The Next Hike

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

Friday, December 30, 2016

Next Hike.

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

Last week we drove south almost down to Shingle Beach and then turned left and up into the extensive new logging area.  We parked where the road levels off and heads south and then started walking in the same direction to the first Y junction.  The right fork headed down slope for some distance and eventually did a U turn to an area where we could see we were not far from the sea which we could see through a belt of open forest below the road. An old overgrown logging road gave us an easy route down to our planned lunch spot on a part of Shingle Beach close by the old cottages we have visited many times before. 

My photo this week is of part of a fallen section of tree trunk that had become covered with mosses and several different fungi that I assume are members of the bracket fungus family, Polyporaceae.  I'm not sure exactly what these are, but I can say there seemed to be quite a few different varieties on this log and some like it appear in online photos. If you are interesting in putting a name to them you might look in one site that I found interesting:—


While having lunch we were surprised to see quite far out to sea one or two quite active Humpback Whales.  They tend to be more often seen recently off the north end of Texada, around towards Van Anda and over on the mainland side of Malaspina Strait.
JD.

Bracket Fungus on a rotting log that has been lying on the ground a very long time — not far from the old cottages on Shingle Beach. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Next Hike

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

I have a photo this week that is quite appropriate for the holiday season.  In Europe there is the old Christmas tradition of kissing beneath a sprig of the native mistletoe plant and my photo is of a north american relative of that plant.  In both cases the plants are parasites that grow from seeds that get stuck on the branches of suitable kinds of trees, in Europe quite often apple trees and here on Texada the host is usually one of our native conifers.  My photo is of a mistletoe growing on the thin branches of a Jack or Shore Pine, Pinus contorta. 
JD.


  
The fairly common parasitic plant Mistletoe growing in the branches of a pine tree.

Friday, December 16, 2016

The next hike.

The next hike will be on Saturday, 17th December.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am

Last week much of Texada had a white covering of snow and only the lower elevations had none. To avoid any slippery places as far as we possibly could we decided to just keep the hike fairly short and make our destination the beach near the Sandbanks between the community and the Texada Airport. We started from the Airport Rd. near the water tower and quickly found there was some almost invisible ice on the first part of the gravel road. We made it safely down to the beach on our short trail through the forest and had no problem walking south along the shore as the tide was not too high. Lunch was on the logs at the high tide line hoping we might see some of our less common marine mammals, but no luck this time. On our return to the vehicles we climbed the steep Sandbanks Trail and were pleased to find the thick strong rope was firmly in place to help us climb the very steepest sections.

The subject of my photo this week is a very unusual rock that appears to be a fracture zone breccia with jagged veins of a white mineral that is probably feldspar. I would guess the small black fragments are pieces of the originally solid rock which was broken up as a liquid lava was forced in under great pressure.
JD.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Next Hike

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

Last week we had wanted to drive up to Thompson Rd. and hike in that area going to a bluff with a view for lunch.  However, as soon as we turned off the Davie Bay Rd. we found ourselves faced with getting across a whole series of freshly dug water bars some of which were deep enough to damage the underside of even a high clearance pickup.  So we decided to park the vehicles and set of on foot up the hill.  It was quite pleasant and we eventually reached Thompson Rd., but without enough time to reach any of our favourite viewpoints. 

My photo is from a hike we did last month.  A very old fallen tree beside the trail had supported the growth of two large brown bracket fungus that had such a shiny upper surface they looked as if someone had painted varnish on them.  They just happened to be shedding spores from the underside and these make it look as if the green leaves have been painted with a spray can!
JD.
     

A pair of shiny Bracket Fungus shedding spores onto some foliage below them.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Next Hike

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

Last week we found we had a dull day with very thick low cloud when we met at the Ballpark so we knew it would be a waste of time seeking out the sun on the high ground.  We still wanted to visit the Cook Bay area to explore another old road we had noticed a couple of weeks earlier.  Taking our new driving route to the Cook Bay gate that crosses an extensive logging area above Shingle Beach we made good progress until on the last section of new road we were stopped by a recently fallen tree that was too heavy to move and too thick to drive over. A quick change of plans was called for and we started our hike by setting off on a side logging road that looked as if it might go for some distance.  After a while we reached a fork and checked the left fork first to see if it would get to somewhere.  It didn't, so we turned around and next tried the right fork. Just before reaching the end we spotted a very old logging road that had some ATV tracks on it and heading downhill through quite dense forest. This time we found we did get somewhere interesting — a beach we had never visited before!  To the north it extended past the Brown Cabins to Shingle Beach, but to the south there was no beach at all just low grassy bluffs extending to a distant headland. We climbed onto the first bluff and made it our lunch spot for the day. The sea was flat with a few sea birds here and there, seals as usual and then a couple of slow moving Stellar Sealions heading south very close to shore.  

My photo was taken as we ate lunch last week and shows the small flock of Trumpeter Swans that flew quietly by, also heading south.
JD.

 
A small flock of Trumpeter swans flying south past us at the south end of the very long Shingle Beach. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Next Hike

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

Last week we had a dry morning for a change, but with somewhat lower temperatures this time.  Again we decided to avoid the hunters as far as possible and drove south to the Cook Bay gate parking spot. To start with we hiked down the Cook Bay road retracing our route on the last part of our hike the previous week.  Leaving the main road just before a white gate we headed uphill on an old logging road running east to a fork where we took the right side branch and headed south-east into never before visited territory.  It proved to be a good road for hiking for quite a long way until near the end where it was overgrown and quite difficult.  That was OK as the bluff on our right was so close we were able to scramble up to a high point with a view south of the Mt. Shepherd flank, Mt. Dick and the southern part of the Sabine Channel.  However, it was very windy above the forest and we needed a more sheltered spot for lunch.  That we soon found not far away and it meant we could have a pleasant rest and time to enjoy a very new view to the west towards Vancouver Island in the far distance.
JD 

Lunch with a view on a steep bluff east of Cook Bay.  The small islands are at the north end of the Sabine Channel, between Texada and Lasqueti.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday 19th November.
We meet at the Ball Park in Gillies Bay at 10:00am

Last week were again reluctant to hike anywhere except in a part of the island we knew would be free from roaming hunters. As we did the previous week we again parked just outside the Cook Bay gate, but this time istead of hiking west and down to the beach we set off towards the east to check out the condition of some of the old logging roads in that area to the north-east of Cook Bay.  I came as a pleasant surprise that the oldest logging roads were still in very good condition with almost no overgrown sections at all. The weather was not so good and we found ourselves once again eating lunch in showery conditions.  

It looks as if Saturday will be rainy once more, but without sunshine there can be no rainbows.  On the other hand the two species of salmon that return to spawn in our creeks every year have been doing very.  All this extra rainfall has kept the flow of fresh water quite high and the numbers of Chum going up our main river, Mouat Creek, has been far higher than usual. 
JD.
 

Rainbows have been scarce for weeks so it was nice to see a few days ago a rare double rainbow in Gillies Bay during a short sunny period.  

Friday, November 11, 2016

Next Hike.

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

For the hike last week we had another day with showers at times, but it was very mild for this time of year and there was no wind so really not too bad for hiking.  We thought it best to try to avoid the many hunters who roam the island at the peak of the hunting season and set off to the far end of the public road to Cook Bay where we parked just outside the gate.  From here our hike route soon took us around the locked gate on the old road down to the beach with the waterfront cottage.  We knew the gate cannot be bypassed even by ATV's and sure enough we never saw or heard a hunter on the entire hike.  We ate lunch in light rain sitting on the logs beside the sea with nothing louder than a couple of loons calling from a short distance offshore.

On my way to the Ballpark a week earlier I had a chance to get very close to a visiting pair of Snowgeese feeding on the grass near the RCMP building in Gillies Bay.  There has been many large flocks of geese passing overhead this fall and I suspect the majority of them have been snowgeese — they sound different to the Canada Geese you know. It's odd with so many thousands passing overhead, but we very seldom have them landing and hanging around for a few hours or a couple of days.  The pair in my photo looked OK, not injured or sick, and afer a couple of days they were gone again.
JD.
   
A pair of Snowgeese feeding on the grass near the RCMP office in Gillies Bay at the end of October this year.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 5th November.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay.

Last week the weather was a little drier after some days with both wind and rain and we headed first  for the Stromberg Falls near Davie Bay to see if they were putting on a display for us.  There was lots of water and more than enough  to have two of the three distint sections almost full.   Then we drove on towards Shingle Beach and parked to give us a fair distance for exercise.  Just before reaching the park entrance we spotted a new trail that looked to be worth exploring and were lucky to find we could get to a grassy bluff overlooking the sea, just nice for our lunch spot.

My photo this week was taken on a recent hike to Mt Pocahontas.  This is a beautiful but poisonous species of mushroom that has several different colour forms that range from bright red as in this specimen through yellow and grey to almost white.  In each case the distinctive warty lumps are usually present and help with identification.  The species name, muscaria, is latin for fly and the connection to this insect is due to the fact that the flesh was used to kill flies that are attracted to it.
JD.

Fly Agaric, Amanita muscaria, must be the most striking mushroom you may find in our forests.  

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The next hike.

The next hike will be on Saturday, 29th October.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week it was a little foggy on the nearby mountains, but we decided to head for the top of Mt. Pocahontas as we figured the mist would be gone by the time we got to the lunchspot.  We drove up to the High Road and along to the start of the hike route that includes the George Lechner Trail.  It was a bit damp at the start where we had to push our way through knee high wet grass then much nicer going up through the forest.  By the time we reached the towers the sun had come out and we sat by the Gillies Bay Internet Society shed at the base of their tower.  After lunch we wandered along the road to take a look at the other towers, each decorated with a great variety of communications antennas and dishes. 

My photo this week is not from a hike this time, but instead it's a photo I took today of an adult Bald Eagle with a salmon that it had just dragged out of the sea onto the dry sand.  I don't think the eagle was all that hungry as after it had taken a few bites from the carcass it flew off to the creek and took a bath in the fresh water.  Meanwhile some gulls and crows took the opportunity to feast on some very fresh fish.
JD.

An adult Bald Eagle with a good sized salmon on the beach at Gillies Bay.  Coho and chum are moving up our creeks now.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 22nd October.
We will meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am

Last week we were lucky to have a short break in the rainy weather just in time for our hike. Even the wind died down and it was quite pleasant as we hiked from our Eagle Creek parking place down to the sea at the north end of Davie Bay. The rain and wind was forecast to start again in the early afternoon so we kept the hike a little shorter than usual. I noticed as we left the lunchspot near Bun Island that there were plenty of whitecaps way out to sea as the southeast wind increased. I believe the island gets it's name from the shape, and this is something I was told by a Texada old-timer who camped nearby as a girl before the first World War.
JD.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Next Hike

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

We seem to be in the middle of a series of weather systems coming through with lots of rain and periods of very high winds.  On Saturday morning there may be an interlude when the winds and rain might be somewhat less, but it all depends on how fast the systems are moving and the track they actually take.  As there is a chance we may have a few hours for hiking in comfort I will not say the hike is cancelled, so we can wait and see how things look in the morning and take it from there. As we learned last year on a hike on the High Road it can be quite unpleasant to be caught in the open when trees and branches start to fall and the vehicles are still quite a long way away. 

Last week we met in Van Anda and drove to Blubber Bay to hike in the area to the east between the quarry and the coastline.  It was not the greatest weather for hiking as we had light rain just about the entire time.  This is an area of the island where the Giant Chain Fern is found in abundance, and this year in particular the fronds were looking particularly green and healthy.

My photo for this week was taken on a hike in August when we got slighly lost in the forest near Shingle Beach, but ended up for lunch on a seaside bluff with a great view. Thank you Brian for including us all in your selfie-stick photo. 
JD.

Happy hikers at Shingle Beach, August 2016.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Next Hike from Van Anda

The next hike will be on Saturday, 8th October.
We meet at the Canadian Legion in Van Anda at 10:00am.

Last week we were faced with a dull day that looked unlikely to change much for quite some time.  It made sense to stay low down so we headed up to Bell Road taking the left fork onto the Hydro East Rd at Bell Farm.  The high ground was fog-bound and very damp, but when we reached the parking area at Hydro East we were well below the fog and the rain was quite light. We started off by walking north on the old logging road, but someone was camping in the middle of the road, perhaps hunters or maybe not, so we decided to head south instead.  We ended up doing a circular hike that took us under the Hydro lines higher up the right of way, and the rain was never much of a problem.  Mushrooms were found here and there, but after the recent rains I would have expected more than we actually saw.  
JD.

Lunching in the rain at a spot in the forest not far above Hydro East.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Next Hike

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

Last week we had a fairly nice day for hiking, a comfortable temperature with a high overcast that covered just the highest points of land.  We figured the clouds were going to clear before very long and headed for the new high point with a view we discovered recently on the east side of Mt.  Pocahontas.   When we reached the lunchspot we were in thick fog, but like magic a breeze came along and the fog came opened up and reclosed just long enough to let us see the mainland before it closed in again.  

The recent rains are having an affect on the underground parts of the mushrooms that fill the soil just about everywhere on the island and we are starting to see a great many fungi fruiting bodies of many different varieties coming out of the ground here and there.  One quite uncommon one is the this fresh specimen of the Cauliflower Mushroom which we came across in the morning. I harvested part of it and enjoyed it as a tasty addition to a couple of meals. I was quite surprised to learn that it is only found in BC in a few locations in our south-west corner of the province although similar species are found in California and some parts of eastern North America. 
JD.
 

A Cauliflower Mushroom, Sparassis crispa, easy to identify and edible.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 24th September. 
We meet at the Ball Park in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we had just a small group of hikers and used a single vehicle to drive down to and past Pocahontas Bay to park about a kilometre south of the bay on the old Pocahontas Main haul road.  From there it was pleasant walking south and east on the Main and then on a side road that almost reaches the sea at Water Tower Beach.  The tower is on the mainland where the Lois Lake penstock, the giant water pipe from the dam, reaches the old hydro power station on the shore of Malaspina Strait.   

Our native squirrel species is Tamiasciurus duglasii, the Douglas Squirrel.  They mostly eat seeds of coniferous trees such as Douglas Fir and Shore Pine or Jack Pine  (Pinus contorta).  They were only introduced to Texada about thirty-five years ago and have quickly become quite common throughout the island.  They are usually quite difficult to approach being both noisy and nervous about potential dangers so I was happy to find one today close to Angel Lake that was too busy getting seeds from fir cones to bother much about me.
JD.

A Douglas Squirrel near Angel Lake.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 17th September.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am

Last week we drove up to the Hydro Reactor Station road and parked where it is intersected by the gas pipeline right of way. The weather was near perfect for hiking and we set off following the winding roads that hea west mostly under the Hydro lines, up at first then quite steeply down to Thompson Road. Our destination was Mystery Lake which lies on a side road to Thompson and the lunch spot a lovely spot with a small clearing on the banks of the lake at it's north end.

The return to the vehicles followed a shorter route that follows old logging roads on the north side of the power lines. This does have a fairly steep climb through a large clearcut, but after that the terrain is undulating, part open and partly in forest and connects to the gasline not far from where we had parked.

My photo is of one of a couple of Garter Snake that we saw enjoying the warm sunny day very close to the shoreline of the lake.
JD.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Next hike.

The next hike will be on Saturday, 10th September, 2016.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am

Last week we drove up to the Masyk Farm turnoff and parked at the roadside gravel pit.  It was pleasant walking along the road towards Pocahontas Bay and then turning off on the next logging road on the right and walking south to the start of the Black Mountain Trail.  Sometimes there are mushrooms in the woods on both sides of the roads and in the forest on the slopes of the mountain, but for whatever reason there were none to be seen this day.  I guess we need more rain and cooler weather to encouage them to appear.

My photo from a recent hike shows some Funnel Spider webs that were crowded together on the roadside near Mt. Grant.  I understand this type of spider is mainly nocturnal and I did not see any about.  The female waits in the funnel for an insect to land or fall on the web and then she rushes out and catches the prey before it gets away.  I think I have seen this type of web now and then in the past, but the unusual thing about these webs was that there were so many that they almost covered a small area of the roadside vegetation.
JD.

Funnel Spider webs on a roadside.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Next Hike

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

Last week we had extra strong winds blowing over much of the island and decided to stick to open areas on the hike as much as possible.  That meant the gasline right of way would be OK as well as roads that were extra wide to keep us away from falling branches.  So we headed south past the Hydro Reactor Station junction and parked on the next gasline road crossing.  It was quite pleasant walking south and even climbing one of the steepest section of the line was not too bad in dry conditions.  By lunchtime we had reached Bobs Lake campground and so stopped there for a while.  For the return to the vehicles we used the new shoreline trail instead of the roads to reach the north end of the lake and I found that very interesting as it gives the walker some different and very attractive views of the lake.  When I tried to capture the scene my camera told me I had forgotten to replace the memory chip so I have no new photos of it yet.  

I do have a water view for this week, but this is the sea and the location is Anderson Bay which we visited in the recent mid-week hike to the South Texada Provincial Park.
JD.

Two sailboats at anchor in quiet Anderson Bay, near the southern tip of Texada Island.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Next Hike

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

Last week with a very small number of hikers for a change we drove in just one vehicle up to the High Road and parked where the Hydro line heads up from the road to the top of Pocahontas Mountain.  Walking north quite a distance we eventually turned off on the left onto the remains of a logging road that took us to the lovely picnic spot at the south end of Cap Sheaf Lake.  No sign of the turtles out of the water as usual, but lots of evidence that the females had been busy egg-laying.  

My photo this time is one I took on the recent mid-week day long outing to the south end of Texada, Anderson Bay, Point Upwood and Mt. Dick.  This was my first visit to this peak which is much lower than Mt. Shepherd and has very different views west and north towards Lasqueti Island and Cook Bay.  The hike through the old growth forest was very pleasant, the trail in good shape and now we know where it starts from perhaps one we will revisit another time.  
JD,

The view from just below the top of Mt. Dick looking west with the south end of Lasqueti Island at the top of the picture and 
some of the smaller island in the Sabine Channel.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 20th August.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am

Last week we drove up Bell Road past Sienna Road and parked in the shade at the start of Hydro East Road. From there we hiked past Bell Farm on the main road and turned off on the forest road that starts at the gas pipeline cathodic protection installation.   Then it was a fairly gentle shady route through the forest that took us across the Hydro East Road then onto the side road that ends at the recent clearcut with a wonderful view over Malaspina Strait. 
My photo is of one of the more common butterflies on Texada and in the Pacific North-west.  It happens to be feeding on the invasive weed the Tansy Ragwort that is considered toxic to domestic  livestock.
JD.

A Common Wood Nymph on the bright yellow flowers of Tansy Ragwort.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Next hike.

The next hike will be on Saturday, 13th August.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am

Last week we drove down to Shingle Beach and started our hike from there hoping to use the old logging road route to the abandoned cabins on the beach south of Shingle Beach. We started the uphill section at the top of the campground area and made good progress until we reached the recent clearcut that has obliterated the old road. I knew we needed to work ou way along the edge of the clearcut and look for where the old road doubles back and heads downhill. We spent some time looking, but failed to find it so changed plans and headed north back towards the Shingle Beach Road taking the brand new logging road this time. What I had forgotten is that there are now two similar clearcuts that have both wiped out all trace of the old road and therefore we should have continued uphill until we reached the second clearcut. Had we done that we would have quickly found the old logging road again where it heads down to the cabins on the beach.

Never mind, we ended up have having lunch on a clifftop on the new coastal hiking trail. On the way there we viewed some of the beautiful Arbutus and the much older Western Yew trees that grow in and around Yewtree Bay. At the lunch spot we enjoyed the company of a very trusting Northern Alligator Lizard that kept still for photos for a short time. If you look at the end of it's tail you can see that the last part is black instead of brown and this is because at some time it lost that end part and has since then regrown the part it lost!
JD.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 6th August.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00aM.

Last week we had a lovely clear sunny day, dry and not too hot although with quite a strong gusty wind that meant it would be best to stay out of the forest as much as possible.  We drove south on the Davie Bay Rd. to Eagle Creek then turned left and headed up towards Thompson Rd.  Part way up the road becomes quite steep and this gradient proved to be a bit too steep for one of the three vehicles in use that day. Not in the least perturbed the owner quickly turned it around and speedily completed the narrow steep section — in reverse.  Nice work, Brian!  The walk along Thompson Rd. was very pleasant and we were glad to have some shade trees on top of Thompson Bluffs where we ate lunch.

My photo this week was taken on a recent hike along the shore north of the Sandbanks and shows an unusual boulder that caught my eye next to the logs at the edge of the trees. This kind of rock is created deep below the surface of the earth when a molten magma, light in colour in this case, forces it's way into a solid rock quite dark in colour.  Some broken fragments of the dark rock got caught up and carried upwards by the liquid rock which eventually slowly cooled.  The resultant rock can be called a breccia as the smaller peices are angular and not rounded as they have to be to give a rock the name conglomerate. 
JD.    

This unusual beach boulder is an example of a light coloured magma with fragments of dark brecciated host rock.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Next Hike — extra notice.

This notice from Terry Hollo:—

Summer 2016 Texada Trekkers Additional Hike (Mid Week)

John Dove has kindly volunteered to lead an additional summer hike, to South Texada Island including Anderson Bay and Mount Dick. In 2015 the Trekkers did this area and attempted to hike up Mount Dick. The trailhead at that time was not located so an alternative hike was taken with a grand view point to the east. Since then the trailhead location has been found, the trail checked out and for 2016 the plan is to repeat some of the beautiful areas covered in 2015, PLUS new options, and a hike up Mount Dick! (Although Mount Dick sits in the shadow of Mount Shepherd, it offers spectacular views as well as a much shorter, and very scenic forest trail to the peak.)

SPECIFICS:

• A minimum of two - 4x4 high clearance vehicles.  

• Meeting location:   8:00am at the Gillies Bay Ball Field

• Duration will be a long day.  Driving time to Anderson Bay is over 1-1/2 hours (depending on potholes and rough 4x4 portions). Due to unforeseen circumstances the hike may be longer than expected so specific dinner meal time plans should be avoided.  Best to plan to be back early evening.

• This will not be an overly strenuous hike, but it will be long day.  The longest hike will be up Mount Dick in the morning – aprox 2+ hours return, up a forest trail, some sections are quite steep.  We will also be walking short trails in South Texada Park that reach the coastline to the south of Anderson Bay.

• Chain saw and gas -  we may need a chain saw to clear the road.  

Possible Dates

Tues-Wed-Thur August  16,17,18

Tues-Wed-Thur August 23,24,25

Tues-Wed-Thur August 30, 31, September 1

Tues-Wed-Thur Sept 6,7,8

At this point Vehicles and Driver availability will determine the dates.  

Solicit and be nice to 4x4 drivers so we can go!

TREKKERS:

Please let me know asap what dates you are available 

4x4 DRIVERS:   

Please let me know asap what dates you are available to drive and how many PASSENGER seat belts you have.

Contact

Dates you can come, 4x4Drivers Dates can drive

Terry: jthollo@twincomm.ca

For specific hike/trail conditions and expectations,

John Dove —  kjohndove@yahoo.com  




Friday, July 29, 2016

The Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 30th July.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am

Last week we drove a short distance up the airport road and parked at the small sandpit on the left. From there we started our regular circular hike that takes us down to the beach below the airport then along that to the Sandbanks and back through the various forest roads and trail to the parking place. The tide was going out, the wind quite light and visibility very good, but we saw no Harbour Porpoise this time although we usually do, especially in summer.  

My photo this week shows the fairly common mistletoe that grows as a parasite on our native Jack or Shore Pine.  At any time of the year you can see the swellings on the younger branches that indicate the presence of the parasite inside the tree and then in the summer the flower stems appear from the bark and first the clusters of small yellowish flowers followed by the pale green seed pods. The name of the genus is Arceuthobium, but I'm not too sure which species this is and there at least three found in BC.
JD.

Mistletoe [Arceuthobium sp.] flowering from branches of Jack Pine in which it lives as a parasite.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 23rd July.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we hiked up onto the bluffs above Kirk Lake and enjoyed the views to the west towards Vancouver Island. As usual with this particular hike we did get lost in the forest a couple of times, but added some more flagging to sections of the trail where we had got lost before!

The photo this week is of a very young deer fawn hiding from predators while it's mother is off somewhere not far away.  The youngster was keeping perfectly still with head down and eyes open and had not been abandonded by the mother who was no doubt busy feeding on vegetation with a higher than usual moisture content this summer.

Thanks Jim for this lovely photo.  
JD.

A very young deer fawn pretending to be dead near Cap Sheaf Lake. The mother was probably feeding not very far away. J. Mason photo. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Next hike from Van Anda

The next hike will be on Saturday, 16th July.
We meet at the Canadian Legion parking at 10:00am.

Last week hiked from the gravel pit on the road down to Hydro East.  The route we followed branches off the Hydro East Rd. a short distance down the hill and then climbs almost continuously, passes under the Vancouver Island power lines after about half an hour of walking then reaches a junction not long after that. It was not a good day for distant views because of low clouds and some fog so we took the turn on the left and decided to do some trail clearing to continue along an old logging road we had started on many months ago.  Eventually it will become a forest trail leading all the way up to Bobs Lake, but it will require a little more effort on another day.

My photo is from a recent hike to Angel Lake.
JD.

 
Hiking through a carpet of white daisies growing on the gasline right of way north of Angel Lake.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Next hike

The next hike will be on Saturday the 9th July.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we had quite decent weather for hiking and headed up to the high ground.  This year there seems to be an extra abundance of wild white daisies which have spread in recent years much more away from the highway verges than before.  One area in particular is the Bell Road hill where the view on both side covers vast areas of white and purple, both daisy and foxglove in full bloom.  Parking on the gasline just south of Bobs Lake we hiked south along the right of way to the point where it runs next to the Anderson Bay Rd. There we left the pipeline walking instead on the road until we reached the short side road that took us into that small lake shore picnic spot used sometimes by those in search of tasty fresh trout.

My photo this week shows the small area of open water at the northern end of the Cap Sheaf wetland.  This was our destination on a recent hike that started from Gillies Bay Ballpark.
JD.

At the northern end of Cap Sheaf Lake the steep mossy cliff provides a nice spot to sit down and eat lunch.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 2nd July.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am

Last week we were lucky enough to have pleasant weather for our hike.  Instead of driving off to more distant trails we left the vehicles at the Ballpark and set off hiking from there along the lower part of School Rd.  Keeping left at the first Y junction and right at the next we started the steady uphill climb towards Cap Sheaf Lake.  Walking perhaps a little faster than usual we decided to walk through the fairly open forest on the east side of the wetland instead of lunching at the south end of the open water.  This took us to the steep grassy bluff at the north end that overlooks the other area of open water held in place by the well maintained beaver dam.
JD.

The curiously attractive limb of a mature Arbutus tree shedding it's parchment like bark.   Coastal trail north of Shingle Beach.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Next Hike

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

Last Saturday we were once again unlucky with the weather with rain coming down almost without a break from start to finish of the hike.  With still a few more days to go to the end of June the rainfall in Gillies Bay has already exceeded 100mm, so over four inches and perhaps something of a record perhaps.  We drove towards Davie Bay and parked just past Eagle Creek where the road going up to Thompson Rd branches off to the left.  The route is a steady climb with a couple of extra steep sections to reach the lunch spot at the top of Eagle Mountain.  It rained as we ate lunch and  we were high enough to be in low cloud so had no view at all.  

My photo this week was taken on our recent hike to Secret Beach.  The peeling brown skin like bark had started to come off a branch that had grown close to the ground for several feet before curving up to form almost a separate trunk. It is unusual to see the smooth wood that was exposed such a bright geen colour.
JD.
  
A curious Arbutus tree on the coastal trail north of Shingle Beach.


Friday, June 17, 2016

Next Hike.

The next hike will be on Saturday, 18th June.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10.00am

Last week we drove south towards Shingle Beach and parked on the roadside a short distance south of the V.I. power line.  Walking back north along the road, then south on the side road that ends at the mouth of Stromberg Creek we stopped at the beach long enough to have a group photo taken with a time delay setting that let everyone appear together in the shot.  The trail is quite slow going at times as some sections involve steep slopes both up and down and damp rocks have to be negotiated with great care. The rewards are in the views from the grassy bluffs, the old growth cedar giants and some very curious arbutus. At Yew Tree Bay where we left the trail to return to the vehicles there are both ancient yew trees and some extra large arbutus.
JD.
 

Texada Trekkers at Secret Beach at the north end of the new trail that starts at the Shingle Beach campground.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday,11th June.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we had a near perfect day for hiking and headed south to visit a new viewpoint we had only discoved last year.  The spot was just as we remembered it and the view looking across the Salish Sea to Vancouver Island perhaps not quite as clear but impressive none the less.  To get to the viewpoint from Gillies Bay means driving for about forty-five minutes to the Fiveway Junction on the Anderson Bay Road.  From there it takes just over an hour to walk down the Cook Bay Cutoff Rd. and up the second side road on the left to where our short new path through the trees reaches the top of a very steep cliff and the view you see in my photo of the week.  The location is about 2,000ft above the sea and might be called the Upper Cook Bay Bluffs.

I think the large bird you can see gliding past not far below was a Turkey Vulture and the white flecks you can see on the water just behind it are the wakes of some of the racing sailboats. 
JD.

  Lasqueti Island from a viewpoint high above Cook Bay.  In the Sabine Channel directly below there were so many sailboats it must have been a race.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 4th June.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

It looks as if we are going to have a warm sunny day for the hike this week.  Last week we were not so lucky and had another one of those days when it rains more or less continuously.  We kept the hike quite short and avoided any kind of trail with high grass or low bushes to stay as dry as possible.  We did have a dry spot for lunch but with a view over a gray sea under a gray sky there was nothing very exciting to see.

My photo this time is one I took on a hike we did on a much brighter day earlier this year.  Much of the southern end of Texada is rugged and more or less uninhabited land, but with often the most impressive scenery. We were on rocky bluff looking south over the narrow Sabine Channel that separates Texada from Lasqueti Island.  This is about the most narrow part and it would be interesting to be here late on a summer day when the cruise ships head through on their way north to Alaska.  The highest point on Texada, Mount Shepherd, is just out of the picture on the left.
JD.

The view south from a bluff high above Twin Beaches near Cook Bay. The high ridge on the left is in the South Texada Provincial Park. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 28th May.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we drove north along the High Road, then turned right and headed downhill to Pocahontas Bay. Parking at an intersection just up from the bay we started our hike going south on the old logging road called Pocahontas Main. This is once again in use as there has been a fair amount of fresh logging going on about three kilometres south of the bay. Our destination for lunch was at the end of a side road on the very small Taylor Bluff.

My photo this week was taken a couple of hikes ago when we were on our way down from the summit of Surprise Mountain, the highest point on the north end of Texada. The location was an open grassy bluff where we have seen a few plants of this flower in earlier years. This year there were far more plants than I had ever seen here before and many of them had clearly been in bloom not long ago, but only a couple of them had flowers left.
JD.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 21st May.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10.00am.

Last Saturday we met in Van Anda and drove past Priest Lake then onto the old haul road and took the turnoff that now has a smart iron street sign with the name Surprise Mt. Road.  We drove past the old Gem mine wast dump and parked in the wide grassy area where three roads meet.  Sometimes we take the right fork here that goes past the giant split rock, a giant eratic boulder, and approach the summit of the mountain from the north.  This time we headed on foot on the central road and took the route that approaches the summit from the north east. The view from the top includes the high ground that extends from Pocahontas in the north all the way south to the high point of the island, Mt. Shepherd.  

After lunch we set off on the trail that runs downhill to the High Ledges viewpoint and passes a couple of areas with specimens of some of our less common native plants including the dainty little Shooting Stars and the tough Indian Dream fern.  We tend to take our Arbutus trees pretty much for granted and only notice them if they are particularly twisted in shape or large in size.  This day we came across a medium small one which was remarkable for putting on a such a great display of its bright yellow flowers.  
JD. 

 This Arbutus was in peak bloom on the summit of Surprise Mountain. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Next Hike — from Van Anda.

The next hike will be on Saturday, 14th May.
We meet at the Royal Canadian Legion parking in Van Anda at 10:00am.

Last week we drove south past Davie Bay and then turned left after the concrete bridge over Stromberg Creek then parking when we reached the gravel pit a short distance up past the Stromberg Falls parking place.  This is a pleasant hike, mostly in forest, that follows the main road climbing steeply most of the way up towards Thompson Road.  We did not go quite that far as the one side road on the right takes us under the power lines to the bases of two of the support towers  where a marked trail leads south along the hillside to a steep bluff with a lovely view of the sea and Mt. Arrowsmith on Vancouver Island.

My photo is one I took on our long recent hike in the Cook Bay area.  This cute treefrog was particularly bright green and very tame.  I'm not too sure, but I do believe it figured it was safe and sound sitting next to some leaves that matched it's own skin colour.  From just a short distance away it was certainly hard to spot as long as it remained perfectly still.
JD.

The local treefrogs do vary in colour quite a bit, and I thought this one was particularly bright green.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 7th May.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we had really excellent hiking weather at last and ended up doing an extra long hike although we did not really plan it that way at the beginning.  It was an opportunity for some of us to visit an area and some coastline we had never visited before because of the absence of any flagged trail to it.  Earlier this year several hikers worked on a new route that took us down to the beach in my photo.  This beach, the coastline and the area of forest and grassy bluffs is part of a designated UREP, crown land set aside for the Use, Recreation and Enjoyment of the Public.  The location is not far north of Cook Bay. I can tell you our little group of hikers did greatly enjoy this excursion into a seldom visited part of Texada Island. 
On our way back to the vehicles we took a different route from the one in the morning and found ourselves walking through a forest of old growth giants, cedar and fir, that appeared to have been quite untouched by logging.  This was the iceing on the cake for a most amazing day! 
JD.
 
Looking south from a small beach on the rocky coast not far north of Cook Bay. This is the Sabine Channel with part of Lasqueti on the right
 and Mt. Dick in the distance at the south end of Texada.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 30th April.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am

Last week there were showers in the weather forecast, but they never came our way and we had a very pleasant day for the hike. We droveup Bell Rd to the Hydro East Junction and turned on to the road that passes Masck Farm parking on one of the gravel pits on the right. The route is mostly downhill and partly through some large recent clearcut areas that we noticed had been well covered by many very fast growing Douglas Fir. Taking a less well used side road into some second growth forest we soon arrived at the south end of Dragonfly Lake after passing a beaver pond that always seems to look very attractive, perhaps because it's quite shallow and has areas of lily pads and other aquatic plants. Our lunch spot was the low bluff at the north end of the lake where we disturbed a male and two female bufflehead ducks.

My photo is of a really tiny fern with fresh green new growth growing at the base of a small rock outcrop. This is a fairly uncommon species on Texada but quite easy to identify as it has fronds of two types, one fertile and one sterile with the fertile ones always growing a little taller than the others. This is called Parsley Fern, or Cryptogramma acrostichoides.
JD.

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 23rd April.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we had yet another dampish day for our hike, and while the rain was never very heavy it seemed to be rainy continuously all the the time.  We drove the short distance to the Airport and then started the circular route by heading down to Coxs Lagoon, the sandy beach close to the north end of the runway.  The tide was out a little way as we walked south along the beach hoping we might see some marine mamals of one kind or another, but none were seen although the small Harbour Porpoise are almost always not far offshore.  We stopped for lunch not far from the Sandbanks and then headed up the steep path to join the old logging roadd that would take us through the forest to the Airport Road and the vehicles.

I took the photo of the native flower earlier in the week on a long botanical hike on the western slopes of Surprise Mountain.  This one has several common names such as mission bells, chocolate lily, rice root and checker lily, but just one scientific name, Fritillaria affinis.
JD.

The Chocolate Lily, Fritillaria affinis, in flower on a steep slope where the deer can't quite get to it to snack.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Next Hike

The next hike will be from Gillies Bay.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am

Last week was the annual beach barbecue which was on a much warmer day than it was last year.  I'm sure everyone had a good time.

My photo for this week was taken on a recent hike in March when we tried out a new trail route going along the coastline north from Shingle Beach campground.  The location is very close to a derelict hut that has no road access.  
JD.

This is a very small fungus growing in short grass on a seaside bluff.  The genus is probably Geoglossum or Earth Tongue

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Next Hike from Van Anda & beach potluck at Raven Bay.

The next hike which will be on Saturday, 9th April includes the annual Trekkers Beach BBQ potluck at Raven Bay.
Hikers meet at the Royal Canadian Legion parking in Van Anda at 10:00am and walk to Raven Bay (about 2 1/2 hours).

If you are unable to hike right now, used to hike or are spouses/partners/visitors of Trekkers, you are welcome to come to Raven Bay!
Raven Bay Road is only suitable for 4 wheel drive vehicles. but if you come by car you can park at the junction to the Raven Bay turnoff which is at Slow Farm on the High Road. The walk down to the beach takes ten to fifteen minutes.
There will be a fire and the opportunity to roast oysters, clams and hot dogs and please bring whatever food you wish to eat or share with others. There are logs to sit on, but no picnic tables so bring chairs if you want to sit close to the fire. Also BYOB if you wish.
The tide should be low enough to gather shell fish, but don't forget to have your current Saltwater Licenses.
After the BBQ those those who drove down to the bay will transport the other drivers and those who need a ride back to their vehicles parked on the High Road or in Van Anda.
For more details please get in touch with David Taylor or Russ Sparks. I'm still chasing wild geese on Vancouver Island and will not be back in time for this hike.

JD.

Photo:
Raven Bay, Trekkers Barbecue, April 2015.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 2nd April.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we had perfect hiking weather for a change and headed down towards Shingle Beach. The plan was to walk north along the coastline following the route of a new hiking trail and parked some distance before the entrance to the campground. Some sections of the trail are very steep and work is in progress creating easier routes to bypass the difficult parts. The grassy bluffs along this new route are among the finest on Texada having this trail opened up is going to make it possible for hikers to visit them, someting that was simply not possible before.

Part way along is Yewtree Bay, formerly the location of a squatters cabin, but this structure is no longer standing and the remains are a mess. It's still worth a visit because there are wonderful specimens of the common Arbutus as well as the very much less common Western Yew. My photo this week was taken a while ago and shows the lower trunk of one of the larger yew trees growing next to one of the very large old Arbutus trees not far north of Yewtree Bay..
JD.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Next Hike

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

Last week we drove about halfway down the long hill on the Hydro East road and parked just before a fork in the road.  The side road on the left  heads down through some recent clearcut areas and eventually joins up with a low level road running north from Hydro East.  These logging roads, some new and some much older, all offer good walking surfaces although with some steep gradients in places.  After walking towards the north for a fair distance a narrow track branches off and runs very steeply down to the beach where some brush pickers from the mainland have a secluded camping spot close to a nice little stream. The tide was lower than usual and it was pleasant to walk along the beach to a couple of rocky headlands that offered pleasant lunch spots.

Just a brief reminder about the second Saturday in April when the Texada Trekkers have their annual potluck on the beach at Raven Bay.  This is open to any hikers, past or present, who would like to participate and offers for active hikers a one way trek in the morning starting from the Canadian Legion in Van Anda at 10:00am.  Please contact David Taylor or Russ Sparks for more info on the days activities, food, drinks and transport arrangements etc. Offers of help of any kind are welcome.   I will be off island that weekend enjoing my annual wild goose chase on the lovely and sometimes cold wet and windy beaches of Vancouver Island. 
JD.


The rocky beach north of Hydro East, our lunch spot last week.


Friday, March 18, 2016

Next Hike

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

Last week we thought we would have quite a nice day for hiking, and it was not too bad, but the sun was hidden behind clouds that became darker as the day progressed.  We headed for the high ground and did the Mt. Davies hike starting from the parking spot on the gas pipeline just south of the Vancouver Island Hydro lines on the Bobs Lake Rd.  The top of the mountain where we had lunch was not in the clouds, but the view was not quite as impressive as it might have been on a really clear day.  Just as we packed up to start down from the top a few large flakes of snow began to fall as a reminder winter is not quite over yet.

My photo was taken on a hike I did earlier this week on the slopes of Surprise Mountain on a day that was both warm and sunny.  I was lucky enough to get photos of an Aligator Lizard that was taking advantage of the bright sunshine and had chosen a patch of bare rock on a small mossy bluff to warm its body.  

I have a pair of soft odd style dark gloves that someone seems to have left behind in a vehicle on a recent hike.  The have an opening for the fingers instead of the usual five fingers, so quite unusual.  
JD.
  

An Aligator Lizard in the sun warming itself on a patch of bare rock near Favada Point.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Next Hike.

The next hike will be on Saturday, 12th March.
We meet at the Ball park in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we drove south only part way to Davie Bay and parked on the side of the road some distance before Eagle Creek. We then started walking south along the road before turning off a short distance after crossing Eagle Creek. This is the start of a logging road that runs down to Davie Bay, but we only used it to get to the start of a winding trail that runs through clearcut and forest to the top of the low cliffs at the shoreline. After lunch it was decided we should should explore the area to the north of the lunch spot to see if we could make the hike a circular one by crossing Eagle Creek near the sea and getting on to the road that starts at the old cabins. The going was a bit rough in places, but we did make it, crossed the creek OK and eventually reached the Davie Bay road again north of where we had parked the vehicles.

I'm giving advance notice of the annual Texada Trekkers hike and beach pot-luck barbecue at Raven Bay. This year it will be on Saturday, 9th April. I will provide more details next week.
JD.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Next Hike

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

Last week we had a dry day for hiking for a change, but while the rain held off and there was no wind at all there was low cloud or fog above us and no way of knowing how thick it might be.  On hike days like this we simply assume there is some sunshine somewhere high up and set of towards the high ground to find it.  It was fairly clear when we were driving past the Vancouver Island Hydro lines so parked at the next road junction.  Headed south from there along the gasline road we turned off into the forest at the bottom of the very steep hill and made our way to the Bobs Lake Rd,  Then it seemed a good idea to make for Flicker Mt. to get the best view and enjoy lunch at the top.  But we discovered quite soon that the mountain was shrouded in the low cloud so changed plans and headed to Bobs Lake campground instead. 

This proved to be a wonderful choice as the lake was looking so beautiful as the fog drifted here and there and sometimes opened up to the sky and allowed the sun to brighten the scene. It was a lovely spot to be for half an hour or so on a still and mild winter day.
JD.

Quiet solitude — Bobs Lake in winter.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Next Hike

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

Last Saturday we had great weather for hiking and I felt it was a wonderful opportunity to visit the small stand of old growth forest on Texada Island Forest Reserve, TIFR land, that lies just to the north of the head of Gillies Bay.  It's separated from the Ballpark by an area of swamp and so partly flooded in winter so the best access is from the old logging road called School Road. This area has some of the largest specimens of both common and less common tree species that grow on Texada, including a couple of very large old Douglas Fir one of which is featured in my photo this week.  My guess is that this tree is at least 500 years old judging by the diameter and perhaps a sapling when King Henry VIII was on the throne of England. Other species of extra old large trees in the stand are Western Red Cedar and Sitka Spruce.  After taking our time exploring this potential parkland forest we speeded up and headed north along new cycle trails towards the bluffs where we would find a sunny spot with a view and to sit and have lunch.  
JD. 

The base of an ancient Douglas Fir tree in the stand of old growth forest close to the Ballpark in Gillies Bay. The black patches 
are the result of a forest fire that burned just the outer part of the thick bark several decades ago.  

Friday, February 19, 2016

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 20th February.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week it was yet another day when umbrellas were being put to good use.  We chose a hike that takes us through forest and clearcut to a secluded lake that sometimes has a pair of loons nesting there, hence the name Loon Lake.  This winter has been quite mild so far, which is not all that unusual in recent years, but it does seem to have been  wetter than usual.  In the last eight days the water in my rain gauge in Gillies Bay has amounted to 122 mm, nearly five inches, of precipitation.  On our last hike we saw water falls and flowing water in places where there would normally be very little or none.
JD.

On the way to Loon Lake on a rainy hike day in February.  

Friday, February 12, 2016

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 13th February.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we drove north along the HIgh Road, turned off onto the Pocahontas Bay Rd. and drove the short distance to the start of the Fire Lookout Trail.  Here the hikers decided to split into two groups and do two different hikes for a change.  The smaller group walked down to Pocahontas Bay where they sat in the sun at the waterside for lunch.  The second group took the uphill trail and headed for the lunchspot and viewpoint on the bluff some distance to the east of the Fire Lookout peak.  After lunch this group decided to investigate a lower viewpoint at the end of a short trail that I had flagged several years ago before the higher one was discoved. In exploring around the lower viewpoint we discoved that the highpoint where Hydro have a large metal microwave reflector offered a much better viewpoint than the one we had been using for many years!  My photo this week shows the view east from that newly discovered bluff.
JD,
  
The view of the entrance to Jervis Inlet looking east from Pocahontas.  The distant ferry is approaching Saltery Bay on it's way from Earls Cove. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 6th February.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am

Last week the weather was not that great, but even so a good number of hikers were keen to head off somewhere interesting.  We drove up to a parking place on the gas pipeline near First Lake and headed off walking on the old logging road that runs east through the forest towards Hydro East Road.  With no wind and no rain either it was quite pleasant for walking although there seemed to be a few more fallen tress to get past along the way. Reaching the well maintained Hydro East road we made good speed going south until the side road we needed to take to reach the lunch spot slowed us down.  At one time this short logging side road was easy walking right to the lovely forest lake, but then it was dug up and planted over with sapling trees by forestry.  Years later its totally overgrown with bushy firs and pines and could do with a little trail clearing. 

The lake is shaped like a horseshoe with dry land in the middle that makes a comfortable spot for lunch. The bark on the lower part of each of the trees close to the water was long ago eaten off by beaver and are unlikely to remain standing for many years more.
JD. 

The still beauty of a forest lake in winter — Horseshoe Lake a short distance off Hydro East Road. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Next Hike.

The next hike will be on Saturday, 30th January.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am

Last week we met in Van Anda and car-pooled to Maple Bay at the invitation of James Mack.  It was a lovely sunny dry day almost ideal for a winter hike and the recent heavy rains meant the little creek at the head of the bay was not very little at all.  The trail through the woods goes past the waterfall and rapids and then meanders up and down in a area where very few of the older trees were logged and there are some superb examples of quite ancient cedar and fir plus elegant arbutus and some mature juniper.  

There were not quite as many marine mammals in the water and on the rocks as we might usually see in January, but members of both species of sealions were resting on the rocks and in tight clusters in the water and we could see a number of basking harbour seals that had hauled out of the water. 
 JD.

Some of the noisy sealions at Maple Bay.  M. Macauley photo.