The Next Hike

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

Friday, June 23, 2017

Next Hike from Van Anda.

The next hike will be on Saturday, 24th June.
We meet in the parking lot at the Canadian Legion in Van Anda at 10:00am.

Last week when I was walking to the Ballpark I seem to remember seeing there was some low cloud on the high ground so it was best to hike on a low elevation trail. As some of the newer hikers had not had a chance to hike along the shoreline north from Shingle Beach that was what we decided to do. We started from Yew Tree Bay with it's fine Arbutus and Yews and headed north towards Secret Beach. The trail was in good condition having dried out well after so many recent rainy days and we made good progress before stopping for lunch on a clifftop bluff close to where some Pigeon Guillemot sea birds were nesting. After lunch and as we approached Secret Beach and the mouth of Stromberg Creek we were very surprised to hear very loud music up ahead and found ourselves walking among tents and then past the audio system which was part of a small scale music festival.

My photo shows a cluster of flowers of a fairly uncommon wild flower that seems to prefer dry seaside bluffs. Hooker's Onion has a few short thin leaves very early in the spring and then only produces flowers in the summer when the leaves have dried up. In BC it's pretty much limited to the south east side of Vancouver Island and a few locations in the Coast Mountains inland from Vancouver.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Next Hike.

The next hike will be on Saturday, 17th June.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am
Last week we had some recently cut trails to experience not far from Northeast Point on the eastern coastline of the island. To reach the area we drove down to Pocahontas Bay and then south along  the old Pocahontas Main and off on the new road into the very large clearcut we have visited a couple of times earlier in the year.  Russ Creek is a fair sized stream for Texada that flows north into Northeast Bay.  The lower part of the creek runs down quite steeply in places and is shaded on both sides by forest that has hardly been touched by logging in recent years.In the morning we hiked uphill along the wet bank trail and then after lunch we had another new trail to take us back to the strating point, this time on the east bank. 
It's hard to get good photos that capture the great beauty of this part of Texada because the forest is dark and the tree trunks and undergrowth often hide the creek from view. You really have to be there to appreciate the natural beauty of the place.  In one section a very narrow and steep-sided ravine cuts down through bedrock and in other sections there are rapids and waterfalls and the noise the water is making carries for quite a distance. Where the slope becomes much less steep the creek is broad and shallow and the forest peaceful.  My photo is in a brighter spot where fallen trees allow more sun to reach the forest floor and where the creek plunges over a low cliff and enters a section where the water moves much more slowly.

Russ Creek - a natural water slide and waterfall with Maidenhair Ferns.

Friday, June 9, 2017

The next hike

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

Last week we once again headed south along the coast and parked at the Cook Bay gate with the weather sunny and dry and certainly very pleasant for hiking.  This time our plan was to explore some of the bluffs nearer to Cook Bay community that we had not visited on earlier hikes in this area.  This time we had a new approach route down an old logging road we had not used before and this took us quite quickly to a spot where it was easy to access a bluff with quite a good view not all that high above the shoreline.  We decided to climb higher exploring the new territory in search of a good view point and suitable spot for lunch.  We found a good one and then after lunch continued towards the west until we reached our main trail that was well flagged and the best way to reach the main trail to the beach and complete a circular route.  

My photo was taken on our recent hike to the pocket beach near Eagle Creek.  June is the month when the rocky cliffs along our shoreline have lovely masses of the bright yellow monkey flowers growing usually in damp spots with a little decent soil and full sun exposure.

A colourful mass of Monkey Flower or Mimulus near Eagle Beach. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 3rd June.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we drove just a very short distance and parked a little way up the hill after the bridge over Mouat Creek on the road to Davie Bay.  An old logging road took us south through replanted clearcut and forest and it was interesting to see how well some Giant Sequoia trees were doing in one area that had been planted with mixed conifers including Red Cedar, Sitka Spruce and and Douglas Fir.  Our chosen lunch spot was a small pocket beach where we sat on low rocks beside a very calm sea.  The tide was exceptionally low that day and we found some especially interesting tidepools that would normally be under the sea.

The low tide allowed us to walk past steep cliffs and along the beach to where Eagle Creek emerges from the forest and splashes down onto brilliant green seaweed.  Warm smooth rocks beside the falls made it a perfect spot to just linger for a while.

    The lovely little waterfall at the mouth of Eagle Creek.  At high tide the sea refreshes small tide pools just out of the picture on the right.

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.