A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about hiking

Exploring the Whistler Area

Hiking in the Whistler area and spending time in the village

semi-overcast 50 °F
View Fall Trip 2019 on Miss Chris's travel map.


We stopped in Squamish for our usual coffee and gluten-free brownies, then, moved on up to an RV park closer to Whistler. This RV park is located on the side of a hill and we love the sites that look over the valley.
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We spent the next 3 days hiking new trails and visiting the Whistler Village. The leaves were changing and a chill was in the air. One day it was snowing on top of the mountain, we had visions of skiing.

While walking in the village around we found a store “Ecologyst” with clothing made from organic fabrics and most everything made in Canada. Unfortunately, we hadn’t planned to buy a new wardrobe so we only touched the silky soft fabrics and drooled. In the “Amos and Andes” we found hand-knit sweaters that we must have someday and at Roots, we looked at new bags that we are sure that we need.
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At Benz Coffee, we like to sit at the window counter and look out at the Plaza with our coffee. We feel very decadent! It’s always a must-stop for us.
I took Dale to a waterfall at Narin Falls, this is a waterfall at the campground where we camped at with grandkids a few weeks ago. Grandkids and I walked had walked to it without Dale. The waterfall is a nice afternoon walk so I was glad he could see what we’d seen.
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The Whistler Interpretive Forest is just south of the village and there is a trail that runs from the Interpretive Forest to the village. The main trail is paved and we waked about 1-mile in. We were joined by bicyclists, runners, and other walkers. The trail is steep in places and we were huffing and puffing. There is a dirt bike trail along most of the trail we walked on which was steep and crazy.
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There is a dirt trail through the Interpretive Forest with signs that point out various plants and trees. This is a nice easy trail but probably not for wheelchairs. I loved the branches covered with moss laying on the ground.

The final day we drove past Pemberton, looking to see if there was any land or houses that we’d be interested in buying. We drove this road to Alaska so a little beyond Pemberton we remember the road being steep and narrow, not something we’d be happy to drive in the winter.

We didn’t find anything that would interest us to buy. It appears that most of the ground is on First Nation’s land and we didn’t see anything that would work for us.

We went back to the village where we bought British Columbia Ice Wine and for one last coffee.

Posted by Miss Chris 11:00 Archived in Canada Tagged road_trip hiking travel canada living whistler rv rv_travel grandkids_trip rv_adventures 2007_gmc_sierra 2007_gmc_2500 rv_camping Comments (0)

Business and Play in Vancouver

A day spent in offices and another day visiting local ski resorts

sunny 70 °F
View Fall Trip 2019 on Miss Chris's travel map.


I need to spend time in Canada in order to keep my Permanent Residence or qualify for Citizenship, so it made sense to spend a week and start to figure out some of the info we need for our eventual move. We thought that we’d stay in Vancouver for a few days.

We started our Monday morning at the Canadian version of the DMV. We were going to start the process of obtaining our drivers’ licenses but then decided we’d better wait as we were not ready to give up our California licenses.

From the DMV we went to the provincial insurance company with a list of questions about importing our cars. Needless to say, some of the procedures are different so we had to sort through those issues. We didn’t make it down to immigration but we still need to find out how much it will cost to import the sports cars. Hopefully, we can find some answers by phone.

Although we do not anticipate living in Vancouver, we did want to visit the local ski resorts. We have been to Whistler and planned to go there again, but we have heard about the local resorts and were anxious to check them out.

On Tuesday morning we packed up a lunch and started at the furthest one from our campground, Cypress Mountain, 30 min away. We walked around looking at the ski slopes and maps. Then we happened upon a trail, a loop around the Yew Lake.
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The 1.5-mile trail is an easy walk and although the trail is not paved, we did see someone pushing another person in a wheelchair. The lake is quite beautiful, however, the light was not great so photos, while fine, are not great.
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From Cypress, we drove another ½ hour or so to Grouse Mountain. Our Vancouver friends ski Grouse and had lots of good things to say. Unfortunately, the parking was not free and one must take a gondola to the mountain so we could not see anything. We decided that we’d just come up and ski sometime in order to check it out.

Our last resort to check was Mt. Seymore. We did not find a hiking trail but did walk around. The resort reminded us of Shirley Meadows, the resort near Bakersfield. It did look like a great little place to take some of the younger grandkids.
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We hope to return to Vancouver in January and actually ski some of the ski resorts.

Posted by Miss Chris 16:05 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip hiking travel canada camping living british_columbia rv outdoors rv_travel rv_adventures 2007_gmc_sierra 2007_gmc_2500 Comments (0)

Mesa Verde's Long House

A hike into the Long House

sunny 40 °F
View Fall trip 2018 on Miss Chris's travel map.

Tuesday morning, we had a fairly early hike, and with the drive up to the Mesa, another 45 minutes, made our departure time even earlier. I was a little concerned that there might be ice on the road as it was only in the 20’s but roads were clear.

For those who haven’t been to Mesa Verde, the mesa drive is so beautiful. There are pull-outs that look over the valley, pull-outs that look over the canyons one each side, and in some stretches, there is a drop off on each side with only the road visible. I found myself looking for ruins in alcoves within the canyon walls.

For this day we had a hike into a site we’d never visited before, “Long House”.

“Long House” is a different hike, 2 hours in total which includes the tour of the site, most other hikes only last 1 hour. The hike itself is easy at first, level and paved, but down into the site, the trail consists of steep switchbacks. It wasn’t so hard that we had to stop too many times on the way out, but, we wished we would have brought water.
https://www.nps.gov/meve/learn/historyculture/cd_long_house.htm

The ruins are appropriately named as the alcove is long with the site stretching along further than others do. The ranger led us thru the site walking to the rear to see the seep spring, pointing out where the people collected their water. We reflected on how the community must have interacted at the site, possibly gossiping or exchanging ideas while collecting their water or keeping the chaos of children’s games from muddying their water. Coming out of the site the ranger pointed out a hand print on the top of the alcove.
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Going into the sites gives one the sense of going back in time and the rangers are knowledgeable and give us a chance to reflect on those who went before us.
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We are looking forward to going back.

Posted by Miss Chris 11:00 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip hiking mesa_verde grandkids grandkids_travel rv_travel grandkids_trip rv_adventures gmc_truck gmc_sierra long_house Comments (0)

A Little Time in Balcony House

A walk into Balcony House in Mesa Verde


View Fall trip 2018 on Miss Chris's travel map.

Instead of playing in New Mexico on Sunday morning, we drove off to beat the storm. At least we hoped we were beating it. We wanted to get to Mesa Verde in Colorado where there was no rain in the forecast.

Driving north we always love driving by the “Earthship Homes” in New Mexico and someday we will stop so I can shoot photos of the fun homes. We know we are on the right road when we pass by the homes.

As we started over the pass we discovered that snow had already fallen, fortunately, the roads were not slick. It did snow for a bit while driving but mostly we left it behind after the pass. We did see so many beautiful trees in full fall colors and I was having Dale stop every few minutes so I could shoot more photos. He probably thought we would never get going.
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We got into Mesa Verde after dark, and it was really dark. If our truck lights had gone out we would have been goners as part of the road is on a steep hillside. This must be one of the darkest places on earth. We found the campground and backed into our site, hooking up to electricity. We were so happy for electricity as it was below freezing and the heater quickly made our RV warm and toasty.

I had looked online earlier and found that only 2 tours into ruins were available and that this was the last week of the tours for the year. We couldn’t buy tickets online but rather had to go to the Visitors Center to purchase them.

First thing Monday morning we drove down to the Visitors Center, got a Jr. Ranger book for Zaya and tickets for the 2 hikes available. One hike was for that afternoon and the other for Tuesday morning.

Monday’s hike was for Balcony House. I was looking forward to this hike as we go thru a tunnel that was used by the Ancestral Pueblo people. Kids could stand up in part of the tunnel but most of us were forced to crawl. This is also a great site as we could walk in areas where they walked and worked. https://www.mesaverde.org/files/uploaded-images/2013BalconyHs_English.pdf
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I had taken photos years ago in Balcony House but lost the negatives and gave the original photos away as a gift so I was so happy to be able to shoot photos again. I didn’t take the tripod but did carry my big camera for better photos.

Zaya was a little concerned about climbing the 30’ high ladder but after doing so wasn’t afraid at all for the others. But I was just a little worried when she was scrambling up the toe-holds etched into the cliff to the exit. She had to stretch her legs to get from one hold to another, then stopped and turned around to talk. I told her to keep her eyes on where she was going. I have no idea how I was planning to catch her if she fell and, since I was right behind her, I couldn’t shoot photos of the toe holds but did turn around and shoot one looking down the cliff. YIKES, how the ancients went up and down carrying babies, food or what have you, I have no idea!
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Once again, the Jr Ranger program opened up opportunities for Dale and me to learn more. We visited the pit houses on top of the mesa, learning how they were built and how people lived. We noted the foundation walls of a village around the excavated pit homes. As with our other Jr. Ranger events we had to read every word of every sign with Zaya but again learned so much.
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As the mesa top is open 24/7 we could take our time with our only worry being to leave by the time we wanted dinner. We were cold and tired when we returned to the RV but so happy with our exciting day.

Posted by Miss Chris 12:52 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip hiking mesa_verde grandkids grandkids_travel rv_travel grandkids_trip rv_adventures gmc_truck gmc_sierra balcony_house Comments (0)

The Birthday Backpack Trip Is Over

But we have a new plan for Glampacking!

sunny 73 °F

Nate, Bekki, and Camilo hiked out early taking the 2 youngest boys. They left Dale, Zaya and I to pack up as we wanted and hike out at our own pace. But, before they left, Jasper found Camilo’s stash of pop-tarts. He had quite a smile on his face when he was caught eating them up.
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We were really tired of freeze-dried food and didn’t feel like cooking up a big breakfast, so we ate some snacks and started packing up. We took the time to enjoy our last moments of solitude.
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The hike out was, at least at first, a nice stroll. We didn’t hurry along until clouds started gathering on the north and western horizons. Then the winds picked up. We have backpacked enough to know when to pick up the pace and we did.

Zaya was really great, she stopped every little while, pronouncing each place beautiful and pointed out some point of beauty. She was so glad to spot the Mulshy Meadow from the mountain, later pointing out where she thought that they had camped.
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We ran out of water before the trailhead and it was quite warm, not to mention that my pack was super heavy. We were so happy when we saw Nate heading our way with a water bottle.

As we walked out, Dale and I discussed some new ideas for backpacking. We have decided that we will either hire people to carry our stuff or hire someone with a pack service with donkeys.

We told Nate about this plan and he had thought the same thing. He knows someone who does this with donkeys and thinks that the donkeys carry about 100# each. Do you know how much fresh, good food, and equipment I can pack in 100#? Talk about Glam-backpacking! I’m there!!!!

Posted by Miss Chris 18:39 Archived in USA Tagged nature hiking backpacking outdoors family_backpack_trip high_sierra back_country eastern_sierra grandkinds Comments (0)

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