The Next Hike

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

Friday, May 24, 2019

Next Hike

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

Last week instead of hiking a group of Trekkers spent the day working hard to clean up the flotsam and jetsam from a long stretch of beach not too far from Gillies Bay.  It was a job well worth doing as there was several pieces of boats, chunks of foam and assorted plastic items.  

My photo this week is a curious perennial wildlflower that has dainty cup shaped flowers with a fringe of white or pinkish petals.  Tellima grandiflora is not uncommon and prefers to grow in places with rich soil and plenty of moisture and we found it in a grassy area with masses of stinging nettle which also likes similar growing conditions.
JD.  

The curious and dainty flowers of fringecup,Tellima grandiflora, at Coxs Lagoon near Texada Airport. 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Next Hike

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

Last week we did some more exploration starting from the Cook Bay Road at just over 400m elevation this time and walking at first along a grassy old logging road and then through quite open forest heading west towards a line of bluffs that we hoped would give us a new viewpoint.  Eventually we did reach a narrow bluff and stopped there for lunch although the view was quite poor.  It was only after some more searching that we located the lovely spot where I took this week's photo.

This coming Saturday 18th May some of the hikers will be helping with the "Texada Beach Clean Up" between 11:00am and 3:00pm.  The meeting place is the beach access behind the RCMP Station and you can contact Ben Reiman at 604 414-9518 or  —   bjsonthebeachtexada@gmail.com    to volunteer.  I will be the guide for the hike as usual.

JD.

Hikers at a new viewpoint on the south slope of Mt. Davies about 500m above Shingle Beach.  Mt. Arrowsmith on the left with a snowy top.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Next Hike.

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

Last week my idea was to try to hike some part of a very old trail that I had last hiked along many years ago. At that time this very old logging road which was probably built at least forty years ago was getting so overgrown and blocked by fallen trees that I gave up trying to hike it. Another problem at the upper end was the fact that some active beavers had raised the water level of their pond and flooded a short section of the old road.  We had lovely hiking weather again and a very pleasant surprise when we started the hike from the Cook Bay Road end as over the years the route had turned into a wide mossy trail that was easy walking the whole way and even the beaver pond water level had dropped so we crossed that section with dry feet.  In a few places in the forest we came upon clusters of small bright yellow flowers and it seemed appropriate to give the trail the name "Yellow Viola Trail".  After lunch we explored a side trail and visited a small lake that I had never ever seen before and near to the lake there is a bluff with a fantastic view to the west towards Vancouver Island. 
JD.  

Trailing Yellow Violet, Viola sempervirens on the forest trail from Cook Bay road up to Gentian Lake.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Next Hike

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

Just look at that fantastic blue sky in this week's picture!  We had near perfect hiking weather last week and drove up to the Mount Grant trailhead to take in the views from the various viewpoints along the circular trail route.  For lunch we picked a sunny spot of the south side of the top of the mountain and were glad we were not bothered by the gusty north wind which might otherwise have been a bit uncomfortable.  This is one of the most popular of our trail routes and no one wants to miss the very short side trail that takes us to a rocky outcrop that for obvious reasons has been named after a much larger mountain in Switzerland. The group photo below is one of those neat timer delay shots that makes it possible to include every one of the nine bipeds as well as the three quadrupeds in the picture.   
JD.
  
A Texada Trekkers group photo on the very top of the tiny rocky miniature Matterhorn Peak on the Mount Grant trail.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Next Hike

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

Last week we drove south past Shingle Beach to park at the Cook Bay gate.  Hiking south from there we used logging roads and recently flagged trail over open bluffs and through areas with forest cover until we arrived at the base of a massive rock face that towered high above us.  Working our way along the foot of the wall of rock brought us to the lower end of a trail that curves upwards on a narrow ledge and this eventually took us above the tree tops.  Still climbing, at first on the grassy slope of a high ridge and then finally to the highest point where we were rewarded for our efforts and reached the viewpoint in my photo below. What a perfect day and what a wonderful view and it was the very first time for me to step foot on the South Wall Bluff.
JD.

The view of the southern part of Lasqueti Island from the top of South Wall Bluff which was our lunch spot south of Cook Bay.

Texada Trekkers website:   http://texadatrekkers.blogspot.com/2019/

Friday, April 19, 2019

Next hike.

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

Last week we had another one of those damp and windy days that seem to have been happening a little more often than usual this year.  The snow has gone now from the highest roads on the island so we headed south towards the high ground and parked on the gas line not far from the Hydro Reactor Station.  By heading west under the wires and using the access road that zig-zags down the right of way we eventually reached Thompson Road and then left the wires behind walking north as far as the first side road on the right.  This climbs quite steeply up through a large area that was logged and replanted quite a few years ago.  It was a bit cool and damp where we stopped for lunch, but I was happy to discover a neat little patch of the common Monkey Flower.   Erythranthe guttata is the scientific name for it now as it used to be in a different genus called Mimulus.  It is native over a surprisingly wide area of western North America and I understand it can be found on high mountain ranges as well as along the coastline.  Locally it's very common on the coastal bluffs of Texada often giving them vivid splashes of bright yellow in springtime.
JD.
The bright yellow blossoms of Monkeyflower on a small bluff above Thompson Road.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Next Hike

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

Last week the weather was not great, with very strong winds that had the ferries tied up for a good part of the day and with frequent and variable intensity rain showers from time to time. The only helpful thing about it was  that the cloud base was not so low that it cut out the view from our lunch spot on Mount Manzanita.  Most of the time we were hiking the sky was overcast, but just by chance the sun came out as we reached the lunch spot, and the extra warmth was very welcome. 

Some of the hikers have been wondering if it might be possible to do a beach potluck picnic sometime soon, with Secret Beach at the mouth of Stromberg Creek as a possible location.  Nothing has been settled so far, but I will let you know if and when it is.
JD.

Hiking the steep trail down from the viewpoint on Mount Manzanita.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Next Hike

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

Last week we drove south past Shingle Beach and on through the long stretch of clearcuts to the junction with Cook Bay Road.  Turning left there instead of going right to the gate we headed uphill a short distance and parked. This section of logging road climbs quite steeply and it gave us a good workout walking up to the next road junction where turning right got us onto an old grassy uphill road that passes an ancient logging truck abandoned there many decades ago.  At the highest point just where the road starts to go downhill we took to the forest knowing we would soon reach a bluff we had only visited once before and at that time, a very cold winter day with snow on the ground, we sat for lunch there in a dense low cloud.  My photo this week shows just what a fantastic view we had missed seeing on our previous visit.  And what a glorious day we had enjoying our lunches in the clear calm spring weather. 
JD.
 

A lovely view to the west from Foggy Bluff high above the Shingle Beach clearcuts.  Mount Arrowsmith is the peak on Vancouver Island with part of Lasquiti Island in the foreground.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

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Friday, March 29, 2019

Next Hike

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

Last week our hike was a little shorter than usual as we needed to finish in time to attend a meeting about a shellfish project at North-east Bay.  We started off on School Road at the Ballpark and headed uphill along the old logging road that passes Cape Sheaf Lake, turning off before that to reach a nice grassy bluff with a view towards Gillies Bay. The return route to the starting point used some of the new mountain bike trails that criss-cross the forest on the slopes below the bluffs.

My photo this time was taken earlier in the month when I noticed some caterpillar tents on a conifer, in this case a hemlock tree.  For many years we have had regular tent caterpillar invasions that mainly affect deciduous trees and most often our common Red Alder which are sometimes totally stripped of foliage.  This time the food was the tough needles of a conifer and the tent had a much darker appearance as can be seen in my photo.  Also these are a different species of moth with long brown hairs and are not smooth, but I don't have a name for them yet.  I also noticed they were not being killed by late overnight frosts.
JD.


A different kind of tent caterpillar that had established a fairly large tent on the branch of a hemlock tree.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Next Hike

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

Last week we did a modified version of a hike the Trekkers used to do sometimes many years ago that started from Van Anda and reached by lunchtime a bluff on the east end of Spectacle Lake.  Even though there are now several houses on that shoreline the lunch spot still seems quite remote from any local human activity. The route we used in the morning was through a very large clearcut area to the south of the main Blubber Bay Road and then in the afternoon we returned on a very new trail through the forest below the Van Anda TV Tower.
JD.

On a bluff overlooking Spectacle Lake I'm sharing some information about climate change with the other hikers. 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Next Hike.

The next hike will be on Saturday, 16th March.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we were again back in the Shingle Beach area, mainly because there were still many areas on the island with lots of snow on the ground where the sun had not yet reached it enough to melt it.  We knew from the previous week that there was plenty of terrain in and around Shingle Beach that was largely snow free and ideal once again for safe hiking.  We picked the coastal trail and enjoyed the bluffs and beaches and the very attractive Secret Beach where the white water, waterfalls and rapids, of Stromberg Creek reaches the sea. 
JD.

Yours truly relaxing in the warm spring sunshine on the trail that follows the coastline north from Shingle Beach.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Next Hike

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

Last week when we gathered across from the store in Gillies Bay there was still quite a lot of snow in shady areas and we wondered if it might be a problem for us both while driving and hiking.  As we headed south past Davie Bay we were surprised to find less and less and when we started hiking through the campground and along the beach there was none to be seen anywhere.  For lunch we sat in the warm sunshine on the beach logs near Joe Brown's cabin. Afterwards we split up into two groups and took different routes back to the vehicles.  Everyone agreed it was just the most enjoyable outing in every possible way.
JD. 

Hiking along Shingle Beach on a lovely mild sunny day in early March and the only snow to be seen is on the far away mountains.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Next Hike

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

Last week the hikers met in Van Anda and the hike followed a circular route from the Blubber Bay Road eastwards through the forest that extends over to the shoreline north of Sturt Bay.  It included a visit to the small inlet called Eagle Cove.  The photo with the hike notice email this week was taken on the hike and shows just how persistent the snow has been this year especially where it's out of reach of the welcome sunshine that has been really getting quite warm now we are close to the beginning of March. Thanks Terry. 
JD.

Hiking in a snowy forest on the Eagle Cove Trails north of Van Anda in February 2019.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

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Monday, February 25, 2019

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Thursday, February 21, 2019

Next Hike

The next hike day is Saturday, 23rd February.

Once again the local winter weather conditions on Texada continue to make it difficult to plan ahead for any outdoor activities.  We still have a lot of snow on the ground as I write, temperatures are still fluctuating close to zero Celsius and its possible we will have some precipitation both before and during the day on Saturday. During the week there has been a little melting of the snow on the ground where the sun reaches it, but overnight the water turns to ice and makes walking safely really difficult. The predicted high for Saturday is just  +1 deg C. 

I don't plan to hike myself again, but as we did last week anyone interested in doing so can phone me at any time before 10:00am on Saturday and I will bring you up to date on anything that is planned.

John Dove:—  604 486 7100  (my answering machine kicks in after quite a few rings so you can leave a message and I will get back to you.)
 
  Thanks Candi for your photo from the hike last week.  She reports that the hike was  "…..wet and slushy, but very enjoyable."  
JD.

Hiking a snowy forest trail near Van Anda.

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