Birkenhead Lake

birkenhead
Birkenhead Lake

Last August, me and two of my girlfriends went camping at Birkenhead Lake for four days. It was stunningly gorgeous and has now taken the top spot as my favourite campground that I’ve experienced thus far.

We were lucky in that we were all able to take time off work to go during the week. I don’t know how busy it gets there on weekends, but it was really quiet while we were there, especially considering how amazing the weather was that week.

On our first day we went down to the lake for a swim and it was really cold! Thankfully we later discovered that we’d been swimming right by where a glacier fed creek runs into the lake. After that we moved further down the beach and it was perfect – and I’m kind of a wuss when it comes to cold water!

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Birkenhead Lake

On our last full day there we decided to go for a little hike and found a path along the edge of the lake. It was absolutely beautiful, and as a bonus, we discovered a private little beach along the path. Next time I go there, I want to pack some food and drinks and head there for the afternoon.

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We found this spot on our hike and thought it was good for a photo op.

After four days of my favourite things – sunshine, lake floating and swimming, camping, and quality time with great friends – we headed home (stopping for brunch of course). I plan to go again this summer and hope to write an even more detailed post about it then.

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This was day one of camping, which you can tell by the condition of my hair. Yours truly on the left and my buddies behind me.

In terms of facilities and logistics – it is not quick to get to, and is down some long dirt roads – but totally worth it. They have outhouses, water pumps and bear proof garbage cans. The rangers are quite adamant about not leaving food and garbage out at your campsite. There are bears in the area, so you must be bear aware and take the necessary precautions. That being said, the biggest animal we came across was the deer that walked through our site. Speaking of sites, I liked the ones here because they are not too close together and are reasonably private. If you have the opportunity to camp here, I highly recommend it. Click the title of this post to go to the park’s site.

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Evening at Birkenhead Lake
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Practicing Positivity – My Jar of Awesome

My Jar of Awesome
My Jar of Awesome

Happy New Year everyone! I’ve been absent from the blog for a while. I had a nice break from work and I took a break from the blog as well in order to spend time with friends and family and to really and fully relax for a while.

I have a little tradition I’ve been doing for the past two years that I’d like to share with all of you as it has been very rewarding for me.

I call it my Jar of Awesome – but you can call yours whatever you like if you decide to do this as well.

I started it in January 2013. Every time something awesome happens – a fun day, an accomplishment, a friend having a baby…the list goes on – I write it down on a little piece of paper and pop it in the jar.

On New Year’s Day I spill all the little pieces of paper out and read them over. I find so much joy in doing this! I tend to forget a lot of the great things that occurred over the course of the year and being reminded of them and remembering those moments brings me into such a positive mind frame to start the new year.

I then write them all down in a moleskin notebook so I have a permanent record that I can look back on over the years.

There are a few reasons why I do this:

  • It’s a fun and happy tradition to start the new year.
  • It helps me remember all the good things that have happened over the course of the year, allowing me to reflect on it positively, and allowing the negatives to fade from my memory as much as possible.
  • I feel that in the future I will be very glad to have a record of all the happy events in my life over the years.

This year before emptying my jar I thought to myself “I don’t think I will have as many as the last year, I don’t recall as many awesome things this year.” Lo and behold, there were actually more than the previous year! Many had escaped my memory and I was very glad to be reminded of them.

Tip: After doing this for two years now, I’ve learned that it is a good idea to date the events, and it’s nice to include a few notes about some of them to help you remember. For example, if my note is that I attended the Vancouver Film Fest for the entire weekend, I might add a note about who I went with, who I ran into there, and what bands I discovered I really liked.

I also like to throw in concert tickets and similar items to paste into the book as well, to make it like a scrapbook. I’m also planning to print out pictures of some of the events to include as well.

This practice has been so much fun and really helped me to be positive and grateful for all the good things in my life. I hope you will choose to join me while the year is still young so that next New Year’s Day you can relive your best memories from the preceding year as well.

A Beautiful Day for a Hike

Yesterday I had a wonderful day doing what I love the most – exploring nature with a friend. For the locals: We headed out to Buntzen Lake in Port Moody. We did the loop around the lake, with a detour at the north end to go around another small lake and catch a glimpse of Indian Arm.

Hiker on trail
That’s my friend leading the way.

I love hiking year-round. The benefits of fall and winter hiking include the fact that you don’t get as hot and you don’t have to fend off the bugs!

And, you get to see some cool things, like this:

I love watching steam rise out of the trees to join the passing clouds.
I love watching steam rise out of the trees to join the passing clouds.

 

mountain in clouds
More cloud appreciation.

We stopped at North Beach for a snack and a stretch and got to appreciate the view.

Hiking shots
View from North Beach, Buntzen Lake Hike, Port Moody, BC, Canada
dock on lake with sky view
Dock at North Beach, Buntzen Lake

And then we continued on along the trail taking in the sites of the lake, moss covered trees, trail-side mushrooms, streams, and several waterfalls.

IMG_0594It was a gorgeous day for a hike. I only wish the pictures could do it justice. If you are able to, I highly suggest you find a friend, pack a bag and head out into the woods!

Make sure you are prepared though – hiking safety is important!  Check out the Mountain Equipment Co-op website for some tips and tricks.