The Next Hike

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

Friday, November 17, 2017

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Aturday, 18th November.
We meet at the Ball Park in Gillies Bay at 10:00am
Last week we had quite nice hiking weather and drove south past Shingle Beach and parked at the gate at the entrance to the Cook Bay private property.  It was quite a long hike, mostly uphill along the Cook Bay Cutoff road and then on a side road that took us south to the viewpoint at the end of the short trail we have nicknamed "Machete Mike's Trail" This offers and wonderful view over the island of Lasqueti right below us and beyond the Salish Sea to the distant Vancouver Island mountains.
A red bracket fungus on a standing tree trunk near Gillies Bay..

Friday, November 10, 2017

Next hike

The next hike will be on 11th November.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we found ourselves feeling a bit nervous about the significant increase in the number of hunters spread around the island.  It's hard to escape far enough away from them to be out of earshot of their weapons, but there are some areas a bit off the beaten track that can be suitable.  We drove towards Davie Bay passing some fresh snowy patches and parked on the roadside.  We did pass a hunters camp on a side road, but there was a TV satellite dish set up nearby and we figured the hunters were inside and unlikely to bother us for a while.  The trail was a bit difficult to follow for a while, but we figured it out and made good progress beyond that section and on to our cliff top destination.  There was a cool wind blowing from the south-east, from the land rather than from off the water, and we were lucky to have the rocky bluffs to shelter us from the cold. 
Before we had finished eating someone spotted whale spouts a little way up the coast and we hoped they would be moving along past us going south.  They were humpbacks and in the bay where Eagle Creek reaches the sea and must have had plenty to eat as they were still in roughly the same area when we left to head home again.

Lunch on a steep oceanside bluff near Eagle Creek.

Friday, November 3, 2017

The next hike.

The next hike will be on Saturday, 4th November.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.
Last week the day started with some sea fog in the bay, but this had begun to burn off by the time we gathered at the Ballpark.  We decided to do a circular hike around Bobs Lake with part of the route being on a new trail that takes a route through the forested southern slope of the peak just south of Mt. Flicker. Part of the new trail was steep and needed more clearing and flagging so half the trekkers decided to take a lunch break while the others continued to higher up.  The astonishing thing about the whole day was the intense sunshine and the high temperature — it must have been around 20 degrees C.  It felt much more like a day in August than in the last week of October.  After lunch we continued on the circular hike route and took another break to enjoy the view from the very top of Flicker Mountain.   

My photo shows the view we had as we ate lunch part way up the steep forested mountain side.  To the south of Texada the low North and South Thormanby Islands with Welcome Passage just visible on the extreme left side.  Beyond them lies Vancouver, but it was a bit too misty to see anything at that distance. 

The view south from a new viewpoint on a new trail near Bobs Lake.  Vancouver is hidden somewhere in the far distance.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 28th October.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we were faced with a forecast of rain and very strong winds so we decided to opt for our bad weather hike route down to Shingle Beach camp ground where there are some covered areas, dry locations for having lunch.  While it did not prove to be especially windy and the rain held off until much later in the day we changed our plans a bit and headed through the forest to find a lunch spot on the grassy cliffs above the ocean.  With no wind and no rain we really enjoyed our meal looking out to sea where the southeaster was raising white caps as far as the eye could see. 

My photo this week is one I took last summer when we hiked up to the top of Twin Peaks. That's the summit of Mt. Shepherd in the distance with dense forest covering the upper slopes on this side of the mountain.  A point of note is the fact that it is just continuous forest in this view with no trace of logging activity to be seen anywhere.  I'm hoping that situation will not be changed anytime soon.

This is the view south from the summit of Twin Peaks looking at the forest covered slopes of Mt. Shepherd.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Next Hike.

The next hike will be on Saturday, 21st October.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we decided on doing a hike we had not done for a year or more and headed for the start of the Mt. Manzanita Trail.  I had trouble finding it and thought we needed to walk north from where we had parked, but it turned out to be a true stone's throw from where we had parked.  Nonetheless we had all got nicely warmed up with the brisk walking on the road and started along the well marked trail through the forest. Once we had reached the edge of the recent regrowth area of forest things got more difficult and there was lots of bushy branches to cut off as the young saplings still had vigorous branches right down to the ground. Once we got onto the open logging road we made good progress up the long but steady climb to the start of the final very steep 'goat trail' to the open bluff at the very top. It was disappointing at first  to find we had climbed into thick fog with nothing to be seen in any direction but the tops of nearby trees. It was windy and very damp in the fog and we searched for a spot with protection from the strong southeast wind.  Then to everyones great surprise big gaps opened up in the fog and suddenly we started to pick out some houses far below us, then Dick Island and Gillies Bay and as we started to eat lunch the whole ocean cleared and we were looking at the full extent of the Vancouver Island Mountains.   What a delight!

Lunching on a cool, windy and for a very short while, very foggy day on Mt. Manzanita.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 14th October.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we had a cool, but dry day for the hike and drove up onto the high ground, along Bell Road and then on the side road to park not far past the Masck Farm road junction. Our destination was the north end of Dragonfly Lake where a small rocky bluff offers a very pleasant lunch spot. Some hikers looked in vain for edible mushrooms as the very long spell of dry weather probably left the undergound parts of the fungus, the mycelium as its called, almost bone dry.

Our native Rough-skinned Newt does prefer to have some moisture in it's habitat and the recent showers seem to have encouraged it to start travelling about in the forest. We came across one very tiny specimen that had ventured onto a dry gravel road on Saturday and I photographed it with human finger-tips to show just how small it was. I was surprised to learn that they can live for more than ten years, and the fact that they have a very toxic poison in their skin no doubt helps them to avoid being eaten by predators.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 7th October.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am

Last week we were quite lucky with the weather as the rain held off all through the hike even though it had been raining very hard as we drove up from Gillies Bay.  We again used the new trail around the north end of Third Lake and took the newly cleaned up trail to Mystery Lake.  From there we used a long circular route to get back to Third Lake in the afternoon and it was very nice to be walking along the meandering trails in the forest with the sun rays reaching the ground through  random gaps in the tree canopy.

My photo is of the native Maidenhair Fern that is more often seen in damp places on limestone around Van Anda, but also close to creeks and waterfalls in other parts of the island.

The delicate and unmistakable frond of the native Western Maidenhair Fern, Adiantum aleuticum.