Manning Park Birds

10 05 2016

I was up at Manning Park this past weekend with my Scouts. It was the warmest May weekend I’ve ever spent!  A few feathered friends made an appearance.

1. Female Brown-Headed Cowbird

Female Brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. Steller’s Jay (Our BC provincial bird!)

Steller’s jay (Cyanocitta stelleri)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Male Barrow’s Goldeneye

Male Barrow’s goldeneye (Bucephala islandica)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. The Ubiquitous Grey Jay or Whiskey Jack

Grey jay (Perisoreus canadensis)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. My personal favourite bird of the weekend – Audubon’s Warbler

Audubon’s warbler
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

There are also a bunch of landscape and a couple of starscape attempts in the album, if you’re interested:

Thanks for taking the time to enjoy!

Manning Park Beauty

10 05 2016

I was up at Manning Park this past weekend with my Scouts. It was the warmest May weekend I’ve ever spent! Some spectacular scenery – as usual.

1. Morning Mist coming off the lake

Weekend at Manning Park
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. Mount Frosty, near the American Border

Weekend at Manning Park
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Postcard moment

Weekend at Manning Park
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. A little Columbian Ground Squirrel

Columbian ground squirrel (Urocitellus columbianus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. Starscape with Jupiter and a Satellite

by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

There are also a bunch of bird photos in the complete album, if you’re interested:

Thanks for taking the time to enjoy!

Pacific Jamboree – 2015

14 09 2015

The Pacific Jamboree – 2015 was held near Sooke BC, in July this year. Here are some shots from our fun filled week, hopefully showcasing the great time we had with 3000 of our closest friends! :)

1. Opening Ceremonies – crowd shot
by 28th Vancouver Scout Group, on Flickr

2. The addictive fun of badge trading
by 28th Vancouver Scout Group, on Flickr

3. Close Quarters
by 28th Vancouver Scout Group, on Flickr

4. Unbelievably, they let ME throw a hatchet! :)
by 28th Vancouver Scout Group, on Flickr

5. Learning Scuba
by 28th Vancouver Scout Group, on Flickr

6. Pole Climbing
by 28th Vancouver Scout Group, on Flickr

7. Rock Climbing
by 28th Vancouver Scout Group, on Flickr

And so much more!!! The 7 day event was a blast, and you can see how much fun it was in the whole album:

I hope you enjoy viewing as much as we enjoyed doing!

4 days at Cape Scott Provincial Park

14 09 2015

Mrs Dragonspeed and I went on a 4 day hiking trip with our Venturer Scouts to Cape Scott Provincial Park. For those that don’t know where it is, here is a map to give you an idea: Cape Scott Hiking Map

Here are a few photos from the beautiful wilderness of Northern Vancouver Island:
1. The lush rainforest
Winding through the Rainforest
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. Sunset on Nissen Bight
Sunset on Nissen Bight
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Sunset on Guise Bay
Sunset on Guise Bay
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. The old road
Old Military Road to Lighthouse
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. White Sand Beach – All to yourself!
White Sand Beach all to yourself
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

The whole photo album is here:

I hope you enjoy your short visit to our coastal rainforest :) Comments and Critique are always welcome!

Elfin Lakes!

27 08 2013

We were up in the Diamond Head area of Garibaldi Provincial Park for 4 day/3 nights last week. The alpine scenery was amazing.  Here are some highlights of the hike.

1. Mount Atwell and the Gargoyles

Mt Atwell and the Gargoyles by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2. Wildflowers

Beautiful flowers by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3. Premium camping location!

Summer in the Alpine by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

4. Full Moon Rising

Full Moon at Elfin Lakes by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

5. Alpine reflection

Reflection of Mountain beauty by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

6. Lit by the full moon

Elfin Lakes and surroundings by the full moon. by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

7. Moonset over the Tantalus Range

Moonset over the Tantalus range by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

8. Panoramic view from the Opal Cone (bigger on Flickr)

Panorama from the Opal Cone by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

I hope you enjoyed the virtual visit to the alpine!  More shots can be found at:

Comments and Critique welcome!

Victoria Day weekend – camping at Manning park – birds and animals.

22 05 2012
Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber)Barrow's Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica)Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis)Clark's Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana)Mount Frosty, E.C. Manning Provinical ParkTownsend's Warbler (Dendroica townsendi)
Columbian ground squirrel (Urocitellus columbianus)American black bear (Ursus americanus)Female Barrow's Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica)

2012-05-24-Manning, a set on Flickr.

A quick smattering of pictures from camping this past weekend in Manning Park. We actually got to WATCH ice-off. There was only about a 10 foot stretch of visible water when we got there, and by the time we left most of lone duck bay was ice free.

Winter Camping at Manning Park with the 40th Marpole Scouts

31 01 2012

Camp Scouts Winter Manning Park Marpole

The Scout section was out camping at Manning Park last weekend.   (pictures: )


We arrived on Friday to find 50 Army Cadets and all their associated leaders busy moving into Lone Duck 2 (with all the gear that the military brings with them) and 3 Scout groups already settled into Lone Duck 1.  The parking lot was like Highway 1 at rush hour… you couldn’t move anywhere!


We unloaded and chose the area we were going to camp….  The meadow area was undisturbed, except for a little detail.  There were about 4-5 feet of snow on the ground!   We dug and dug and dug, until around midnight we were all finally in our tents, cozy, with the outside world at about -8C.


Saturday morning was chilly and a light snow kept falling.


By late Saturday afternoon, the weather had warmed up and it was now rain.  Yeach.  We persevered, and all the Scouts did a great job at handling the weather.  It was tough.  Dinner was a welcome, warm addition. 


We spent a bit of the evening in the shelter talking to some of the other scouts, but then called it a night at 2100 – we were all bagged. 


It rained A LOT on Saturday night, with some real winds whipping it around all night long.  By Sunday morning, all the snow was gone from the trees.  We had a good breakfast, a scout’s own and due to the logistical problem of our planned departure time (the cadets had two buses that were going to be in the parking lot at noon!) we opted to load up and get out of dodge without having lunch.   A wise decision. 


All in all, I’m really glad we didn’t go the weekend before – the dangerous roads just were too much, although  I WOULD have liked it if it had been a bit colder and stayed SNOWY the whole weekend while we were at camp.  C’est la vie, I suppose!



Back from PJ 2011

18 07 2011

Wow – what an incredible week of fun!


Lots of photos and one good video…


Here’s the video – Mountain Biking on the first day of PJ:

Camping at Manning Park with the Scouts

1 02 2010

I haven’t posted about our Scout camp at Manning Park for a couple of reasons.  Unfortunately I still can’t really post about all the fun we had that weekend. Hopefully that will soon come to an end and you’ll get to hear all the interesting times that we had while there.  In the mean time, I have a few pictures from our camp.  There are many others, but you know you me – I’m going to start with the Birds 🙂

1) Sitting in the tree – considering coming down

2) Moments later this guy would be down eating from a hand.

3) Is a bird in the hand really worth two in the bush?

4) Looking for food

5) Escaping with the goods

6) Not everyone was so happy with them landing 😉

7) One of our Venturers posing with a new found friend

I’ll have some pictures of actual camp life up later, but the birds are always high on my list. I hope you enjoyed them!

Backpacking into Alder Flats

5 10 2009

It has been a number of years since I led our Scouts into a backpacking trip. I was afraid that I’d forget something or that I wouldn’t have them correctly prepared.  I was pretty stressed getting ready for this trip.  October trips in the Vancouver area usually mean tarps and rain – attempting to avoid a complete drenching.  I was pretty leary about backpacking.

It turns out that I was over concerned.  The weather turned out to be spectacular and most importantly DRY.  Even the ones that didn’t quite have all their gear packed correctly, that would have spelled misery in bad weather, managed to keep it all together.

We were destined for “Alder Flats”, an area that is open and, unsurprisingly, full of alders.  The campsite is along the trail to the peak for Golden Ears (a 12 hour round trip, big elevation gain, hike).  The site was about 5.5 km in and about 250m elevation gain.

The beginning of the hike (about the first 3km) are quite smooth and easy as you hike along what was once an old logging road which is now overgrown to leave only a narrow trail in places and slightly wider one in others.  After 3km things started to get more technical as you had to navigate rocks, hike up flowing creek beds and avoid slipping on the eternally wet tree roots.  It was muddy in places and it was fun to watch the kids try to hop over and avoid puddles despite the fact that they had good waterproof boots.  I kept telling them to just keep their stride and not to keep trying to hop and manoeuvre around everything all the time as it would only tire them out.

As we approached our destination the spirits of my hiking Scouts started to flag.  They were wearing out.  This was the first time that they had hiked, having to carry everything on their backs. Their hips and shoulders were tired.  When we crossed the last creek, I knew our campsite would be close.  We came across some flat openings in the fir trees near a creek and decided to settle there even though it wasn’t officially “Alder Flats”.  It turns out that the actual location we had wanted was about 100m further up.  The flats, themselves, didn’t have easy access to clean flowing water so I’m glad we camped where we did.  We made it up to the site in about 2.5 hours.  Our camping location was actually 49.36282N, 122.46951W

Upon arrival they all set up their tents and looked after all their necessities of camping.  I won’t bore you with all the details but they had fun, learned a lot (like the fact that 1kg of pepperoni is more than enough for 3 people!) and that if you actually pack well all your belongings can fit in your backpack.

On Sunday we went up to the boulder field by Alder Flats and spent some time for Scouts’ Own and enjoyed the beautiful view of Edge Peak.  We hiked back down after that – it only took 2 hours.  I think they were motivated to get off the trail 🙂

Good Hiking Scouts!  Here are a couple of pictures from Sunday Morning:


Edge Peak:
Scouts Marpole hiking GoldenEars camping backpacking BC Canada

40th Marpole Scouts with Edge Peak in the Background:
Scouts Marpole hiking GoldenEars camping backpacking BC Canada

We rode the KVR August 11-16, 2009

20 08 2009

The 40th Marpole Scouts and 28th Kitsilano Scouts went out to the Okanagan for a 4 day bike ride on the Kettle Valley Railway (KVR) trail spanning 200km.

We left Vancouver on August 11th with 11 youth and 7 adults.  4 of us were going to ride and we had 3 support drivers.  We headed out with 2 minivans, a Toyota Tundra and an F350 1ton cargo van.  We had 15 bikes to rack, 18 backpacks and all the assorted group gear and food. We were loaded to the hilt! 

The ride along Highway 3 is actually quite pleasant in the day in the middle of summer, even if it’s long.  It took us about 7 hours to reach our starting point for the ride, Kettle River Provincial Park.    It was warm.  At 1800 it was still 26C.  It was shaping up to be a typical, hot, Okanagan ride.

The plan was to get up at 0600 every day so that we could be on the trail before 0800.   That kind of fell apart by the last day.

km’s cycled each day:

  • Kettle River Provincial Park->Beaverdell: 46km  (FLAT)
  • Beaverdell->Pear Lake: 59km (1% uphill)
  • Pear Lake->end of Myra Canyon Trestles: 26km (followed by “rescue”) (FLAT)
  • Chute Lake->Penticton: 47km (2% downhill)

The weather was comfortably cool most days except on day 3 it was 10C, raining and we all ended up mildly hypothermic…Geesh – the OKANAGAN isn’t supposed to be like that!  It’s supposed to be 35C and sweltering.  Cursed weather!

It’s hard to take a lot of pictures while cycling, but I did manage a few.  Those will come later.  I also brought the little SD780is – not to take pictures (stills SUCK, but for it’s HD video!)  Here’s a quick video I put together from the last part of the ride (from Chute Lake to Penticton)

At least the last day was fun! 😉

We stayed in Penticton on the last night and dined on real food before heading home on the Sunday via the Coquihalla. The drive was fast – just slowed down when we hit the usual traffic coming into the Port Mann.

It sure felt good to get home and hang up our gear 🙂

Tonight we head back to our Scout Hall and fold up the tents that have been drying out.   Another GREAT summer expedition under our belts.

Here’s a pano of “Summit Lake” –  a private lake near Hydraulic Lake along the KVR.  Beautiful lake with a little gazebo along it:

Summit Lake along the KVR

Summit Lake along the KVR

Hiking the Stawamus Chief

27 04 2009

40th Marpole Scouts - on top of the Stawamus Chief

On Sunday, our Scout Troop went for a hike up the Stawamus Chief in Squamish BC.  The weather was perfect.  At the beginning of the hike, the temperature was around 12C and it promised to be a sunny day for the whole hike.  We had 8 scouts, 2 cubs, 5 parents, a friend and myself head up.  We lost one parent early due to the extreme start (it’s a really steep uphill to start) but the rest of us all soldiered up and even the few that looked like they were going to die at the beginning came through with flying colours!  The peak elevation is 620m so the elevation gain is almost 600m.  What an incredible view!!!

We hung up at the top of the mountain for about 1 hour and then hiked down the “east trail” via the  gully and it was a fun technical root hop.  Lots of little scrapes and scratches to help the kids remember the hike!  A great start to the warm weather!

For all the pictures, head over to:


Enjoy the view!


Sea Nettles

23 03 2009
We slept over at the Vancouver Aquarium with our Cubs on Saturday night.  It was a LOT of fun.  You get the opportunity to shoot sometimes without the hassle of all the people milling about.
One series…
Sea Nettles at the Vancouver Aquarium




They are mesmerizing to watch floating!


More OOB fun!

16 02 2009

I found myself on Friday looking for more images to make “OOB” or Out of Bounds.  Some just seem to be more suited to the idea than others.

I did, finally, find this one.  It has a nice double feeling… With the OOB Scouts looking for their way (perhaps back in bounds?):

My latest fun:

OOB SteinValley Scouts BC Canada


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Manning Park Winter Scout Camp – Warm WEATHER!!!

9 12 2008

We went out to Manning park – Lone Duck Campground on the weekend.  If you were one of the couples camping up above us, you no doubt knew we were down there.  We had the 40th Scouts and the 28th Scouts from Vancouver up.  All in all I think we had 45 kids up at camp.  It was fun – we weren’t exactly quiet.  The weather was warm for December – I think it may have made it down to –2C one night but for the most part it stayed just above 0C.  We hiked, practiced firelighting skills, outdoor cooking skills, and had a big warm campfire on Saturday night.
We all had a great time and the Venturers from both groups did a great job helping with the leadership of the Scouts.

Thanks to all that made the camp go so smoothly!

The entire collection of photos (40thcentric) are available at:

I’m sure the 28th Scouts will have a selection of pictures up soon as well.


Stein Valley photos – Alpine

2 09 2008

Due to weather issues, my camera and lens got absolutely soaked during the Stein hike.  On day 2, going from Caltha Lake to Tundra Lake via Figure 8 lake, mother nature decided to unleash her fury upon us.  It wasn’t pretty.  Rain, snow, sleet, hail, fog and 60kph winds.  The sheer battering of water was too much for my camera.  It didn’t dry out again until the 3rd day down in Lytton after we had left the valley.

The pictures were taken with a Canon 40D and a (definitely not waterproof) Canon 17-85IS USM lens.

Here are some of the pics I took on the first 2 days until then though.

The full collection of photos can be found at my photo blog:

I’m back from the Stein

29 08 2008

We made it.  For now – I just need to recover!  More soon.

Hi Honey!

18 08 2008

Here’s a quick "Hello!" to Mrs D!

Today, I’m passing past Figure 8 lake!  I’ll make sure I take good pictures for you!

I’m off to the Stein Valley

16 08 2008

Today we are heading out to the Stein Valley to hike with the Venturers from my group.

We have 10 days of hiking planned and then a day of river rafting.  It’s going to be a real challenge.  The last time I did this hike was 14 years ago.  It was tough then.  Now that I’m 40…. Urgh, it’s gonna be tough.

When Mrs D and I hiked this the last time, our camera batteries died on the first day :(  We only got 3 pictures.  This time, I’m bringing the 40D and 2 batteries.  2 x 4GB cards.  I WILL make sure I get my pictures!

Here’s our itinerary… I’ll be back online by the 29th at latest.

Day 1:                    Sunday, August 17 – Departure Date
                              0645: Leave Hall for main bus terminal
                              0800: Greyhound bus to Whistler Village for transport to Blackcomb Helicopters
                              1200: Helicopter to Tabletop Mountain
                              Hike begins – Tabletop Mountain to Caltha Lake (4.5 hours) 

Day 2:                    Caltha Lake to Tundra Lake (8 hours)

Day 3:                    Ultimate Challenge Day – Tundra Lake to Stein Lake (10 hours)

Day 4:                    Stein Lake to Avalanche Creek (5 hours)

Day 5:                    Avalanche Creek to Cottonwood Creek (6 hours)

Day 6:                    REST DAY: NO HIKING; Remain at Cottonwood Creek

Day 7:                    Cottonwood Creek to Ponderosa (5 hours)

Day 8:                    Ponderosa to Lower Cable Cross (6 hours)

Day 9:                    Cable Cross to Devil’s Staircase (7 hours)

Day 10:                 Devil’s Staircase to Stein Valley Trailhead (2.5 hours)
                              Hike to Lytton (3 hours)
Lodging at Lytton: Jade Springs Campground

Day 11:                 Wednesday, August 27
1030: Hyak River Rafting on the Thompson River

Day 12:                Thursday, August 28 – Return Day
1645: Greyhound to Vancouver
2145: Arrival at Vancouver bus terminal

Camp Log from 40th Marpole Galiano Island Scout Bike Camp

6 05 2008

Back after we finished camp, I promised I’d get a log posted.

This is the log of the camp as written by one of our 11 year old Scouts:

This bike camp is fun. I had a lot of fun with my bike.  We went uphill and downhill.  Even though the uphills were hard it was still good excercise.  The downhill riding was very exciting.  I like going down hills you can go very fast.

Bike camp is fun.  We made a campfire that I also really enjoyed.  We sat around the fire and sang songs and played.  I really enjoyed looking at the stars in the sky at night.  The stars are beautiful.  The hike on Sunday was good.  I learned a lot and saw old rocks that can easily break.  It was very cool.  There were little crabs under the rocks that were very interesting and funny to watch as they scurried around.  The seas and the beaches were beautiful.  The beach isn’t made of sand at all, but rather millions of cracked shells.  The path along the hike was very hard to walk on at some places, but I liked it.

I really enjoyed this bike camp, even though it was short.  It was my first time to go to camp on my bike.  I was surprised how hard the uphills were and how exciting the downhills were. I will definitely go to the next biking camp because I love it.

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