The next hike will be on Saturday, 26th January.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.
Last week we again had nice weather for hiking and took a route that was a mix of old trails and newer ones. Parking on Bell Road near First Lake we used our recently restored trail to Mystery Lake and kept going past the lake to the junction where the trail to Thompson Bluffs branches off to the left. On the right at this point there is an old logging road that heads north and drops down to Thompson Road where we continued north on Thompson Road and then took the next road on the right which eventually ends part way to Balanced Rock Lake. It's always nice to have a spot with a good view for lunch and we found one a large sloping clearcut facing south. Balanced Rock Lake was a new location for some of the hikers and we checked out the shoreline on both sides before heading off back to the vehicles along an old logging road we have not hiked for several years.
My photo shows the cones and needles of one of the world tallest trees which happens to be quite common in and around Gillies Bay. It's range extends from coastal Washington State all along the coast to the south coast of Alaska. The name comes from the small town of Sitka on the Alaska Panhandle. The wood is very strong has been used in the past for ships masts and in the two world wars for building planes. In places on Vancouver Island there are a few specimens more than 300ft tall!
Sitka Spruce, Picea sitchensis. This is a common tree around Gillies Bay, but not seen so often elsewhere on Texada.