Friday July 30 we drove Banff to Vancouver (520 miles). We left straight after Nili's lecture at noon - beautiful scenery the entire way, but very difficult to appreciate or stop and admire since we had committed to reach our friends John and Joan that evening. We finally arrived at 9:30pm - and after many hugs and 20 years worth of updates we went to sleep around midnight.
We woke next morning without an alarm - John tried Nili's bike (not smiling) but decided that he preferred his unicycle (smiling). Some people build treehouses, but John has built an intricate rope structure/maze in a beautiful large Weeping Willow tree and continues to add to this complex sturcture. I believe that it is a natural outcome of his prior life as a researcher in the fantasy world of Fractals where one digs deeper and deeper, continuing to uncover more hidden wonders. John decided on a reasonable 13 mile bike ride without too many hills - we took the truck with all four bikes loaded (two on the roof, two in the back) and drove a few miles to Seymour Road - probably the most beautiful bike path that we have ever been on. A path as wide as a two-lane road, but barred to motor vehicles - winding through an old growth forest for 6 1/2 miles (one way). We passed some very strange looking enormous tree stumps (cut down for the lumber trade) - however growing out of the stumps were new trees or tree shoots - they had the appearence of weird large pots with trees growing out of them. At the end we arrived at a river with a bank packed with smooth round stones. After Joan showed us the technique of "riding the stones" (did I mention that Joan runs courses on Mountain Bike Technique?) we first relaxed and then lay down on them as though at an exotic spa. Totally refreshed we returned - we only had to walk a few small hills - it was a gem of a path in Vancouver, virtually unknown to tourists.
We finished the day with a wonderful supper cooked by Chef John (aided by Ali) and watched an impressive DVD on Mountain Biking. A great end to a great day in Vancouver.