The Next Hike

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

Friday, November 16, 2018

Next Hike

The next hike will be on 17th November.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.
Last week we headed off from the Ballpark on a dry but somewhat cloudy day on the long drive to Five-way Junction on the road to Anderson Bay.  Our plan was to repeat a hike we did with an extra large group of hiker in the summer on which we unfortunately got lost and missed having lunch on a small bluff with a great view.       This time we knew the flagging had been checked and we were able to enjoy having lunch on the viewpoint this time.  It's true the view would have been clearer in the summer, there was lots of rain cloud over the mountains on Vancouver Island and for a while the fog was very thick not far below where we were sitting.  It did clear for a few minutes and I think my photo did capture the way things can look on a mild foggy day in November.
JD.
    
Lasqueti Island could just be seen through the drifting November fog from a viewpoint high above Cook Bay.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Next Hike

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

Last week we expected to have rain for our hike and decided to hike in the Shingle Beach area where know we can take shelter under one of the open sided structures that are used at the annual concerts. We were lucky to have a dry place for our lunch stop. On the way we turned off the main road for a short trip to view the water falls on Stromberg Creek.  We were rewarded with quite a spectacular display tumbling over the cliff and I decided to try for a shot of the falls from a slightly different angle.  There are just so many trees in the way a clear view seems impossible to get, but in my photo taken from a higher view point it's possible to see, if you look at the top left of the image, another waterfall feeding water into the main falls. I've not tried to reach this one in recent years, but there used to be a very narrow and dangerous ledge leading to the foot of these upper falls. 

After that we drove on towards the campground and parked at the spot that takes the hiker to the long new Colossus Trail.  This must be one of the finest forest trails on Texada as it winds through old growth forest with so many majestic firs and cedars.  One end is located on the edge of the highest part of the campground and the lower access is on the left of the Shingle Beach Road where it winds down the last hill before the campground.  There is no parking just there so park before or after the trail sign.
JD.
 

A view of one side of the Stromberg Falls. The other side is behind the branches on the right.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Next Hike

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

Last week we met as usual in Gillies Bay and had no fog around as far as we could see so decided to head for a high viewpoint hoping to be able to see some distant scenery.  We drove up Bell Road and parked near First Lake, but noticed as we started our hike that the nearest hilltop was shrouded in the mist.  However, hoping for the best we headed off into the forest and soon discovered that the forest floor had quite a lot more fungi than we had been seeing in the earlier part of the fall.  My photo this week is of a type of mushroom that belongs to a group that feature soft teeth on the underside of the cap instead of the much more common groups with either gills or a yellowish sponge.  The toothed mushrooms are sometimes called hedgehogs and the group includes some common species that are collected for eating.  The one in my photo has scales on top that look as if they had survived a fire, and the teeth are a bit larger than you might see on the more common hedgehogs. 
JD.

Hawk Wing or Scaly Hegehog, Sarcodon imbricatum, a toothed mushroom near Second Lake.jpg

Friday, October 26, 2018

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 27th October.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am

Last week we drove south along Bell Road and passing the Bell Farm meadows and First Lake we parked at the old roadside gravel pit next to the the gas pipeline right of way.  We then started the hike by walking south on the pipeline the short distance to the first turnoff on the right where we had thought there might be much water crossing the old logging road and wondered if we would have to change our planned route to Plateau Mountain.  We could see that recently the force of the water had flattened the grass in places, but now the water had gone and the road surface was dry as a bone!  Soon we reached First Lake and again made use of our new hiking trail that skirts the north end of the lake.  There is nothing especially dramatic about this fairly large but shallow lake, but it's quiet and rather remote and I suspect few people even know it exists.  My photo this week was taken right on the trail. The top of Plateau Mountain is forest covered, but there is a choice of viewpoints where one can enjoy views in different directions while having a snack.
JD.


The north end of Third Lake with the forested flat top of Plateau Mountain in the distance. The area of brown grass was quite dry enough to walk on. 

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.