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It’s hard to be a Vancouverite without enjoying the great outdoors. When summer comes and the days get longer and warmer the people take to the hills for hikes and beaches to enjoy the great outdoors.
I never thought of myself as a super active person. I definitely am not when I compare myself to a lot of my friends who regularly run half marathons and go on multiday hikes.
But it wasn’t until the basic ability to run and walk without pain was taken away from me that I’ve come to realize that I do a surprising amount of activity (though according to C, it’s still not enough). A while back I hurt my knee playing Ultimate Frisbee – one of the ways I try to keep myself active. I dislike running for the sake of running and running after something makes it a lot more interesting. Not to mention the great team atmosphere.
One night while playing in the rain and cold I took a tumble, falling on my leg in an awkward way. Doctor appointments and pain management followed. Turns out, my left leg is longer than my right and causes me to slightly adjust my gait. Over time, my knee just wasn’t happy and it gave out. In the midst of that I also managed to develop a cyst in the back of that same knee.
Physiotherapy has done amazing things and I’m able to walk properly again and relatively pain free. My knee still tightens up when I leave it in one position for too long, but I’m ecstatic that I’m able to move again. I never knew I actually enjoyed all that activity until I couldn’t. While I’m rebuilding strength in my left knee, I turn to walking.
What do you do when you’re craving an escape from the city, but you can’t quite escape into the hills for a hike?
You go somewhere you hardly ever go. Somewhere flat, but with beautiful views. Somewhere that gets you to do something out of the ordinary.
Like White Rock, BC, about 45 minutes south of downtown Vancouver.
Technically considered a part of the Greater Vancouver area, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been to White Rock. Does that make me a bad Vancouverite?
But it definitely opens up the city as a great getaway from the city without actually getting away.
White Rock is the quintessential beach town. Its main thoroughfare is lined with restaurants, bars and lots of gelato and fish and chips stalls. The day we visited, the town was bustling with people out to enjoy the glimpses of sun peeking through the clouds and the warmer weather.
A promise of a great summer to come.
At a 100 years old, White Rock is home to the longest wooden pier in Canada stretching out 1500 feet into the water. Fishermen hang their rods off the end of the pier in hopes of getting a bite.
I have a bit of an irrational fear of piers in general. I constantly feel like it might give out and I’ll go tumbling into the water. Never mind the huge numbers of people who walk the pier every day and the fact that I can swim. I know that it’ll hold, but I’m still afraid.
When you go to a city for the beach, of course, you need to go to the beach. A lot of it is rather rocky much to my disappointment. The tide was out so you could be walking on the sand though.
The waters are relatively calm and I saw someone out on a paddleboard riding the waves in and paddling back out. It looked like a much better experience than when I tried it at Granville Island.
Another nearby beach favourite is Crescent Beach. Though technically a part of Surrey, the beach is much quieter than the beaches of Vancouver. A mixture of rock and sand, there are walking trails, a swimming area, and an area for volleyball courts. It faces west which makes it perfect to watch the sunset which I’ve done before.
Today, the waters are too cold to dip much more than my ankles into the water, but it’s still fun to splash around for a bit.
The UNEEK shoes that I’m wearing from Keen – part sandals, part water shoe, part hiking boot – are perfect for scrambling up and down the rocks on the beach. While light, they provide much needed support to keep my footing, especially on my weaker leg.
And of course, after all that walking and scrambling over rocks, the best way to end the day is with a sweet treat.
A perfect escape.
What do you do when you want to escape? Have you ever injured yourself before? How do you cope?
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Keen highlighting their new UNEEK shoes. I had a great time exploring in my pair and can’t wait to take them out on a hike someday as soon as my knee is feeling better!