The Next Hike

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

Friday, October 27, 2017

Next Hike

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

Last week we were faced with a forecast of rain and very strong winds so we decided to opt for our bad weather hike route down to Shingle Beach camp ground where there are some covered areas, dry locations for having lunch.  While it did not prove to be especially windy and the rain held off until much later in the day we changed our plans a bit and headed through the forest to find a lunch spot on the grassy cliffs above the ocean.  With no wind and no rain we really enjoyed our meal looking out to sea where the southeaster was raising white caps as far as the eye could see. 

My photo this week is one I took last summer when we hiked up to the top of Twin Peaks. That's the summit of Mt. Shepherd in the distance with dense forest covering the upper slopes on this side of the mountain.  A point of note is the fact that it is just continuous forest in this view with no trace of logging activity to be seen anywhere.  I'm hoping that situation will not be changed anytime soon.

This is the view south from the summit of Twin Peaks looking at the forest covered slopes of Mt. Shepherd.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Next Hike.

The next hike will be on Saturday, 21st October.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we decided on doing a hike we had not done for a year or more and headed for the start of the Mt. Manzanita Trail.  I had trouble finding it and thought we needed to walk north from where we had parked, but it turned out to be a true stone's throw from where we had parked.  Nonetheless we had all got nicely warmed up with the brisk walking on the road and started along the well marked trail through the forest. Once we had reached the edge of the recent regrowth area of forest things got more difficult and there was lots of bushy branches to cut off as the young saplings still had vigorous branches right down to the ground. Once we got onto the open logging road we made good progress up the long but steady climb to the start of the final very steep 'goat trail' to the open bluff at the very top. It was disappointing at first  to find we had climbed into thick fog with nothing to be seen in any direction but the tops of nearby trees. It was windy and very damp in the fog and we searched for a spot with protection from the strong southeast wind.  Then to everyones great surprise big gaps opened up in the fog and suddenly we started to pick out some houses far below us, then Dick Island and Gillies Bay and as we started to eat lunch the whole ocean cleared and we were looking at the full extent of the Vancouver Island Mountains.   What a delight!

Lunching on a cool, windy and for a very short while, very foggy day on Mt. Manzanita.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 14th October.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we had a cool, but dry day for the hike and drove up onto the high ground, along Bell Road and then on the side road to park not far past the Masck Farm road junction. Our destination was the north end of Dragonfly Lake where a small rocky bluff offers a very pleasant lunch spot. Some hikers looked in vain for edible mushrooms as the very long spell of dry weather probably left the undergound parts of the fungus, the mycelium as its called, almost bone dry.

Our native Rough-skinned Newt does prefer to have some moisture in it's habitat and the recent showers seem to have encouraged it to start travelling about in the forest. We came across one very tiny specimen that had ventured onto a dry gravel road on Saturday and I photographed it with human finger-tips to show just how small it was. I was surprised to learn that they can live for more than ten years, and the fact that they have a very toxic poison in their skin no doubt helps them to avoid being eaten by predators.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Next Hike

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

Last week we were quite lucky with the weather as the rain held off all through the hike even though it had been raining very hard as we drove up from Gillies Bay.  We again used the new trail around the north end of Third Lake and took the newly cleaned up trail to Mystery Lake.  From there we used a long circular route to get back to Third Lake in the afternoon and it was very nice to be walking along the meandering trails in the forest with the sun rays reaching the ground through  random gaps in the tree canopy.

My photo is of the native Maidenhair Fern that is more often seen in damp places on limestone around Van Anda, but also close to creeks and waterfalls in other parts of the island.

The delicate and unmistakable frond of the native Western Maidenhair Fern, Adiantum aleuticum.