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Two Spirits

In an effort to mentally prepare myself for the upcoming move, I did some packing this week. Not that there is so much to pack, because there is not, but now the winter clothes are done, some given away, while others we'll take home in the unlikely event we have a cold Florida winter in our future. And what does our future look like? Only time will tell.

While we are still here I am continuing my walking ways in the mild temperature. Between errands and sight seeing I racked up 20 miles in four days, which when averaged may not seem like a huge amount, but I'm here to tell you that the one day that I walked 9.5 miles is the most I've ever walked in all of my 64 years. And just what was I doing you ask? On a mission my friends.
I'll freely admit that I oftentimes do not like waiting around for, well, anything. Not the best trait for sure. And you might think that the older I get, the more patient I'd become, but I can't say that with any real honesty. So it was that when Brent showed me a photo taken in the Stanley Park forest, he also said he'd take me there late in the week. What? Me wait around for that? I don't think so!

My sister Carol frequently rails against technology, however, while I don't like all things tech, I do love a good Google search that will lead me to most anything I want to learn about. In this case, it was a tree sculpture. Studying the information, I took off walking around 8 in the morning, heading down Beach where I pass many beautiful gardens.
The hydrangeas! Prolific bloomers as I've come to expect. As are the above daisies, and the roses. Oh how I wish I were able to convey how fantastic they are.
Finally temperatures are in the low 70's, making me thirsty, so I stopped for a drink as I entered the park. Well hello ladybug!
One of several crawling around. Rarely do I see ladybugs at home so it has been a real delight seeing so many of them. I can't say as I will miss the crows though after the divebombing I took that day, and if you didn't see the map I posted earlier, take a look and you will see I am not alone.
Entering the park in the usual way, I walked beneath what are probably some of the last remaining Dogwood in bloom. This one is so neat because I believe the flowers begin life as white and become pink before they decline.
With my very worn map of the park in hand, I entered the forest.
With filtered sunlight streaming through the trees, the crunch of the gravel beneath my shoes, and bird song keeping me company, I followed the Rawlings trail until I came to Bridle trail, scanning the forest. Not seeing what I was looking for, I kept going and going, marveling at all that I saw.
Here are the roots of a fallen tree that is really not adequate, but it will have to do.
Talk about texture, oh my. I kept walking and walking, finally coming to a clearing and what I'd hoped was a bathroom. No such luck. So, now where was I? Studying the map, I discovered I wan't too far from a place that Dale had been hounding me to visit. Siwash Rock, a local landmark, my last visit detailed here, can be viewed from above and he insisted I had to see it for myself. Okay, how do I get there? Keep walking is how.

With the volume of trees I'd just passed, it is hard to imagine that this happened nearly 12 years ago.
10,000 trees! Right about now might be a good time to mention that walking in the forest here is nothing like at home because, while there may be some mosquitos I did not enounter, their numbers must be small. What a relief for a gal who is so sensitive to bites. How big are some of the leaves? Bigger than my foot, that's how big.
By now I was walking on a real sidewalk alongside one of the major park roadways, eventually coming to a sign for the rock.
Just an awesome cloud because I feel like it.

Okay, taking the turn, back into the forest, I went one way because the signage was somewhat limited. Not the right way however. Turning around, I came across a couple that were also on the wrong path. Consulting the map on her phone, she led the way.
Visiting from Rochester, New York, they were packing in as many activities as possible during their trip. I wonder how this view will rate once they go home?
Way above the seawall, the view was glorious. Or, at least in my book.
Seeing it from above, it becomes clear just why the bike traffic is one way on the seawall. As to the rock, mostly the trees blocked the view although it was totally worth the trip. Retracing my steps, hoping to find the sculpture, I did not. What I did do is take the bus home from English Bay as it was nearly noon and well, I was a bit tired. Plus, I knew I'd be walking later on as I had my teeth cleaning appointment across the city. So, that is how I racked up the miles that day.

I took a break from sightseeing the following day, doing some errands, when I came across this Canna Lily in such a beautiful hue. Our Mom was a big lover of this flower, although she probably had never seen one like this before.
With my teeth cleaned, my next appointment was for the doctor's office for my ears which are prone to filling with fluid. And while it has been bugging me for some time,  I figured that with our upcoming journey through the Rockies, the elevation might make for an uncomfortable experience. As well, unlike the last time it happened, I immediately recognized that a urinary tract infection was brewing inside. Correct on both accounts. On my way to get the prescriptions filled, look what I came across. So vibrant!
If it is not one festival it is another during the summer months. And the sunsets, whoa! A nightly show as the sun falls behind the mountains.
After having failed on my first mission, I was keen, after doing another Google search, to find the sculpture. Following a lovely chat with Dale and Jackie, I began walking, this time not entirely sure if I was up for it, however, once walking along the seawall, well, you see where this is going. Of course, along the way things drew my attention including this molting seagull.
More cool succulents beachside!
Try your hand in figuring out what caught my attention in this shot.
Kind of like one of those "I Spy" books, the young Starling kept hopping amongst the rocks, and in the above instance, was calling for food which one of the parents soon took care of.
In the very Canadian shot below, some geese make their way to the water.
As it turned out my friends, although I first went the wrong way, turning back around I eventually spotted it in this area. See anything?
Of course you don't because you don't know what I know. That is until now...
Success at last! Called "Two Spirits", apparently it was carved by an unknown artist in the mid 90's, while one of the faces is nearly gone, it is STUNNING in person.
Running my hands over the smooth wood, I was, once again, overjoyed that we have been able to spend this year in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. Am I right in thinking that you've also been happy to have toured it with us?

your friend,

Gail
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