Many of us still see the coming school year as the real beginning of the year. We all get out of summer mode and start to become a little bit more productive then when 'patio season' is calling our names. Of course, I am getting ahead of myself as we still have a good few weeks before our summer bubble starts to burst and I for one want to make the very most of it. I mean what a summer this has been for us hey?? Sunny skies, hot weather – so unlike us! I am going to get down to the beach as often as possible and basically plan as many out of doors events as I can. Oh, and I need a weekend getaway in there as well. Living in the lower mainland our options for fun in the sun are wide, varied and not so far away. Whether you are simply looking for a quiet day on a lake, a fast boat ride with the wind whipping your hair or a dirt bike ride down the side of a mountain, you will have little travel time to get there. Here are some things I have been looking at discovering in the next few precious weeks of one of the best summers I can remember.


Now I LOVE this sport! So exhilarating and kind of dangerous, but in a good way! Rules of the road don’t really apply and you just get to go get good and dirty and fly high over bumps and see some spectacular scenery as a bonus. You can take a leisurely trail ride taking in the great views and stop for a picnic overlooking the scenery or push your limits with a more advanced trail for some serious adventure. There are several ATV rental shops all over BC – but here is one close to home and well recommended.

Whistler ATV
Owner description: Whistler ATV, summer recreation specialists! Beautiful back-country scenery paired with knowledgeable guides and friendly staff. Tours for all ability levels and kids ride free! Come ride with us for the ultimate back-country experience!!

White Water Rafting

This is not an event for the faint of heart! This is serious adventure and I for one love it. I have been a few times and I love the rush of the wind and the bouncy wild waves.  It takes a good amount of moxy as well as a true sense of adventure to be sure. There are different levels for each individual. According to the International Scale of River Difficulty there are rivers classified as Class 1 rapids where novice riders can enjoy a safe and relatively calm water excursion. But of course there is the other end of the spectrum, Class VI which contains rapids so crazy and rough that you may want to get your affairs in order before proceeding! That said – there is a river for everyone. The web-sites will be a great place to search out what level you want to take on as well as looking at the Guide's themselves – their reputation and knowledge are key and you will want someone certified and well trained.  After all they are the ones that will steer you in the right direction!

Unique and Spectacular Hikes

If taking off for the weekend isn’t in the cards you can still mentally get away from it all on one of the hundreds of hiking trails here in Vancouver. Make your cardio quotient for the day by heading to the base of Grouse Mountain and do what is affectionately called “THE GRIND” – a straight up stair climb to the mountains peak. 2830 to be exact! This is one of Vancouver’s best used trails and is 2.9 Km long.  The reward??? The most amazing view of the entire city and lovely easier trails to walk off the stiffness and a gondola that will take you down.  If the Grind really did grind you into the ground then you can find sustenance and refuge at a well-placed pub/eatery that offers a lovely cozy setting with spectacular views. The Grind is only open in the dry season and would be a great addition to anyone’s “End of Summer Bucket List.” I know you can do it!