The Next Hike

Check here every week for details on the next Trekker hike!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Next Hike.

The next hike will be on Saturday, 27th May.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we drove south past Shingle Beach to the entrance gate to the Cook Bay land. From there we walked part way down the old road that goes to the south end of the long Shingle Beach and then got off on to the long winding trail that heads up and over the series of grassy bluffs above the small twin bays.  We had lunch on one of the higher bluffs with a rocky summit and then used the route that passes by a very old pickup type camper in a small clearing in the forest to get back to the old road again.  

The photo for this week is one of the group that hiked from Van Anda to Raven Bay at the end of April.  We had made a point of diverting from the Priest Lake Trail where it crosses Van Anda Creek to check out that small area of old growth forest which includes a few of the old giants including this Douglas Fir with massive fissures in it's centuries old bark.  Thanks Terry for doing this perfect timer delay shot.
Trekkers on their way to Raven Bay rest beside a giant Douglas Fir close to Van Anda Creek.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 20th May.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we had a dry day that proved to be very pleasant weather for hiking.  We drove up Bell Road then down the Hydro East road to a parking spot abouttwo thirds of the way down the very long hill.  A fairly new logging road branches off at this point and heads downhill taking a winding route through mixed areas that are both untouched forest and young plantations.  Several creeks pass under the road in culverts and after so much rain in recent weeks it was no surprise to see so many miniature rapids and attractive waterfalls. For lunch we sat on logs on the beach after failing to locate a larger waterfall that we had visited some years earlier.  

My photo is one I took on the previous hike at the start of May when we explored the forested mountain side high above Cook Bay. This is a colourful lichen that has the very odd English name 'Floral Pixie',  There is a similar species that is common elsewhere that is called 'British Soldiers', but I understand it's rare here on the coast.  

Cladonia bellidiflora, Floral Pixie, a lichen similar to another kind of Cladonia lichen called British Soldiers.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Next Hike.

The next hike will be on Saturday, 13th May.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we drove a long way south past Bobs Lake and parked at Five-way Junction not far from Twin Peaks.  This was the first group hike along a long new trail that winds through the forest to the west of the junction.  It passes several small wetlands and lakes and the lunch stop is on the highest of the open bluffs that extend several kilometres up the mountain side above Cook Bay.  The view is of Lasqueti Island and the mountains of Vancouver Island in the far distance.  As we hiked through the forest we could hear the voices of the tree frogs at the ponds and lakes and they would always go silent when they felt we were getting too close to them. 

My photo is of one of the treefrogs in a dry area.  This species is also called "Chorus Frog" by some people.

Treefrogs tend to have a wide range of body colour variations. This one has quite distinctive black markings. 

Friday, May 5, 2017

The next hike.

The next hike will be on Saturday, 6th May.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Baay at 10:00am.

Last week we had a rainy day for our hike and annual Raven Bay beach oyster roast and BBQ.  For the hike we started at the Legion parking in Van Anda as usual, but could not use the usual route through the two quarries as Imperial, the active one, was operating so too dangerous to walk through.  Instead we hiked the trails south of Van Anda and visited the wonderful section of old growth forest that straddles Van Anda Creek just a short distance downstream from the Priest Lake dam.  The food was all good and the conversation pleasant, but it was defintely a bit chilly so the warm fire was very welcome. 

My photo this time is of the waterfalls on Maple Bay Creek when we were on a hike back in February.  The frequent rains we have been having this year have maintained high water flows on all the islands creeks and have helped to produce more impressive falls and rapids than usual.  We had had a chance to see some of the sealions out on the islands that are also a part of the Woodwardia Conservation Lands and also visited Favada Point with it's interesting Prickly Pear Cactus clusters. 

Waterfalls on Maple Bay Creek, February 2017.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Next Hike starts from Van Anda - for the Annual Beach BBQ.

The next hike will be on Saturday, 29th April.
We meet at the Royal Canadian Legion parking at 10:00am

Last week we hiked close to Gillies Bay and just drove a short distance to park near the airport.  From there we hiked down to the beach at Cox Lagoon and then south to have lunch not far from the Sandbanks cliffs.  The return was through the forest on the old logging roads and trails to the sandpit beside the airport road.

If you are unable to hike right now, you used to hike or are spouses/partners/visitors of Trekkers, you are welcome to come to Raven Bay!  Raven Bay Road is only suitable for 4 wheel drive vehicles. but if you come by car you can park on the High Rd. at the junction to the Raven Bay turnoff which is at Slow Farm.  The walk down to the beach takes ten to fifteen minutes.  There will be a fire and the opportunity to roast oysters, clams and hot dogs and please bring whatever food you wish to eat or share with others.  There are logs to sit on, but no picnic tables so bring chairs if you want to sit close to the fire.  Also BYOB if you wish.  The tide should be low enough to gather shell fish, but don't forget to have your current Saltwater Licenses.
After the BBQ those those who drove down to the bay will transport the other drivers and those who need a ride back to their vehicles parked on the High Road or in Van Anda at the Legion.
For more details please get in touch with David Taylor or Russ Sparks. I'm not chasing wild geese on Vancouver Island this year and will be the guide for the one way hike which will take a couple of hours or so.

My photo is one from a few years ago that shows what one of our native mosses looks like.  I've been asked about this type because there is interest in finding on Texada a very rare moss that is a close relative of the one in my photo.  The Rigid Apple Moss has been found on Lasquiti, but not so far on Texada.  It will probably take a good closeup shot like mine to get a positive ID, and an expert eye to confirm it's identity.

Common Apple Moss, Bartramia pomiformis, growing close to some fallen branches with grey lichens.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 22nd April.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Just a reminder that the last Saturday in April, the 29th, will be the annual Texada Trekkers beach oyster roast and pot-luck at Raven Bay.  All hikers past and present are welcome as are spouses and significant others.  There will be a one way hike to Raven Bay that starts at the Canadian Legion in Van Anda at 10:00am for those who are able, and for those not hiking they can drive and park at the Raven Bay turnoff on the High Road [the road down to the bay is too rough for cars, OK for pickups and some sturdy SUV's] and walk or get a ride down to the bay.  

For more information contact David Taylor or Russ Sparks. 

Last week we had a great day for hiking and drove up to the gasline road crossing not far south of the Hydro Reactor Station. For some of the hikers this was their first visit to Mt. Davies and the trails through the forest and past the beaver ponds and the panoramic views at the top were all greatly appreciated.  It's a pretty good work-out too as the elevation change from parking place to the summit is about 1,000ft, 300 metres.
What a lovely bright and sunny day — lunchtime on the summit of Mt. Davies.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 15th April.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we drove to the parking place near the top of Pocaahontas Bay Rd. and headed up the steady climb that passes close to te side trail to the site of the old Pocahontas Fire Lookout post.  We then took the next turn on the left that continuous mostly uphill to one of our newest viewpoints an open area with a mircrowave reflector as big as a city billboard.  This day the weather was dry and fairly clear, but the odd shower cloud was drifting around in the distance.  The previous time when we made the effort to reach this high point of land we were deep in fog that only cleared just enough to see a bit of sea and distant mountain.

My photo was taken on a recent drive to a hike that started on the Cook Bay Rd.  It shows some of the big piles of cut trees we saw in an area of extensive logging to the south of Shingle Beach.  We wondered how many of these logs would be shipped offshore instead of contributing to the BC forest products industry and the additional jobs that would generate.

Logs awaiting transport to the booming ground at Mouat Bay.   This is in an area of recent forest clear-cutting to the south of Shingle Beach.