right).

on Island Lake Lodge notice board

We check the trails map, though our choice is dead simple: follow that jagged red line to circumnavigate the lake.

area trails

After sandwiches in bright Muskoka chairs at water’s edge, we set out.

And soon, sure enough, our first view of the island in the lake.

the island that gives the lake its name

Lake Trail is relatively flat — “flat” being a highly relative term, in the Rockies. With altitude (over 1,000 metres) making the ups & downs even steeper for unaccustomed lungs.

But rewards at every turn. Sunshine & still water double every image.

on the Lake Trail

Later, another double: this time human. An acrobatic young couple glorying in strength, agility, sunshine & each other.

near Island Lake Lodge

We pause in Mount Fernie Provincial Park on the way back out, to read more trail signs. These are for mountain-biking trails, with mountain attitude in every trail name & description …

detail, mountain bike trails through Mount Fernie Provincial Park

Past Perfect Parks

A quick salute to my last walk in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, once again prowling all around Main St. but this time hunting its near-by parks, not murals.

Special thanks to Carla …

nanny Carla, in Mount Pleasant Park

who combines first-rate nannying skills with artistic ingenuity & local knowledge. With her help, I find the other parks on my hit list: some for what they contain (an upright piano, in Robson Park), & two above all for their names.

Tea Swamp Park reminds you it used to be a swamp.

And then there’s the park with the original name, Guelph Park, still on display. Except that is historic information, not current. What began as a prank gained neighbourhood support, and the City eventually gave in. The current signboard bears the now-official name: Dude Chilling Park. Really.

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  1. I love the doubles and the signs.i’m enjoying the diversity of your Canada.


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    "Traveller, there is no path. Paths are made by walking" -- Antonio Machado (1875-1939)

    "The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes" -- Marcel Proust (1871-1922)

    "A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities" -- Rebecca Solnit, "Wanderlust: A History of Walking"

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