The tea boutique had been bookmarked for potential exploration well in advance of the trip, though, without definite plans to visit, I had never bothered to confirm its coordinates.
One of the staff members approached me as I gazed upon the product assortment. Despite embodying tonality of a tourist greater than a tea connoisseur, I was not regarded with any less respect. The team member admitted that, as she did not bake personally, she was unable to extend commentary in regards to the type of houjicha most suitable for the purpose. That said, she called upon feedback from a coworker to assist with my inquiries.
As I neared the cashier with my picks of hojicha obsidian and genmaicha (the soufflé cheesecake was too good), the cookies caught my attention. I took the opportunity to ask my chauffeur of her gustatory preferences, in the meantime conversing with the staff member. Our chatter would unveil her Ontarian upbringing, along with the shocking revelation that we had grown up in the same neighbourhood. What a small world it truly was!
She whisked me away to Bahn Mi Saigon, where we would procure picnic-able paper bag lunches.
Of course, I also declared unlikely for the park to be empty. Rain days in Vancouver are not uncommon. While residents of Central/Eastern Canada have tendencies to postpone schedules for a rain check (no pun intended), I was of the opinion that BC residents were more likely to accept the given weather conditions and proceed, for the rescheduled date may also fall on a rain day.
My suspicions were confirmed by the presence of a school field trip and several incoming families.
At the southwest corner was a general store that doubled as a place of respite. Along its outer perimeter were a series of plastic tables and chairs. Initially hesitant, we took to one of the tables anyway. Banh mis were retrieved for lunch while seeking shelter from the showers beyond.
Surprisingly, I finished the entire sandwich. It was filling, but not overly so, providing fuel to continue hiking. My companion brough fruit to supplement hydration levels, though I was too full after the banh mi and did not pursue the palm-sized apple.
The Pipeline Bridge, marked as a point of interest, turned out to be a short overpass running parallel to a raised pipeline traversing over the waterway. The view from above was not as spectacular as that of the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, for obstructions were abundant, shrouding the rushing waters beneath.
British Columbia's elevation had contributed greatly to the varied perspectives along the trail, yet also introduced fear for potentially slippery descents without railings. Though not accessible - nor dry - in any way, the hike had been an overall positive experience.