Dad and Janice are in town, which means we have company on our adventures! This weekend the weather was fantastic – sunny and cool, beautiful. We packed a picnic lunch and off we went, headed again for the North Shore.
Bus, Skytrain, Seabus (something new for them), and another bus … and we were there. I’d seen the Cleveland Dam before, it’s there vaguely in my memory, but I really couldn’t tell you when or with whom.
Let me back up a little. Recall a few weeks ago Cameron and I went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge? Far, far below that swinging bridge is a rushing river, that flows out of the lake from which much of Vancouver’s drinking water comes. The lake itself is inaccessible, of course, to protect it. But you can walk across the Cleveland Dam and look down.
First, I picked Cameron up so that he could look out at the lake. We talked about it a bit, and I asked what he thought the other side looked like. The same? Over to the other side, picked him up and, “WHOOOOOOAAAAHHHH!” It’s very much not the same. On the other side there’s quite a drop off, and depending on the day, it could be nearly dry or rushing with water. On Sunday, it was roaring. He couldn’t get enough, but soon we walked down and around to a viewing point so that he could see more.
This kept his interest for a bit, but what held his attention for longer was a chunk of fungus. Janice got down on the ground with him, and dug around at it, checking out the gills and how different parts felt.
Of course, one of my main motives of going there was getting Cameron into the woods. Again, as we walked down the paths, there was no mention of bears. Unless you count the adults, who were discussing this by spelling b-e-a-r-s.
Not far from the dam there is an active fish hatchery, with demonstrations and exhibits as well as the functioning tanks. Best of all, there’s a ‘fish way’, which I grew up calling a fish ladder or fish stairs. The idea is that people make barriers across rivers, preventing the salmon from returning to their home lakes to spawn. This means that the salmon stocks suffer. So, fishways with incremental steps just big enough for the salmon to jump up are used to get them past the barriers that are far too high for them. Cameron was thrilled to see, in the glass-sided section, dozens of salmon hanging out, waiting to have the energy or drive to jump again.
After lunch, there was more forest exploring. Nurse logs and trunks, fungus, leaves and sticks were the important things of the day. Oh, and rocks. That kid goes through phases where if I let him he’d fill his pockets with rocks until his pants fell off.
Now, I have a little bit of pride in being a car-free Mama. The truth is, most of the time I wish I had a car and I’m saving gradually for one. However, this trip wasn’t one of those times. There’s a big advantage to taking the bus on this route: you can walk and walk, and when you’re done you head out on a path to the road and catch a bus. If you park your car at the top, you have to walk up, up, up to get back!
(okay, my apologies. I’m tired. That’ll have to do! I’ll add a bit tomorrow, add links, and maybe link to some photos that other people have taken – my camera’s battery died on me!)