The Next Hike

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

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Next Hike from Van Anda.

The next hike will be on Saturday, 2nd February.
We meet at the Canadian Legion in Van Anda at 10:00am.

Last week we again hiked the road to Pocahontas Bay, but this time we went right down to the water and then beyond the bay on the side road that ends close to  the sandy beach of the next quiet bay south along the coast. We again checked out the recently fallen trees around the edge of the big beaver pond and wondered what they had in mind for the massive tree trunks of the larger alders.  Perhaps they just want to eat the bark as the logs must surely be too large to use in dam construction and repair.

For this week we will be car pooling from the parking area at the Canadian Legion, Legion Road in Van Anda over to the west coast of Texada where I hope  we will have a chance to visit with the sea lions on the rocks at James Mack's property near Favada Point.  I was there last week and was rather surprised to see lots of the less common species, the Steller sea lions.  Normally I would expect to see many of the smaller, darker Californian sea lions there, but I only saw a few this time. If it's not foggy on Saturday we will probably hike south of the point and find a viewpoint on some grassy bluffs for lunch.
Some of the Steller Sea Lions resting on rocks north of Favada Point, January 2013.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 26th January.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am

Last week we wanted to hike on the high ground for a change and drove up Bell Road towards First Lake.  All along the way the snow had been washed away by the recent heavy rains, but at the Bell Farm there was snow everywhere and the road surface very slippery.  We reluctantly headed back down the hill and started our hike on the High Road instead.  We took the Pocahontas Road on the right going down it as far as the big beaver pond where we found the hard-working mammals had been falling quite a few of the larger alders on the shore line close to the dam.  Beaver on Texada don't seem to cut down large trees very often and get most of their food from small fir trees, shrubs like salmonberry and water plants like bullrush.   My photo shows one of the trees that was partly cut close to the edge of the pond.  Lunch was beside another of the large beaver swamps in the area.  This one had flooded the old logging road a few years ago and we have yet to find an easy way round the obstacle to hike on down to the beach.

A good sized alder tree that is being worked on by a beaver close to the Pocahontas Bay road.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Next Hike,

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

Last week we drove south towards Davie Bay and parked on the main road at Eagle Creek.  Taking the side road that goes up to Thompson Road we climbed steadily uphill eventually taking the last short but very steep side road on the left that ends at the very top of Eagle Mountain.  The weather was cool, but pleasant enough with no wind and we enjoyed the view from the lunch spot looking out towards Vancouver Island.  This particular hike is a little less than 5km each way, so not especially long, but the gain in elevation of 360m or 1,187ft  does help to warm you up and burn a few extra calories!  A nice hike for a cooler day.

The bluffs on the west side of Eagle Mt. provide a great view looking north-west beyond Dick Island to the ski slopes
 of Mt. Washington on Vancouver Island. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 12th of January.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we decided to pick a low elevation hike to avoid running into problems with the snow on the high ground.  The tide was good for beach walking so we headed south towards Shingle Beach parking at the start of a new logging road at the top of the last hill down to the campground.  The road had been extended since our last hike in the area and it was fun to explore right to the end.  The unfinished last section proved to be very muddy and ended abruptly at a small creek.  We had noticed the original hiking route down to the beach cottages near the start of  the muddy section and used it to arrive at our intended lunch spot in good time.  One of the cottages provided a welcome windbreak and even had a useful folding camp chair for me to sit in comfort.  The return along the beach was uneventful as the tide was low enough to allow us to get past the odd fallen tree that would have been difficult to climb over had the waves been higher up the beach.

My photo is of the cut base of an old growth fir that had been growing close to the route of the new logging road.  It's a shame a tree of this age was not left standing for future generations to enjoy.  I took closeup photos and was able to count 300 growth rings.  This veteran of the forest was a sapling in 1710 when England was ruled by Queen Anne.  It was not till 50 years later in the seventeen sixties that the very first British colony was founded in Botany Bay in Australia. The tree was close to 100 years old when Capt Vancouver arrived to survey the coastline and islands of the Straits of Georgia.  We saw several old growth trees nearby and I certainly hope these will be conserved and not cut down for no valid reason. 
Counting the growth rings on an old growth Douglas Fir tree beside a new logging road at Shingle Beach.  

Friday, January 4, 2013

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday 5th January, 2013
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am

Last week was quite cool, but not windy and it did not rain on our hike for a change. The sky was overcast and there was some mist on the high ground, but everyone needed extra exercise, it being a post Christmas feast day hike, so we headed for Mt. Pocahontas and the George Lechner trail.  This route starts on the High Road with quite level walking along the road to start with, but leaving the road the climbing starts, gently at first then steeper.  There was surprisingly  little snow about and we only reached the snow line at the lunchspot. We were lucky the mist had cleared as we hiked and we had good views of Gillies Bay and of Zant Road below us.  
We may no be quite so lucky with the weather this coming Saturday as the forecast predicts more mild damp days ahead.

Lunch at the snow line on Pocahontas Mountain overlooking Gillies Bay.