Yesterday, I went for a walk in Gates Park, Port Coquitlam and enjoyed the weather and the great friends I have in the Surrey Trekkers Volkssport Walking Club. But I was tired and figured that I’d pass on the Sunday walk in Stanley Park.
But Holly woke me up at 2:30 AM this morning to let her go outside, and it dawned on me that it was Mother’s Day. A sharp pain pierced my heart at the thought of my dear Ma, who passed several years ago. The more I thought about it, the more I missed my Ma, and I couldn’t bear the thought of being alone and without her again today! Mother’s Day isn’t just for moms still alive – because as long as any of their children are still alive, their moms live on in their hearts.
So I stayed up, watched the Blue Jays game that I had taped from the day before and had several cups of coffee. I decided that I was going to go to the Surrey Trekkers’ and Vancouver Venturers’ walking clubs scheduled 10 KM walk in Stanley Park, after all!
Besides, I never get tired of walking around the seawall and today’s forecast was calling for a beautiful, sunny and warm day!
I wondered who’d be there to walk with – it’s the great thing about a walking club – you get to meet, walk and talk with a great variety of personalities and each of us share at least one passion – walking!
I drove into the city and arrived at the Runners Room on Denman Street at 9:20 AM. The walk begins at 10:00 AM, but registration is open at 9:30 AM. I stood outside the store and watched as friendly faces started appearing.
First, there was Nancy and Doug, and then Cheryl and Dick, Rob, and Patricia, who was one of the organizers of the walk. But then I saw my friend Connie, with whom I’ve walked the park last Fall, with my buddy, Reg Dutton. Connie is a few years older (heck I hate mentioning a woman’s age) and I remember her telling me that she had a son, but I didn’t know if she’d be seeing him, because he and his family live in Edmonton.
Brilliant! I thought. I’ll be her walking partner today, and I’ll try to make her Mother’s Day enjoyable.
But as I hugged her, she introduced me to her son Ralph, who had flown in for the weekend to be with his Mom on Mother’s Day! Connie introduced him to me, and the rest of the gang and everyone was happy that he’d be walking with us.
Within a few minutes, we were all walking around the seawall. Connie and I were lagging and having a great conversation. Ralph was quite a ways ahead of us when Connie called him by phone and asked him to wait for us at the water park because she wanted to show me the trails inside the park.
Stanley Park, in downtown Vancouver, is world-famous and popular among the residents and tourists, alike. It has a seawall that stretches 10 KM around the park. Every turn along the seawall is another breath-taking view! However, after joining the walking clubs, I’ve learned about the lake within the park, as well as some other places of interest. So I was excited to be finally getting a chance to explore a new world!
Here are some pictures and video clips from our walk in the park.
And then we met up with Ralph and started walking through the interior of the park.
Here is a clip from a war memorial for fallen soldiers.
We walked by Beaver Lake, through the rose garden with over 3, 500 rose bushes, gardens and then Connie took Ralph and me to a spot that’s hidden and unmarked. Someone, many, many years ago, carved these faces in a tree stump. It’s not visible from any of the paths during the periods where’s there’s lots of foliage on the bushes and trees.
I can imagine a few of my old hippy friends from the 60’s, walking through these woods back then – high on some psychedelic magic and then coming across this figure! It would be like something from one of Hunter S. Thompson’s Rolling Stone articles, that he wrote in the seventies and eighties! (He’s still one of my favorite writers).
Our walk covered the seawall for the remainder of the trail, and the first thing we passed was the wading pool. Here is a short clip:
A little further along the waterfront and we came across a talented artist who was showing her paintings. Here is a link:
We finished our walk in two hours and said our goodbyes at the foot of Denman Street. Ralph and I shook hands, and I thanked him for sharing his Mother’s Day with me. I reached out to hug Connie, but she kissed me on the cheek, and for that brief moment it felt as though I’d know her for years. I quickly turned and headed down Denman Street; I didn’t want Ralph and Connie to see the tears rolling down my cheeks. But they were tears of happiness!
Here are a few of the last pictures I took.
The following two pictures are where the over-sized traffic island used to be – and what a crowd pleaser!
And here’s the last video clip from our walk:
I’ll close by saying that this was the best Mother’s Day I’ve spent since my precious Ma passed. I’m so thrilled that Connie and Ralph shared their special day with me! Today’s walk was my favorite one to date – and I’ve been on some beauts!
Mother’s Day is best when celebrated with love and chocolates! And if you join a walking club, you’ll never be alone on special occasions, again!
Dedicated to Connie and Ralph; my best friends forever!
Today’s Tune (from Danny’s library of purchased music):