The Next Hike

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

Friday, August 25, 2017

Next Hike.

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

Last week we drove south along Bell Rd. and parked at the junction soon after crossing under the Vancouver Island Hydro lines.  The hike starts by taking the right fork and after a short distance  branching off onto the gas pipeline right of way heading south,  This is quite a pleasant section of the pipeline as the route twists and turns and undulates through a forested area.  We usually leave the pipeline just before it runs up a short but very steep hill.  An old overgrown logging road soon takes us to the Bobs Lake Rd. and we follow that just for the short distance to the picnic tables at the north end of the lake. There a newer flagged hiking trail runs along the east side of the lake and eventually reaches a perfect spot for swimming and lunching in the sun or shade close to the very southern tip of the lake.

Not far from our lunch spot we passed by a dead Douglas Fir tree with a most unusual large fungus growing from the thick bark.  It looked familiar, but it's not at all common on Texada.  It has several names, but the one I like best is Chicken of the Woods.  I don't remember eating it, but I understand it must be soft and still young and has to be cooked well to be entirely safe to eat. 

I don't have any plans to offer a swim on this week's hike.

Chicken of the Woods, Laetiporus sulphureus, is edible when young and cooked well.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Next Hike

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

As the chance to swim at Mystery Lake was such a popular option last week and the good weather seems likely to continue there may be another warm lake to swim in again this week. 

Last week we ran into problems before we even got close to the parking place.  We needed to reach the road junction where Thompson Rd. meets the steep road that climbs up from the Shingle Beach Rd and past the Stromberg Falls, but Forestry had been busy on it since the last time we had used it.  This road has been in very good condition for very many years with never any tendency to get washed out.  However, we found we were faced with crossing a series of "water bars", steep sided ditches cut across the road that make it very difficult for even high clearance 4 by 4's to cross them without being damaged underneath.
A happy group of hikers at the secluded Mystery Lake after a picnic lunch and for some a chance to swim in delightfully warm fresh water.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Next Hike

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

Special Feature:  There may be a chance hikers will be able, if they wish, to go for a lake swim at lunchtime on the upcoming hike on Saturday.  To get to the lake I have in mind we need to have vehicles that can handle a fairly steep section of road — so 4x4 with decent road clearance.  A shuttle arrangement is a possible alternative solution.

Last week we hiked along the beach from Sandbanks to Cox Lagoon and the Airport.  At lunchtime on the beach we were lucky enough to have a pod of Orcas coming past heading south some way offshore.  The smoke from the forest fires was quite bad so without binoculars it was difficult to see the whales properly.  I had hoped to see some Harbour Porpoise so that I could report on them to the Vancouver Aquarium who were conducting a "Cetacean Census"  during the long weekend in our northern part of the Salish Sea. However, porpoises are sometimes killed and eaten by transient Orcas so that may the reason we did not get to see any.  I did return on Monday to see if any cetaceans were around, but saw no marine mammals apart from a single seal.

The tide was very low so a very good time to introduce a young visitor to some interesting sea life.  There were crabs, and sea anemones, a few starfish, and even a rarely seen ghost shrimp someone had found.  The grey area on the right In my photo is part of a waste dump at the Lafarge quarry. 

Hiking over the rocks on the beach at Sandbanks. At low tide much of the beach is sand rather than rocks and a great area to wander around in.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Next Hike

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

Last week it was nice to have a much larger hiking group than usual as we welcomed many visitors to the island from Victoria and Alberta.  As usual we try to impress visiting hikers by taking them on one or other of our very best hiking routes and this time we picked the Bloody Mountain and Mt. Davies summit one.  Sure enough that panoramic view from the lunch spot was greeted with some quite enthusiastic comments.  On the way up we stopped to view the larger of the beaver ponds on the south slope of the mountain.  It was remarkable just how high the water level was for this time of year — and the big water lily leaves were still so green and fresh looking. Before heading down after lunch someone noticed they could see Mt. Baker looking fairly clear in the far distance.  That's a bit unusual as it happens most often in clear weather in springtime rather than in midsummer.  A few days later the grey smoke from the massive interior forest fires arrived on the coast and very long distance visibility took a dive. 
I must thank the photographer for the photo for this week and I thought it nice to be able to include one of me for a change.  Usually I'm the one taking photos of the hikers as a group, but this time the roles are reversed.  

The Trekker Master on the summit of Mount Davies on a day with very pleasant hiking conditions a couple of days before the arrival
of smoke from the interior forest fires. July 2017.