Slypsteen’s Corner

Summer on the DC dikes

By Kobus de Villiers

At last it is a glorious summer’s day. Time for one of our favourite pastimes. Our area is surrounded by rivers and lakes. The nearest town to our ‘dorpie’ is Pitt meadows. It is in a low-lying area and is surrounded by many little farms growing all kinds of berries. The municipality has an extensive flood mitigation infrastructure consisting of dikes, ditches, pump stations, and flood boxes. The town is protected from river flooding by about 60 km of dikes.

These dikes form flat, picturesque, dog-friendly trails perfect for cycling, strolling, or jogging along the Fraser River, Pitt River, and Alouette River.  Especially now in the COVID-era, there is a lot of space out here. Our favourite one for a morning’s hike and a stop under some shady trees for a picnic, is the Alouette River Dike Trail.

It meanders along the slow-moving river next to sprawling blueberry and cranberry fields. On a sunny day, with the peaks of the Cascade Mountains in the background, it is a perfect setting for some landscape photography, or a subject for one of the local community centres’ educational activities for senior citizens. Today a group of them are painting a tranquil scene along the trail where there are some interesting riverside communities.

There is quite a collection of floating homes with some unique characters living aboard along a part of the trail, which I will discuss in a next episode. Today we are just walking, taking photos, enjoying the prolific birdlife, and looking for a shady picnic spot.

Community Centre organized painting classes.

View from our picnic spot.

White bench on the opposite bank.

Cascade mountains in the background.

Berry farmer’s house on the northern bank.

Early morning walk along the Alouette River.

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Kobus de Villiers is a retired aeronautical engineer. He grew up in the Free State. After serving in the Bush War, he lived, worked, and studied in several countries around the world. He still does some consulting and builds contraptions in his workshop. He lives with his French wife in Vancouver, Canada. He shares his stories and photos with Howzit on this blog, aptly called “Slypsteen”

Kobus’ books can be ordered on Amazon.

In South Africa, you can find his books through Malherbe Uitgewers.

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