The Next Hike

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

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Next Hike

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

Last week when we gathered for the hike the morning turned out to be just perfect for hiking and we needed to take full advantage of it by heading for a high point with wonderful views.  So the circular Mt. Grant Trail was a very good choice and, as my photo shows, the view towards the north-east with Nelson Island and the entrance to Jarvis Inlet in the middle distance the visibility was exceptionally good.  No trace now of that smoke that was such a problem this year for so long back in the summer!  

JD.

A clear view of some of the coast mountains from Mount Grant.  This view is from the Matterhorn rock on the north route to the top.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Next Hike

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

Last week we drove south along Davie Bay road and past Shingle Beach through the areas of recent forest cut-blocks to the parking place at the Cook Bay entrance gate.  This time we started down the trail that goes to a beach cabin and then took the first trail on the left that provides the quickest access to the very extensive area of bluffs to the west of Cook Bay.   Reaching the usual side trail up onto the open areas we quickly ran into problems with missing flagging and unpleasantly slippery slopes and so we concentrated on rerouting and reflagging two of the trails in the area.  My plan was to design a new shortcut trail that would be quicker and easier way to reach the coastline on future hike days. I also wanted to avoid straying onto private roads and property. We made some progress with that and also found a nice new spot for lunch and viewing the nearby Lasquiti Islands and the distant mountains.

My photo today was taken from the lunch spot and gives just a glimpse of the headland called Partington Point. In my photo you can just make out the red and white navigation marker that sits part way along the narrow Sabine Channel, a popular route for some of the largest cruise ships in the world.
JD.   

A glimpse of Partington Point south of Cook Bay from high on the Cook Bay Bluffs. 

Friday, October 5, 2018

Next Hike

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

Last week we figured the clouds were high enough that it would be safe to pick one of our higher mountains and have clear views of distant mountains.  The choice of Twin Peaks does mean a long drive before actually starting off on foot, but while the climb to the peaks is extra steep the distances are quite short.  As usual we turned north at the col between the peaks where the trail divides and we headed to the North Viewpoint before backtracking and climbing a bit higher to the South Viewpoint for lunch.  Some of the hikers were doing this particular hike for the very first time  For hikers who have never done this one before the views in both directions, towards Vancouver Island in one direction and the great sweep of the Coast Mountains in the other, are especially impressive.  There was still snow on the highest peaks on the mainland and with fewer clouds and clearer air it all made for a special treat.
JD.
 
The view south towards Nanaimo from the north viewpoint on Twin Peaks.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 29th September.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week was more or less a typical fall day as far as weather was concerned, dry and calm with low cloud all over, so no chance for hikers to enjoy any of those wonderful viewpoints we sometimes head to for lunch.  We drove south almost to Shingle Beach and parked at the last fork in the road as a good starting point for a circular hike route. On the first part of the hike where we headed uphill into that recently logged area we started finding masses of Evergreen Huckleberry bushes that had responded to the hot sunny summer and produced masses of sweet and juicy fruit.  We dawdled for a while and enjoyed the rare treat.  Then we made our way down to the beach and sat on logs to eat and hoping to catch sight of passing whales or such. No luck this time, but it was fun to each for interesting rock specimens as we headed back along the beach to the campground.

My photo shows just how abundant the crop was on some of the bushes of Vaccinium ovatum.
JD.
 
Evergreen Huckleberry with a great abundance of ripe berries. They are so tasty at this time of the year!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Next Hike.

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

Last week we were lucky enough to have no rain at all while we were hiking although it had been raining earlier and it rained again shortly after the hike.  We drove south past Shingle Beach and parked at the entrance gate to the Cook Bay property.  Our hike turned out to be a bit longer than usual as we did some side road exploring and wanted to confirm that the old ATV trail to Partington Point actually started where I thought I had seen it a few years ago.  In the morning we were hoping to find a nice bluff with a view for lunch, but we had climbed too high and found ourselves in a thick layer of high elevation fog. On the way back down after lunch we came across a rotted piece of log on the side of the old logging road that was coated with lichens.  My photo is a closeup shot of two different species of this curious type of plants that are part fungus and part algae.  The circular pink structures and the vivid red things are called fruiting bodies or apothecia.
JD.

British Soldiers or Toy Soldiers and Fairy Puke [Cladonia bellidiflora and Icmadophila ericetorum] are lichens on a rotting
 log near Cook Bay.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Next Hike

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

Last week drove over to Pocahontas Bay on the east side of the island and then continued a short distance south on the old Pocahontas Main logging road, parking at the junction where the side road to the towers branches off.  Our destination was the viewpoints on Pocahontas East peak which we have visited many times before this, but we usually approach from a different direction on a shorter route.  This time the climb was longer and the elevation gain a shade over 1,000ft.  
There are no viewpoints on the way up and it's nice to have the views towards the mainland mountains as a reward for the physical effort. 

Shortly after we started down it was a little surprising to see a garter snake sleeping on the damp moss just to one side of the trail.  Snakes unlike lizards do not have eyelids so it's hard to tell if they are awake or not when they are not moving about.  In this case it remained quite motionless as it was being photographed until out popped it's tongue showing we had woken it up. Even then it was not bothered by us being close by and we backed off and left it to resume its afternoon nap.
JD.
 
A sleeping Garter Snake beside the hiking trail on Mt. Pocahontas.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 8th September.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we decided to hike to the top of Eagle Mountain, somethings we had not done for quite a long time. Normally we would fit this particular hike in about once a year, but we figured it was no longer possible to drive part way up the logging road that connects the Davie Bay to Thompson Road.  After Forestry had dug numerous swales or water bars across the road from top to bottom it was felt they would damage our vehicles, even ones with good road clearance.   However, last Saturday we did negotiate the obstacles far enough along the old logging road to park at the starting point of the hike. From there we did make it to the top of the mountain and ate lunch at a great viewpoint, but it took much longer than it should have after I made navigation errors at two trail junctions where I think I must have turned right instead of left. It was a good weather day for the outdoors for a change after many days of very unpleasant forest fire smoke that were not only unpleasant to inhale, some days the smoke cut the visibility in quite a drastic way.

There were more delays after lunch as flagging was missing from one section of trail, but everyone and our vehicles made it safely back to Gillies Bay.  
JD.
  
The view looking north-west from a cliff top viewpoint near the top of Eagle Mountain.