October in Vancouver can go either way. Sometimes it’s more like November, with the constant rainfall and dreary dark days of the Fall. Other times it’s more like September, with blue skies, sun rays that actually feel warm, and the last taste of summer. It’s kind of like the Forrest Gump saying: “October is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get”.
Our good friend Yaron was visiting from Israel, always a good excuse for a hike. Mt. Seymour, with its exquisite views that are easy to get to, is a common choice for us – it’s hard to beat such good “bang for the buck“. Heading up to Mt. Seymour, we had packed thermal shirts, fleeces, toques, rain gear, and hot chocolate, assuming we should prepare for the worst. It must have been our memories of a hike to Black Mtn. a month earlier, which we had under-packed for, and subsequently froze our asses off in freezing rain, and had our lunch under a bush near the summit to avoid the constant downpour.
Arriving to the trail head, I stepped out of the car and immediately noted a surprise: it was warmer than the city, the sun was shining, and I could sense that a t-shirt would be more than enough. In fact, I cursed myself for not wearing shorts… and forgetting a sun hat. Oh well. We had hoped Neil would be excited about hiking up the trail, but at first he was way more excited about sitting on daddy’s back, in the carrier (it has been too long).
A bit higher up, after a snack break at a lookout and just before the steeper part of the hike, Neil took to the trail, and got many comments about his agile hiking and climbing. Based on our limited experience, steep trails can sometimes be more interesting for toddlers – none of that trail monotony, instead there’s lots of microterrain. Rocks, shrubs, and roots will slow down most adults to a crawl while cursing under their breath, but Neil was hard to keep up with… especially with the promise of hot chocolate at the summit.
Soon enough, we were on the top of the first summit, and were surrounded by the familiar views, all the better in the clean fall air. The ocean, stretching out to the horizon, the city, in all its sprawling gore, and then the many mountains, especially beautiful at this time of year with their new snowy coats. After a summit shot or two, we found a private spot a bit lower down, where we enjoyed a prolonged picnic and of course the much awaited hot chocolate. Then we had to head back down, and of course Neil fell asleep in the carrier almost immediately, he can be predictable like that. Then, back to the car and the city, where we bid Yaron goodbye, and headed back home. I wasn’t sure at the time, but now that a month and a half have gone by, I can say with confidence: it was our last taste of summer.