It started many years ago as an offshoot of the hiking group. Some of that group's members were getting older and wanted their exercise in a less energetic way. When I retired, 8 years ago, I eagerly joined this group and was made very welcome.
Officially there are about 20 or so members but it's a good turnout if we get 10. Some of our members, who are unable to walk so far now or have various periods of incapacity due to injury or whatever, often meet us for lunch anyway.
One of our favourite walks, which we do often, is starting from the parking lot of the Vancouver Planetarium and Museum and walking along the south side of False Creek, via Granville Island to the Cambie Street Bridge where the walkway ends. This walk is by the water all the way so it is very beautiful and the city maintains the walkway which is paved so that it is never messy underfoot. It's five miles there and back and we usually stop in at Granville Island Market to have lunch on our return. Granville Island has a huge public market which is very popular and successful, with lots of parking, so we can meet the non-walkers easily and poke around a little before the return walk to our cars at the Planetarium.
There's an area like a food fair, with lots of different food stalls and big tables which we usually have to share. One time we shared a table with two ladies from Tacoma. One of them was very interested to know who we were. Did I tell you that we are a very international lot? That day the group consisted of an Australian (that would be me), a New Zealander, an American, a Welsh woman, a French woman, a Spaniard, a Chinese from Macao, a Russian, a Japanese, two Germans and a lone Canadian. The lady from Tacoma was a weekly columnist for the Tacoma newspaper and she wanted to write about us. She gave me her card and told me to check the online edition in the near future. Sure enough she did, we were there in her column.
So today we meet to do the Granville Island walk, the weather is as good as it gets here at this time of the year. Mixture of cloud and sun, with an expected high of 6 degrees Celsius.
On this walk we pass a tall deciduous tree with a huge bald eagle's nest near the top. It's been there a very long time and in recent years we've watched a pair of bald eagles arrive early in the year and use the nest. Once the leaves fill in we can't see much but we see them coming and going. A few weeks ago we saw one lone eagle sitting in the tree. Every week we check. Still only the one. I do hope the other one is still on its way.