Another notch off my ’70 plus’ bucket list

This week's Hammertime takes joy in filling the bucket list.

Last week, my wife and I took the short hop over the snow-covered Rocky Mountains and enjoyed a very nice visit with my brother Peter and his wife Carol in Coquitlam and then went over to the island on the ferry to see my precious parents Michael Sr. (97) and Jean (90) in Victoria. It was quite a shock from up in the clouds to see the sun-drenched and very dry prairies suddenly transforming into the lush green and blooming B.C. coast.

We were so pleased that we didn’t have to drive in all the wild hustle and bustle of the Vancouver area, but once we got by the high-rise office and condo buildings and freeways, the parks and ocean views were super, even in the rain. Someone told us that the sidewalks are getting so busy that they are thinking about putting in a lane for those who insist on walking and texting. I have always been afraid of heights, but I agreed to visit the historical Capilano Suspension Bridge Park at 3735 Capilano Road in North Vancouver. Once I saw that famous 125-year-old, 450-metre walking bridge that swings and sways 230 metres above the Capilano River, I knew that this was going to be my opportunity to beat the ‘height fright’ and knock another notch off my bucket list. The four of us walked slowly across the bridge, hanging onto the cable railing and often on to each other, and then when an excited class of grade schoolers headed across from the other side there was lots of rock and rolls, but we all made it across safely.

Then yours truly got even braver and scampered up to the maze of walkways 100 feet above the rain forest that go along a nifty tree to tree stroll up to 10 viewing platforms, each encircling the massive trucks of the magnificent and age old giant Douglas fir trees that stand hundreds of feet tall. After lunch and a rest, my brother I decided to take one more leap for seniors’ pride and ventured out onto the new cliff walk, that hangs of the cliff-side and looks down into the Capiliano river canyon, far too many feet below for my temperamental tummy. There were also many other great attractions at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, where every member of the family can enjoy a casual adventure in the middle of nature’s untouched playground.

British Columbia, that has been struggling with ‘tent camps’ setting up in the middle of their cities, has seen great progress in eliminating the Pine Beatle invasion in their forests, but now have a new buddy in the neighbourhood in the form of the pesky European Chafer Beatle. This little critter, which grows up to 2.5 cms, love to eat the roots of plants, especially rich green lawns, and then reproduce very quickly in the earth below. When the grubs appear, the lawns are dug up by a host of birds, skunks, and other predators who are in search of the tasty creepers.

Whatever the case, it was a short but wonderful holiday with family, but always sweet to return to the comforts of home in Alberta.

Are we allowed to remember when

It took three minutes for the TV to warm up and there were no remotes;

Nobody owned a purebred dog, and when a quarter was a decent allowance;

Moms wore nylons that came in two pieces, and it was an honour to go out to a real restaurant together with the whole family?

Always take time in spring to enjoy lots of fresh air and quality time with family and friends, then go ahead and have a good week, all of you.