Friday, July 22, 2011

Wednesday's Ride and Thursday's Pic

On Wednesday we headed out to Sumas Prairie for another bike ride.  Sumas Prairie used to be a lake, and they are constantly pumping water out of the drainage canal to make sure it doesn't return to that state. We went east on Hwy 1 and got off at Exit 99 and parked at the Cole Rd rest stop. We headed south, through Hougen Park, and then picked up the dyke just south of the park.
Here's a map and video of where we rode.  I'm sure glad that we watched some of the video, as there is one tricky bit where you have to get on the road and then turn again onto the dyke and go down what is someone's driveway.  In fact you ride right between their buildings, and it feels really weird and I felt as though we were trespassing.  We would have never gone there if we hadn't known that it was part of the trail.  As you can see, the summer that isn't, continues, with weather much like last week's ride.
There was quite a rain storm happening over on Vedder Mountain.  Vedder Mountain is long and low and is in the background of most of the following photos.  Jake was found hiding under a bush somewhere up there, 6 years ago (or so the story goes).

Still raining over on Vedder.  We really lucked out, and didn't get rained on, although we did ride on some roadway that was freshly wet.

It is all farmland out there, and a lot of dairy farms, so the crops were either grass for hay or silage, silage corn, or blueberries.  Some lovely looking farmhouses and gardens too.

For the first part of the ride, we stayed on the dyke, as shown on the map

Here we are just about as far south as we can go.  Vedder Mountain ends up in the U.S., and the buildings on the left are on the other side of the border.  Looking southwest.

Oops, I was wrong.  Right down near the border were some raspberry fields.  They were harvesting the raspberries with a mechanical picker.  It straddles the row, and those horizontal lines you can see just to the  side of the bushes, below the drivers feet, turn on a vertical axis and knock the berries off the bushes and into some kind of collection device below.  That's the basics of it.  Lots of raspberries on those bushes.

Looking southeast.  The buildings on the right are in the U.S., and the buildings on the left of center are in Canada.  Can you see that cut line going up the hill behind the Canadian buildings?  That's the border.

The sun came about a bit, and you can see that border line better now.

We rode through the village of Arnold, which is an older little community that has been mostly renovated to be barely unrecognizable.  Lots of new, much bigger houses, or older ones with total make overs.  All very nice though.  Lovely gardens too, but I didn't take any pictures.  I'm a bit weird about things like that.  If it is close up and belongs to someone else, and is personal like a house, I'm a bit uncomfortable taking a picture of it. 

We headed west along Old Yale Road, and then north up Lamson road (here just about to pass under the rail trestle at Vye Rd.).  We picked up the dyke again for the last bit.

We passed the same blueberry field as in the first picture.  They were using a variety of bird scare devices, including a canon or two.  They also had this fake hawk attached to a string and a pole.  It is made out of something very light, and as the wind blew the hawk would lift up and glide around, and I swear that at one point it's wings moved like a hawk's would when it is hovering and about to strike.

  Besides the netting, and the canons, and the fake hawks, there are some other methods blueberry farmers  use.  One farm out our way hires a falconer to come in with a real bird.  Some farms run sound systems playing bird distress calls.  We passed one of those, and they are kind of creepy sounding.  I don't think I'd like to listen to that all day.  The farm down the road from us uses that and cannons.  Thankfully we don't hear the distress calls unless we are walking by.  Jake doesn't like them. Some farms tie long lines of metallic streamers over the rows.  They are silver on one side and red on the other, and twist and turn flashing the two colours.

The surface on the dyke was good, mostly a packed sandy gravel mix. In one spot we had to ride single file because one track was uncomfortably bumpy.

This sign was at the end of a hedge next to a huge grassy lawn on a farm that we rode past right at the start and end of our ride.  Larry pointed out that the area was big enough to hold an agility trial.  Where they saying that a person could just let their dogs loose there?

And here's Thursday's photo.
It's what is affectionately known as the Whaling Wall in White Rock.  The farmers market starts right by that wall.  It was painted by Wyland in 1984, and has been refurbished once since then.  Wyland painted 100 whale murals all around the world, you can see them here.  Unfortunately some are now in bad shape or no longer exist.

And if you want more information about that Living Wall that I took a picture of last week, there was a big article in the Vancouver Sun newspaper on the weekend.  
Seems they use a different plant containment method than the wall at the airport.  And just to clarify, even though the article talks about the wall being in White Rock, it is actually in Surrey, 1/4 mile north of the White Rock/Surrey border.


  1. What an amazing post. It is so hot here in Ontario I felt cooled off just looking at your pics. I would like to travel to BC one day. Thanks again for sharing your bike tour and mural with us.

  2. Beautiful, what a peaceful bike ride. Wyland lives right down the street from us
    Benny & Lily

  3. Benny and Lily - Wow, that's pretty cool. Maybe Wyland would come and paint your picture, like right across the whole living room wall or something:)

  4. Those views are amazing, and those whales are pretty cool too!

  5. What a great ride despite the weather. I have never seen a raspberry or blueberry farm, that was interesting. I would love to have a job taking a falcon from farm to farm. Sounds more like a hobby than a full time job though.
    I think we have a Wyland Whale Wall here too. I will have to check and see if it was looks very similar.

  6. Ryker, there is a Wyland wall in Anchorage:)

  7. I enjoyed the article 15,000 for a small project..well that may just be out of reach for some peoples flower budget!

    The murals may be a better idea:)

  8. Came to look at your Whale Mural photo - what an awesome shot!!!

    (I just blogged about the one in Phildaphia which why Far Side sent me over here... :)


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