The Next Hike

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

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 31st August.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am

Last week we drove south towards Davie Bay, turned off at Eagle Creek and parked at the start of the steep hill about half way up to Thompson Road.  The hike up to Mystery Lake is fairly long from this starting point, but it was comfortable cooler weather for hiking.  Lunch was at the rocky outcrop at the north end and it was interesting to see a few stickleback in the shallow water as wel as the tiny white shells of freshwater Fingernail or Toenail Clams.  

My photo this time is from a hike we did earlier in the month near Pocahontas Bay.  This old piece of logging equipment was at the side of a new logging road so it may have only been found recently when the area was relogged.  When it was in use it would have been standing vertically with the upper part filled with water and a wood fire burning in the lower part which at the open end in my photo.  The small oval opening in the side was where the firewood was added to the fire and the hinge and latch are still in place on each side. I think the door is sitting on top of the boiler The pipes were there to increase the area where the heat from the fire was transferred to the water in the pressurised part of the boiler.  You can read about these engines at this web site.
It has a photo of a complete engine at a UBC museum in the Lower Mainland. 

An old vertical steam boiler for a donkey engine that would have been used in the logging industry. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 24th August.
We meet at the Ballpark at Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we decided to explore a new route for hiking that would start from Pocahontas Bay and head east along the old Pocahontas Main logging road to where a new logging road branches off into an extensive cutblock.  Eventually after passing through many hectares of fresh slash this road drops down and swings shaply to the left ending close enough to the beach to hear the waves beyond a thick stand of trees.  We soon found a deer trail that made it fairly easy to get past piles of branches and debris into the welcome shade of an old growth forest.  From there on down to the beach was easy going with open forest floor in every direction. From the beach logs where we sat for lunch the view of the mainland side was quite extensive and we have named the spot Tower View Beach as the tall, white Stillwater Hydro Station surge tower was prominent on the far side of the strait. 
My photo this week is a lucky shot of a small grasshopper that posed for me on a stone at the road side.  As far as I can tell it's a Red-legged Grasshopper in the genus Melanoplus, perhaps M. femurrubrum.  I understand it takes a grasshopper expert to identify most kinds of grasshoppers, but mine fits a photo I found on  What amazing patterns you find these insects have on their bodies when you get close enough to the insect to see them.  

A Red-legged Grasshopper at the roadside near Pocahontas Bay.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Next Hike.

The next hike will be on Saturday, 15th August.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we decided to hike to the top of Mt. Davies as the weather was clear and the views from the top are always quite spectacular in these conditions.  We drove towards Bobs Lake and parked at the usual place where the gasline crosses the Cook Bay Road not very far past the Vancouver Island Hydro line. However, we dawdled through the forest and along the gravel road, stopping to cut branches and look at butterflies and other things so changed our destination to the closer Bloody Mountain viewpoint on the south slopes of Mt. Davies.  Not far off this trail are a couple of beaver ponds one of which had lots of the bright yellow flowers of Bladderwort. I don't have time to go into all the interesting details of this common native plant, but have to mention that while it's flowers are really quite attractive beneath the surface of the water it's stems are dotted with tiny animal traps, in this case bladders.  In fact it's a carnivorous plant like the above ground annual Sundew that is also quite common on Texada.  That catches insects with sticky hairs on the rounded pink leaves.

Go on the web to see more pictures and read about the trapping process.    In my photo the large green leaves belong to the yellow flowered water lilies. These usually rest on the surface of the water, but the spell of dry weather has partially dried up the pond and left the stems exposed.

The bright yellow flowers of the pond plant Bladderwort are usually the only part of the plant that shows above the water surface.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Next Hike

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

Last week we drove south on Bell Road and circled around the east side of Bobs Lake to park on the gas line just past the entrance to the campground. Hiking south on the pipeline took us across the Anderson Bay Rd and on through the forest until we again met up with the Anderson Bay Rd near the start of the popular Twin Peaks trail.  At this point we were just south of Angel Lake so to reach our lunch spot on the north side of the lake we had to walk west along the good road then north until we reached the short access road in to the lake side.  This part of Texada has many wetlands and small lakes and it seems to have an above average number of resident beaver.  We saw a very well used beaver trail that crossed the main road at a point close to both Angel Lake and a large pond and at a different spot on the same road we saw where a medium sized pine tree had been cut and dragged over the road and into the beaver pond next to it. On the far side of the lake the large beaver lodge had had a couple of freshly debarked logs added to it very recently. 

At Angel Lake for lunch.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Next Hike

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

Last week we drove south from Gillies Bay and parked on the Davie Bay road at the top of the last hill before the bay. The hike took us along the first part of the road to Ken's Place and then down through the forest to the pocket beaches near the mouth of Eagle Creek.  We had lunch at the first bay and then hiked over a grassy bluff to the beach at the mouth of the creek.  My photo this week was taken at the first pocket beach and is of an outcrop of ancient lava rock that has been smoothed by the sea.  I imagine the breaking waves are sweeping the fine shingle pebbles repeatedly against the surface of the rock and producing these lovely smooth bumps and hollows. 

This stretch of coastline has several very small bays [the pocket beaches] separated by steep rocky headlands with a mix of grassy and forested bluffs backing the coastline. Access is by old logging road and winding trails.  It's a very lovely area and not so easy to reach on foot or by boat.  

Wonderfully smooth rocks running out into the beach near Eagle Creek.