How do food-loving friends enjoy the outdoors and get active? I’ll give you a hint: it includes food stops. This shouldn’t be any surprise considering that our nom-noming group plan their travels around food and restaurants. Dining is that big of a deal. I love the outdoors and hiking, and while our two-some hikes are fun, it’s been a while since I’ve gone with friends. So I decided to organize a group hike with a promise of delectable food stops before and after the hike. Calorically, this makes the least sense, but no one is counting.
My email invitation included the following details:
10:30am Brunch at Tour de Feast – 319 Mountain Hwy, North Vancouver, BC
Hike at Quarry Rock (we ended up at Lynn Valley Headwaters)
Post-hike treats at Thomas Haas – 998 Harbourside Drive, North Vancouver, BC, V7P 3T2
Due to busy summer schedules, only five of us made it out that day. We met up for brunch, with most of us eating “light” meals. Read: no meat. The wine-braised beef was enticing (and one of our friends ordered it), but I opted for a more sensible grilled cheese. It hit the spot and I like the token fruit (blueberries). Woohoo! J got his salmon, eggs, salad and potatoes. Another friend had the watermelon salad. J and I have been here before and the food has always been good. The feedback on review sites are stellar. I keep the place in my North Van brunch rotation for its fresh and exciting contemporary food that belies its location and building’s facade.
In anticipation of the challenging parking situation at Deep Cove given the brilliant sunny skies, we consolidated into one car and drove off. Oh, boy, did we ever (or *I*, the planner, did) underestimate how busy things would get at noon. I completely forgot to take into account that it’s not only the hiking and picnic crowds we were up against, but the sailing and kayaking folks as well. After a frustrating parking spot hunt from one end of the neighborhood to the other, and in between briefly lamenting about getting some Honey’s Donuts, we moved on to another hiking area with a relatively easy trail, the Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, which hopefully had parking. We got lucky and then went on the Varley Trail and Lynn Loop Trail for a little over two hours. [Download the Lynn Headwaters Park Map here.]
We finished all the sweaty uphill walk during the first half of our hike and we were welcomed with the crystal clear waters of Lynn Creek after the switchback and descent. That was good planning on J’s part.
On our way back, we ordered some well-deserved treats at Thomas Haas: sour cherry turnover, vanilla rhubarb tart, macarons (do yourself a favor and get the apple pie one), croissants, and a slew of other pastries with zero calories. I’m sure of it. All in all, it was a good day to be out and be with friends, doing what we love to do together: try to be active and eat. I’m ready to plan the next one. :)