Friday, 26 April 2013

Park n Ride under a Pink Moon

 It was the first beautiful evening of the year, perfect for being tourists in our own town. The man and I were on our own for a bit, so we grabbed our cameras and went for an evening ride.

As we approached the Burrard St Bridge on our way to the park, 
I had one of those "Love at First Sight" moments. 
Meet the lovely and charming Buket:

 She's wonderful.
Check out her megawatt grin, and look at those SHOES!!! 
You've gotta love it... the girl has style with a smile. Not only is she wearing high heels, but they're colourful and stripy and fun and everything! She's a soul sister, bless her, and meeting her put me in a great mood for the rest of the evening.  I always get a permygrin-on when I meet another member of the tribe... it makes my heart happy! :D

Onward... our goal: to take the seawall around Stanley Park.

(The red stars are our various stops... note that we missed visiting Beaver Lake.  THAT's another day's adventure.)
After meeting lovely Buket, we rode over the bridge, straight up the Hornby St bike lane, and back across to Burrard St, where we started filming our ride:

Our route took us right past the Westin Bayshore,

which for the longest time was the place to see and be seen (or unseen), thanks in no small part to Howard Hughes. Local lore has it that he called one day to book the top four floors of the hotel, and when met with resistance he insisted, threatening to buy the hotel if necessary. 

Can you imagine?
March 14 From an article by Aaron Chapman, published in the CourierDecember 16, 2004: “On an early and rainy Tuesday morning, March 14, 1972, an older man in an old bathrobe, pajama bottoms and sandals walked into the side lobby of the Bayshore Inn in Vancouver. Surrounded by a half-dozen bodyguards and staff, the tall, oddly dressed gent casually strolled around the nearly unoccupied lobby, commenting, ‘This is pretty nice.’ He moved into the elevator with the men and up to the penthouse suite where he would remain unseen, never leaving his single room for the duration of his six-month stay. Howard Hughes had arrived in Vancouver.”
A few minutes after his arrival he stood at his penthouse window to watch a seaplane land. The last time Hughes had viewed the harbor was in 1945, when he piloted Vancouver actress-turned-Hollywood star Yvonne de Carlo on a flight over Vancouver. This time, local photographers began a stakeout, but without success because Hughes was soon ensconced in a blacked-out bedroom.

What a guy.
He sure loved his aeroplanes, didn't he?  
I love these planes cause they're Beavers:

There are a few guys in the hood who pay $90 a pop to ride the wet beaver in and out of work every day.
(That's the way, uh huh uh huh, they like it, uh huh uh huh.)
You can see why someone who likes planes might want to hang at the top of the Westin and enjoy the view, even if only for a moment.  It's a pretty sweet spot if you like to fly. 

I like to fly on my bike. 
This was a perfect evening for a ride, too.  It was quiet enough that we got a good head of steam going a few times. 
That's the way, uh huh uh huh, I like it.

Mmm, Beaver.  What's that?  You don't like beaver?  Don't worry, there's always BC Faeries.
(Beaver tails are beautiful things, even if they are a bit noisy sometimes. Just across the way there lies Deadman's Island and its haunted barracks. Apparently they get quite noisy sometimes, too.)
 Oh ho, and here's a noisy place guys often appreciate, especially on a warm summer's eve, at nine pm:

What is it with guys and guns, and things that go off with a bang, anyway?
Is it a primal thing, some kind of link which transcends time itself?

Who knows? In this town you can always set your clock to the noon whistle and the nine o'clock gun, and on a pleasant evening any time of year, you can count on company if you're there to watch the cannon go off. 

After the gun we rode up to Brockton Point, and from there to the Lion's Gate Bridge.

How different the character of the city would be without this landmark.  And suddenly West Vancouver would be far, far away.  Even though I am not fond of being suspended hundreds of feet in the air over great weathered girders on a structure which sways and moves with traffic and the wind, I love this bridge.

One of the many reasons I was still smiling as we made our way from the bridge to Siwash Rock:

Legend has it that Siwash Rock stands as a monument to "fidelity to a generation yet unborn," which seems an appropriate reminder in this day and age.

Isn't it pretty?  From Siwash Rock we made our way back toward English Bay again.

With a stop or two along the way to capture the flavour of the ride for you.

Just as I had my camera lodged in the spokes, taking this not-quite-there photograph

the heron behind me caused a bit of a spectacle when he did an awkward face-plant into the water.  Here he is trying to collect himself and fly under the radar of the avid amateur photographers on hand.

This was the backdrop for the heron's misadventure, mirroring the setting sun:

Round the next bend we'd catch sight of the Burrard St bridge again, solid and reassuring under the warm rosy light of April's Pink moon. It was the perfect evening for a Stanley Park adventure. Soon enough tourist season will pack the seawall with strollers, rollerblades, longboarders, runners and rental bikes, but for now it's peaceful, quiet even, and thus our lovely ride was nearly over.

 Refreshed and revitalised, we head home again.


  1. Another gorgeous ride babs!

  2. Thank you for sharing your adventure, Babble! Beautiful pictures and witty commentary, as always. :)

  3. Nice ride, Babs. I don't know why all of us don't move to Vancouver.
    No dirndls, though.

    1. I am trying to find the perfectly overflowingist dirndl on Earth and hoping it's on a bicycle.

      The law of probability suggests it's just a question of time.

  4. ...absolutely lovely & your babble-bike-a-longs do bring out the 'real' best in van...

    ...the light of the moon told me that was a much needed ride, ya ???...

    1. Those photos were taken on the eve of the pink moon. I wrote the text the night of and published this morning.

  5. Cambium Scranium26 April 2013 at 13:16

    That was lovely!

    The attached Legend of Siwash Rock was really moving.

    Thanx for the journey.

    ps. I would buy a Sir Babble cruiser.

  6. ...btw...nice change of perspective...we usually see the back of your helmet (helment) & electrababe's back wheel whilst you gracefully meander through van's various cityscapes...

  7. You ever ride Siwash Ridge? Ha ha ho ho hee hee....

    1. Sorry--that was a cool test--I thought you'd pass. :)

  8. Thank you for sharing your beautiful evening ride with us. :-)

    And as by nearly every visit on your blog here, I've learnt a bunch of new and interesting things - this time about Howard Hughes, and a funny plane-to-boat-conversion of a former 'flying playboy suite' of his ... I finally ended up ordering the 'The Aviator'-DVDs - should have done this years ago already ...

    Anyway, thanks again for the diverse pleasures and enlightenments you are offering here - keep up the good work. :-)

  9. "You don't like beaver? Don't worry, there's always BC Faeries." - Great line!

    Love the through the spokes photo.

    Last pic. Looks like you're in the ribs of an old sailing ship. Except that it's not, what is it? Art Park?

    1. It's a Vancouver Biennale piece.

      There are a lot of boat rib art pieces all over the city, though, and this one certainly does seem "of a sort."