Monday, December 6, 2010

Grouse Mountain Family Field Trip

Our learning community (the primary years) went on a field trip up Grouse Mountain. Markus lamented the fact that in all the years he's now lived near Grouse, he's never been up. So at the last minute he took the day off work and joined us! We were very in need of a family outing, and this was just the thing. It was beautiful. Here's our proof:


Grouse Mountain keeps three 'rescued' wolves. They were bred and raised for the movie industry, but proved unsuitable for whatever reason, and were moved to Grouse Mtn, where they now live in a 2-acre enclosure just above the main parking lot.
 
Snowshoeing across the groomed hillside to see the grizzly bears' enclosure, where they are currently not visible, since they're hibernating! You can, however, watch them on Grouse's live bear webcam.
 
Stop for snack...
 
Huh?
 
The kids all seemed to enjoy the hands-on bear workshop put on by Grouse Mtn. There were bear-skins, a stuffed cub (very sad; Grouse was given it by a person who found it at a garage sale; nobody knows how it died), a powerpoint presentation on how to identify different types of bears, their habitats, food, etc., and identification activities with paw-prints and skulls from different animals. It was a great break from the snow activities!

...not that we'd had enough playing in the snow, of course...
 
We and our friends stayed later for a visit with Santa Claus and some skating on the little outdoor ice-rink.
 


And we also visited these caribou... also known as two of Santa's reindeer who were visiting from the game farm, awaiting their jobs of pulling Santa's sled on Christmas Eve.
 
Markus and the kids gathered some lichen from nearby trees, and the reindeer approved.

It was a wonderful day. By the time we got home, we were exhausted, but happy, and somehow reconnected as a family. (Click this photo to see it larger, and then you'll see our view of Vancouver.)

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