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Spent the most incredible 3 days at Diana's cabin. Absolute heaven on earth.  

Our first day was pretty lazy - we swam and lounged around in the sun reading.  We got to go for  an extra boat ride across the lake (one of my favorite things about going to the cabin is sitting on the bow as we speed through the water - this time in the dark!!) to pick up David and Mike who headed up to the cabin later than night.  We spent the evening playing catchphrase (best game in the world, by the way), then jumped into the lake one last time.... tradition says the absolute last thing you have to do before you go to bed is leap into the lake :D  We slept on the deck out under a sky full of stars.

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One of my many very spectacular falls
Our second day was much like the first... we broke out the boggle around midday... I am the undefeated champion, but Diana gets closer and closer every time.... later got into the Rummoli and the beer... ok I don't really drink, so I slowly sipped away and managed to finish half of one.  Somewhere in there - probably before the beer - Diana and I headed out for some water-skiing.  I have tried water skiing twice before.  The first time was in my chubby days when I hated all physical activity, so that didn't go well.   The second time, I was terrified... I went absolutely pale (with fear), and failed to get even partially up and gave up without a fight.  So I am proud to say that this time there was no fear at all, no anger - only minor frustration and joy that I had made some progress (Diana says I got a "partially up")! Next time...   

That night we roasted marshmallows and played some more catchphrase... slept on the deck... rudely awoken by rain... 

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The third day got off to a rough start as the book I was reading took a turn from mildly annoying to unbearable... but then we got the windsurfer out and my world changed. Ok maybe that a bit of an exaggeration - but it was pretty awesome.  I have never tried windsurfer before - but after Diana somewhat awkwardly cruise across the lake and not end up in a pile of rocks, or worse up a tree - I was quite excited about it.  And what fun it was!  I felt like by the end of it I had some semblance of control over the thing, and even managed to sail myself back to the dock.... ok after all this graceful, controlled maneuvering, I then fell off at the last minute and cut my ankle on the rutter thingy-majingy.   But not much blood... enough to make me fear sharks were going to come eat me... but since that is highly unlikely in a freshwater lake, I was fine... 

One final accomplishment of this weekend, which probably doesn't seem like a big deal - but it was!! I dove off the dock.  Head first.  After smacking my face (and my eyes, ow!) once, I looked like a graceful swan ("just after it has been shot" - thanks Mike).  No really, all I did was dive from practically no height... but this was something I had been afraid of for years and never, ever did.  I quit swimming lessons as a kid when they started making us dive... so yes... big day :D  

 
 
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Warning: You are entering a particularly beautiful area! :D  

I am constantly being blown away by the beautiful places in my own backyard.  Just an hour or so into the woods in West Vancouver is Whyte Lake - inviting green water nestled in between giant Cedar and Douglas fir trees.  The water was deliciously warm after being heated by the sun all morning, calling for us to go for a swim (and also very important - it seemed leech free).   It was quite a popular spot and we hadn't anything to swim in, so I will go back another day for a dip.  And probably many more days after that.  

During our hike I learnt a few interesting tidbits of information from my companions.  Did you know that the Guinness family (of Ireland) built the Lion's Gate bridge?  Our city would cease to function without this bridge - it is a very big deal.  They also own the plot of land our trail started in and are building a development in the area.   

Another thing topic of conversation - A man in Florida went to retrieve his golf ball from a water hazard on the green and a croc grabbed his leg (it was going for the ball, but overshot a tad).  His quick-thinking friend hit the croc with a golf club, only to be accosted for hitting the thing by an irate woman who had befriended the hungry crocodile.  She had built their friendship on marshmallows.... which look suspiciously like golf balls....  So I also learnt on that hike that you probably shouldn't feed golf-course-resident crocodiles marshmallows. 

Oddly enough with an entirely different group of people later that night marshmallow eating crocodiles came up in another conversation.... how bizarre.  

 
 
I have no idea what this is going to end up looking like as I am writing my first ever post on my IPad. I've been in Victoria for the last few days and have not had Internet access... We are now in Starbucks reconnecting to the online world.

That picture floating around somewhere on this page is Thetis Lake... It's a beautiful place i cannot wait to explore more. There are two 3 km loops around two beautiful lakes with ideal trails for running.... Plus I think there are some trails that lead off up into the mountains that are calling to me.
There is the best breakfast place I have ever been to (and I have been to a lot!) in Victoria... The Blue Fox. Even at 1pm on a weekday there is a 45 minute wait for a table. But it is totally worth it.

All righty, this IPad app is not the best... It has taken me about 20 min to type what I have written so far and the random addition of capitals and line breaks are frustrating me! Perhaps this is more a problem with my incredibly small hands and short fingers than the app itself...
 
 
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I had no idea that just an hour and a half north of Vancouver I would find complete paradise! 

Garibaldi Lake.  

After trekking 9km through beautiful, lush Westcoast forest, we emerged in the middle of a scene straight out of a BC tourism ad.  I have never seen anything like this before!  And to think it existed this whole time only miles away. What have I been doing with my life?  

Garibaldi lake is 1,500m above sea level and is surrounded by mountains.  These peaks are volcanic along the north, south and west side.  At some point in history two volcanoes nearby erupted forming The Barrier - this lava dam is over 300m (1,000ft) thick and 2km wide.  The Barrier is holding back the water from the Garibaldi Lake system - which if it ever let loose, would do some serious damage to the nearby town of Squamish.  This is actually the reason why my brother and sister-in-law cannot get flood insurance on their home.  The most recent movement in The Barrier was in 1855-6 when the debris flow created a large boulder field giving the name to Rubble Creek.   In 1981 the BC government decided the instability of The Barrier made living in the nearby village of Garibaldi (which no longer exists) was too dangerous, so all the residents were relocated to a few Estates that were being built to the north.  At this time plans were also given up that would have made Garibaldi into the main ski resort in the area - instead the company Garibaldi Lifts went on to open Whistler Blackcomb....    interesting!!