My downhill mountain bike trip left me with one ‘serious’ injury, a bruised rib on the top left side of my chest. The problem with a bruised rib is not that it hurts all the time (it doesn’t when you don’t move), but that it can be very painful when you forget about it. At night I wake up several times when I move a bit in my sleep, and during the day I try not to use my left arm too much to lift things. If I laugh it is so painful that I will stop right away, and coughing is something I try to avoid at all costs right now. On Thursday and Friday I did not even take my convertible to the office (despite the warm and sunny weather), because getting in and out of the close-to-the-ground seats just hurt too much.
For today I had planned a serious hike with a Dutch business friend, but I emailed him on Friday night that I would not be able to make it. Each time I take a deep breath or take a step up or down it hurt a lot, and so I did not think I could do a mountain hike. My parents are in town and I had planned to do some serious sea kayaking with my dad, but even that I can’t do. I regret my mountain bike ride more and more, but I can’t change it and will have to wait a few weeks until the injury will go away (and when the best time of summer will be over…).
This afternoon I had it a bit with sitting at home and watching the sailing boats on the sea, and I wanted to something outside of the house. The women had gone shopping, so my dad, Scott and I drove my car up to the alpine ski station at Cypress Mountain. Originally we just wanted to take a look at what the ski resort looks like in summer, but when we were there we saw a short trail, the Yew Lake Trail, that was accessible for wheel chairs. I did not even know that there are trails for wheel chairs, but because I feel semi-handicapped it gave me enough confidence to try to hike it. Scott was also very happy, because he knows I do a lot of trails but I never allow him to join me (most trails are either too long or too dangerous for him).
The short trail is beautiful, it starts at the lodge next to the parking lot at Cypress and loops around Yew Lake, which is a few hundred meters to the west of the ski base station. The trail is completely flat (at least for Vancouver standards) and very well maintained. You could indeed ride a wheel chair on it, or (in case you have young kids) bring a stroller.
Nature is (as usual on the North Shore) amazing, with partly covered swamps, a lake, old trees, many flowers and of course the mountains. Scott loved the 2 ski chair lifts that we came across as well and he told me that he wants to try them out once the snow start falling in a few months. I promised him I will take him there every weekend so he can learn to ski quickly.
If you are not in good shape or just want a short easy hike, the Yew Lake Trail is perfect. If you are looking for something more serious, there are tons of other trails that start at the Cypress parking lot as well. There is a bar/restaurant at Cypress that’s open in summer, so you can have drinks before or after the hike. Have fun!