Little White Walks: Capilano River

Here begins a series of jaunts in the key of white. This week, I follow the Capilano River in North Vancouver.

It’s December 26 and the terrain is unexpectedly wintery, the weather too cool for a prairie boy looking for a reprieve from the chill back home. Continue reading

Christmas Express

In its 2017 “Best List: 16 Scenic Train Trips”, National Geographic Traveler magazine highlights Via Rail’s  The Canadian. Writer Everett Potter had this to say about it:

“After three decades of riding trains all over the world – rural China, the Swiss Alps, Latin American Jungles – I am still thrilled by a classic rail journey. Take The Canadian, where passengers can spend three days watching the countryside scenery from Toronto to Vancouver via dome cars. From the wheat fields to the jagged Rockies to the thickly forested Coast Mountains, it’s one of the world’s most amazing routes”.

I cannot argue with Potter’s excitement.

In December, I completed my third annual trip on The Canadian, embarking as usual on a blustery, cold afternoon at Winnipeg’s imposing Union Station and exiting on a slightly warmer morning at Vancouver’s Pacific Central Station. Continue reading

Grinding the Grouse

Grind indeed.

The Grouse Grind lies outside any conventional notion of walking. This is no promenade. Want to commune with nature? Find another trail.

This is sheer exercise, a cocktail of pure adrenaline spiked with a shot of danger.

The Grind rises from the residential edge of North Vancouver and steadily, steeply rises up the slope of Grouse Mountain to its end point at the ski lodge near the crest of the mountain. In distance, it is a mere 2.9 kilometres. But it climbs 853 metres over 2,830 steps at an average grade of 30º. It was designed to be a physical challenge. Mission accomplished. Continue reading

A Remembrance Day Walk

For Gail and me, Remembrance Day in Winnipeg always includes a walk down Valour Road for a service at a small park on Sargent Avenue.

This year, I am in North Vancouver, on my way to their Remembrance Day service. It’s a one-hour walk to Victoria Park, an eastward trek that leapfrogs suburban neighbourhoods and the Trans-Canada Highway and follows the banks of south-flowing streams. Continue reading

Making Books: New and Upcoming Titles

The title of my blog is WalkClickMake. As the subtitle says, my goal is to explore the unlikely intersections of walking, photography and making.

One of those “unlikely intersections” is my growing collection of small, affordable books. Each volume is at the “making” end of a process that begins with a walk, leads to a collection of photographs and culminates in a personal essay.

WalkClickMake, the blog, is an integral part of the making process. This is where photos are edited and selected, graphics are developed, and words are formulated. For some walks, the blog post is the final resting place for a small project. Others are taken one step further and assembled as a book.

New: Walking the Water

Walking the Water is my latest self-published book, available through the on-demand publisher, Blurb Books. It’s the fifth in a string of publications that will grow into an extensive Encyclopedia of Walking. You may recognize the photos, text and graphics used in Walking the Water. All began life, earlier this year, as blog posts on WalkClickMake. Continue reading

Walking the Water in North Vancouver: Baden-Powell

In this snowless domestic landscape, Christmas lights glow, framing the distant mass of Grouse Mountain. Green, treed slopes rise above the roofs until capped by a dusting of snow. It’s one of those rare straight lines drawn by nature, separating a ribbon of temperate green from a broad band of white above. As I start today’s walk, looking up at the mountain, I can imagine that line as roughly demarcating today’s walk on the Baden-Powell trail as it traverses the mountain. Continue reading

Walking the Water in North Vancouver: The Green Necklace

The urban overlay of North Vancouver, the city, can come across as an amorphous mass without any sense of centre.  Industry and commerce line the harbour front in a continuous stream of innocuous buildings. Inland is the repetitive grid of streets, for the most part small-scale residential houses with the occasional high rise apartment punching through the low slung skyline.

In the middle of that domestic streetscape, there is something interesting. A little jewel of a town plan first dreamt up in 1907. It’s called the Green Necklace, a fitting moniker for a string of parks that wraps itself around the neck of a modest city centre. Continue reading

Walking the Water in North Vancouver: Mosquito Creek

If I were to choose a time to walk in the woods, this would not be it. But here I am, walking along Mosquito Creek, engulfed in the deep, dark shadows of a long winter night, straining to see two steps ahead through a hard rain.

Continue reading