Something I was only too aware of before before coming to Vancouver was that it rains here a lot. I’ve always had a sort of romantic idea about the rain, usually with images of being inside, next to a fire with blankets, tea and books while the rain batters the roof outside. This is what I like to think my experience will be when I think about a rainy day, but I’ve lived in a country where it rains a lot of the time for most of my life and I can say that in reality, rain is just rain.
I had been trying to scope out what sort of rainy day activities there were to do in Vancouver, what people get up to when they can no longer lie on the beach or casually take kayaking trips on the weekends. From all of those conversations, it seemed like people didn’t do much at all. There were no special winter time activities outside going to the mountains to ski, and the impression I got is that everyone retreats inside and waits for the rain to pass.
That option doesn’t really work for us, because we have a big list of things to do and only a certain amount of time to do it all. With that in mind, we figured we’d better just get used to it now and get out there, rain or no rain. Even after discovering a small hole in my hiking boot, I persevered, found a solution, and off we went. As a side note, I now have a new pair of hiking boots.
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Lynn Canyon Park
The pull of Lynn Canyon for us was the suspension bridge that stretches from one side of the canyon to the other, hanging 50 metres above the ground. The bridge is surrounded by trees, waterfalls, and the running water below. When you stand at the start of the bridge and look across your path, it looks like the end is swallowed up by the trees, like going inside is entering another world, the world of the forest.
The day we went, we had the most incredible view of the mist between the huge, towering evergreen trees. It was like something out of a movie, and I was so glad we chose that day, despite the rain and the hole in my shoe, to visit this place.
Even without the bridge, Lynn Canyon has so much to offer. There are a number of different trails you can take, and a 30 foot pool surrounded by rocks and trees where you can go for an outdoor swim (but maybe wait for the weather to warm up again). We chose to do the hike to Twin Falls, perfect for a rainy day with wooden steps and platforms all along the path to guide your way through the forest.
Twin Falls is a really easy hike that only takes about an hour, but we managed to draw it out by stopping every now and then to appreciate how incredible our surroundings were. About halfway through we stopped to stand under a tree for shelter from the rain and ate our pre-packaged sandwiches, smiling at passers by who were amused by our decision to have a picnic in the rain in the middle of a forest. All I was missing was a flask of tea and it would have made for a perfect moment.
We never wanted to leave Lynn Canyon, and our short trip to Twin Falls and back ended far too soon for us. We decided to make our way down the steep stairway to the Baden Powell Trail after we returned to the starting point, realising about halfway down that we were going to have to go back up those same steep steps. We followed the path along for a while, taking time to stop and look at streams and at mushrooms growing on the trunks of fallen trees, and then we turned around and made our way back, climbing back up the stairs and walking out of the park and towards the bus stop.
This is probably what I would describe as a perfect day (editing out the part where we got on a bus going in the wrong direction on our return journey, but even perfect days have imperfect moments). We spent time in nature, explored a new place, and left with a renewed sense of excitement for this city we chose to come to, a reminder of why we’re here. We also got to tick off a bucket list item!
The rain has completely subsided now and as I write this, the Autumn afternoon sunlight is streaming in through the balcony doors. But I know the rain will return again, and when it does I’ll be ready for whatever it will lead us to discover next.
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All images my own