The Next Hike

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

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. 


Friday, August 31, 2018

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 1st September. 
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we were faced with a day when some low cloud was covering the high ground and it seemed likely to hang around for most of the day.  There was not much point in heading uphill to a view point on a mountain top so we opted for a hike though some forest and down to where we could look for marine mammals along the shore.  We were hoping to see Orcas or perhaps humpback whales as both species have been reported in our area recently.  As it happened we did get to see some of our smallest marine mammal as we were enjoying lunch at the top of a low cliff just south of Mouat Point.  We saw them some distance away at first as they seemed to have found a concentration of small fish that they could eat without needing to return to the beach and it seemed to be a family of five or six staying close together for quite some time.  We knew we were close to where they spend time onshore and sure enough they headed back towards us and passed close by before landing just beyond a headland.  I think it was probably a mother, on the left in the photo, with her young family. After lunch we headed south, but were careful to avoid disturbing the large group of harbour seals that were basking on the shore not too far away.
JD.
 
A family of otters came very close to where we were eating lunch on a grassy bluff at the shoreline.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 25th August.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we had the usual dry warm weather we expect in August, but for quite some time we had been suffering from a thick atmosphere of forest fire smoke blown out onto the coast from some of the large number of fires in the interior.  It was not as bad as it had been and when we reached the start of our hike on the high ground south of Angel Lake we found we had relatively clean air, perhaps because the solution was more concentrated at sea level.  Half a dozen of the hikers were tourists from Vancouver Island just visiting for a few days and it was fun being able to talk to them and explain some of the unique features of Texada.  They seemed to be finding it hard to believe we had no bears, no cougars or wolves.  I think all six were visiting Texada for the first time ever - having finally decided it was time to visit the big island they could see not so very far away on the other side of the Salish Sea. 

Thanks Terry for the group photo of all twenty-two hikers obviously having a very good time.
JD.


A larger than usual hike group at Five-way Junction on a mid August hike during a time when there were extensive forest fires in many parts of the province.  

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 18th August.
We meet in the Ballpark at Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week was the very popular Texada Sandcastle weekend and no resident hikers managed to fit the usual Saturday hike into their schedules.  With no visiting hikers showing up either I decided to check out the trail situation in the area to the north of the Blubber Bay Road by myself.   From Van Anda I drove towards Blubber Bay and parked at the yellow gate on the road into the natural gas pipeline booster pumping station. I made slow progress and found it easier to walk on the rocky beach rather than in the forest.  I found several interesting things to photograph including the new species of tent caterpillar that has arrived in the last couple of years, some rock formations of scientific interest and some interesting specimens of the Seaside Juniper, Juniperus maritima.  This fairly large native tree manages to survive very well all along this stretch of coastline where it often grows on the most inhospitable outcrops of fractured limestone.  In my photo you can see one of these trees on the right, over thirty feet tall and yet perched on a rock ledge at the top of a low cliff. 

JD.
 
This view of Limekiln Bay looking south shows the coast line from near Glass Beach and Kiddie Point, almost to the southern limit at Marshall Point. 

Friday, August 10, 2018

Next Hike from Van Anda.

The next hike will be on Saturday, 11 August.
We meet at the parking area of the Canadian Legion in Van Anda at 10:00am.
 
Last week the weather was again hot and dry and we were glad to be able to hike along a route to Black Mountain that had lots of cool forest cover.  Most often when we hike to the top of Black Mountain we park on the roadside gravel pit at the Macyk Farm turnoff, but this time we parked on the Hydro East Road and hiked north and east to the Blownup Trailer Lake before taking the logging road that goes past the start of the Black Mountain Trail.  The viewpoint near the summit is one of my favourites although it does make me a bit nervous to stand on the rocky outcrop close to that steep drop off. The strait was really quite busy with pleasure craft in the water plus a tug and barge heading south and some float planes flying past below us.   Thanks for the photo Candi a great shot!   
JD.

At the Black Mountain viewpoint looking over Malaspina Strait towards Nelson Island.