The Next Hike

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

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 19th July.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we drove quite a long way south along Bell Road, past Bobs Lake and then parked at the first gas pipeline crossing on the Anderson Bay Road. The hike route was south along the pipeline then on various logging roads, past the turning into Angel Lake, then onto a side road that eventually took us to the fairly long beaver dam at the big pond with a great view of Twin Peaks. It was a warm and humid day that seemed to bring out a lot more deer flies than usual, but sitting under the trees at the edge of the pond there was a little breeze and the bugs were much less of a problem than they might have been.

My photo this week is one I took recently when we hiked the lovely new Marble Bay trail along the north shoreline of Sturt (Marble) Bay. The Boat Club marina is just outside the left side of the photo and the floats you can see are all private ones. 
JD.

The view of Caesar Cove from the new Marble Bay hiking trail.  The trail starts from the main road and runs along the north shoreline of Marble or Sturt Bay, Van Anda. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Next Hike

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

Last week we had very pleasant weather for a fairly long hike that took us from the gravel pit near Second Lake along forest trails that are somewhat overgrown now in several places to a bluff on Thompson Road with views of Vancouver Island in the far distance.  The return route was different as we passed along the east side of Mystery Lake and along our quite new trail that follows much of the shoreline of Third Lake.  
JD.

Bog cranberry flowers at Hydro Line Lake, Vaccinium oxycoccus.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Next Hike

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

Last week we started off with a fairly slow drive along the bumpy roads that go down to Pocahontas Bay and beyond to the south towards Russ Creek. The hike was one that climbs almost continuously along some new and old logging roads to a rocky peak with an elevation of just under 1,500ft [450m] above sea level.  The actual elevation gain for the hikers was about 900ft, but the weather was dry and not too warm.

My flower photo this week is one I took last month of a tiny plant that is quite uncommon in our forest and often found with a much more common and larger plant called Prince's Pine.  Many people are familiar with the more common one which always has many more flowers on each plant instead of the one, two or three of the Little Prince's Pine. I think the flowers in my photo are quite curious because, to me at any rate, they look as if made of wax and hand painted!  So odd and attractive. 

JD.

Little Prince's Pine, Chimaphila menziesii, Hydro Line Lake Rd. This is a smaller relative of the much more common Prince's Pine.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Next hike.

The next hike will be on Saturday, 30th June.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we had a hot and dry sunny day for our hike and headed south along the road to Shingle Beach turning off just before the campground to use the route through the extensive recently logged area to reach our parking spot just outside the Cook Bay gate.  The idea was to find a way from a low elevation bluff close to the Cook Bay property that would take us down to a part of the coastline that we had not visited on earlier hikes in the area.  We did find a route that was not too difficult and ate lunch on the grassy slope with a lone tree that you can see in the very centre of my photo.   After lunch we did some more exploration and managed to find a way to get onto our main flagged trail that reaches the sea at the Twin Beaches.  Using part of that main trail and another flagged trail we made last year we eventually got back to the route we used in the morning. This is such a beautiful part of Texada and it has a wide strip of land along the coast here that is a designated UREP reserve. [ A reserve area selected by the Provincial Government for the 'Use, Recreation and Enjoyment of the Public' ]  It was a long hot climb back up from the shoreline to the road where we had parked, but it was so well worth all the effort and a hike to be remembered.
JD. 

View south down the Sabine Channel from near Cook Bay. The top of Mt. Shepherd is just out of the picture on the left and the islands on the right are part of Lasqueti.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday 23rd June.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week John Wood was our guide and he took us along a new hiking route that he and his helpers have recently completed.  The trail starts from the main Blubber Bay Road just south of the large "Golf" sign and mainly hugs the north shoreline of Sturt Bay ending with a  loop that includes a long section of mature Red Cedar forest.  It offers several excellent picnic spots on the rocky low cliff coastline with views both towards Van Anda and looking across Malaspina Straits to Westview and the coast mountains beyond.

My photo is of the very well hidden hummingbird nest that was built right next to the trail on a low cedar branch.  The nests are always exactly the right size to hold just two babies and this was no exception and you can see the two bills ready to receive the next food delivery.  By the way, the males apparently have nothing to do with raising the offspring as the females do the nest construction, incubation of the eggs and feeding the young.
JD.

 
A Rufous Hummingbird nest built on a cedar branch on the Marble Bay Trail near Van Anda. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Next Hike from Van Anda.

The next hike will be on Saturday, 16th June.
We meet at the Legion parking area in Van Anda at 10:00am.

Last week we drove in very good weather to a parking place south of Bobs Lake where the main road crosses the gas line right of way. Walking south to a junction not far from Angel Lake we took the side road that runs along an undulating route through thick forest until it eventually comes to a fairly recent clearcut on a very steep mountainside.  The view at our lunch  spot is not all that wide an angle, but on a clear day it offers dramatic scenery looking north towards the mainland. 
JD.

Having lunch on a very steep mountainside not far from Twin Peaks.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 9th June.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

There is one parking place close to a small gravel pit and up on the high ground near Second Lake that we use several times each year because it provides a very good starting place for several of our more popular trail hikes.  Destinations include Plateau Mountain, Mystery Lake, Thompson Road, Thompson Bluffs and a circular hike that passes the Reactor Station.  Last week we added a new route that ends on a steep sided bluff high up on the south side of the Vancouver Island Hydro line.  Directly below and partly under the cables is a lake we are calling Hydro Line Lake.  A common shrub that usually grows in wetlands and around the margins of lakes on Texada has recently undergone a scientific name change no doubt the result of recent genetic research by botanists who have found the earlier name was no longer appropriate.  In this case the low shrub we know as Labrador Tea has the new scientific name Rhododendron groenlandicum.  The species part of the name remains the same as before, but the genus is no longer Ledum.  Whatever the name you use I must say it's creamy white flowers were putting on a great display last week. 
JD.

The Labrador Tea shrubs in full flower all around the end of Hydro Line Lake.