The Next Hike

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

Thursday, March 26, 2020

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Thursday, March 19, 2020

The next Texada Trekkers hike is cancelled.

Owing to the danger we all face from the spread of the Covid-19 virus pandemic Texada Trekkers hikes will be on hold from now on.  Meanwhile it's still good to get outdoors into the fresh air and if you are able to do some walking our island has many roads and trails to use while maintaining the appropriate social distancing.

Details of many of the trails on Texada are available on a website maintained by a worldwide hiking trail online company.  Anyone can view the maps and photos without downloading the app.  

Last week we drove again to the area just south of Pocahontas Bay and parked at the bottom of the road that goes up to the towers on top of Pocahontas Mountain. From our parking place the route climbs steadily through mossy forest eventually reaching an area where the road is more sunny and open.  Towards the end the road steepens and zigzags and there are chance views towards the mainland.  As you can see from the photo we had fantastic weather for hiking and even the powerful wind that was cooling the west side of Texada that day did not reach us at all!

View north from Zigzag Trail viewpoint with the large white Powell River pulp mill building in the far distance on the mainland shore. [MM photo]

Friday, March 13, 2020

Next Hike

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

Last week we had a damp cloudy day for our hike and decided to hike directly from the Ballpark for a change.  The destination was Cap Sheaf Lake where we sat on the small rocky area at the south end and were thankful that the rain was very light and the air was quite calm so it didn't feel at all uncomfortable after all.
The photo this week shows how we sometimes find interesting things to do with natural history, rocks, plants, insects and so on, and like to have a record for later identification. It's nice to have someone willing and happy to help with keeping the camera from getting wet – thanks Terry!

The hikers often spot interesting features of the natural history along the trails, and photos provide a record of the discovery.  [MM photo]

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Next Hike

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

Last week we hiked into a part of the island that we have been neglecting for a very long time even though it's really not all that far from Van Anda. The route starts near the bottom of the access road to the Pocahontas towers, but branches off onto an old logging road that heads to the south. Much of this area is forest covered, and not recently logged so the forest is mature enough to be quite open with thick moss covering the forest floor.  The trail climbs steadily for a long way, then drops sharply until reaching the north end of the remote Bladderwort Lake. The only spot with anything that might be classed as a view offers just a glimpse of the Georgia Strait in the far distance.

Once again another lovely day for our hike, this time to the bluff on the hillside above seldom visited Bladderwort Lake. TH photo

Friday, February 28, 2020

Next Hike

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

Last week we were not too sure where the snow-line was so decided to pick a hike route that would likely have a good view, but not be so far south as to  still be snow covered. As we drove south along Bell Road there was no snow in sight in the First Lake area so chose the top of Plateau Mountain as our destination. Walking uphill on the long abandoned logging road through the forest the atmosphere felt so good, fresh clean air with rays of the sun finding ways through the canopy.  The trail gets steeper as you climb higher and leaving the forest behind we soon found ourselves mainly in warm sunshine.  Our regular lunch spot was where we had lunch and you can see from my photo that the nearest clouds were far, far away above the Vancouver Island mountains — just perfect!

Another lovely winter day for hiking, in this case to the top of Plateau Mountain. 

Thursday, February 27, 2020

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Friday, February 21, 2020

The next hike.

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

Last week it was a damp fairly mild day with low fog and spells of quite light rain.  No chance of getting a view on the high ground, or any where else for that matter, so we decided to do forest trails plus a section of Shingle Beach as the tide was quite suitable for doing that around mid-day. Starting point was at the junction just up the last hill down to the Shingle Beach Campground and we made it a loop hike by using the main logging road through the recent logging areas and then dropping down to the beach at the abandoned cabins.  This week's photo gives an idea of what kind of day it was and why this beach has the name it's been given — apart from some larger boulders here and there most of it is the grey shingle in the picture.  

At the Brown cabin a couple of kilometres south on Shingle Beach on a dull and slightly damp day in February. [TH photo]

Friday, February 14, 2020

Next Hike

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

Last week we drove south past the fallen tree that had blocked the road the Saturday before and headed up the Cook Bay road to the parking place about halfway up towards Mt. Davies.  Our destination was quite a lot higher and we figured the snow in the forest would not be too bad at all as there had been some mild rainy days that week.  We guessed right and made it to the Not-been-to-before-lake Bluff in good time.  My photo shows we had a great view of the snow-capped peaks on Vancouver Island as we ate lunch.  On the way back we made the short side-trip to Stromberg Falls and were rewarded with a wonderful display of water crashing down the cliffs. It's too bad the forest is so thick there that getting a single decent photo when the flow is that great is really not possible — you just have to be there.

It was another lovely day for hiking to a high point with a fine view. 

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 8th February.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am

Last week we were really lucky with the weather again and had a combination of factors that are not all that usual at this time of the year.  We wanted to reach a high elevation spot with a great view and decided on the three small bluffs that sit close together on the south slope of Mt. Davies.  When we started driving expecting to have some snow on the high elevation areas we were quite surprised to discover that there was none to be seen even on the roads, and none in the forest either plus the large beaver pond part way along our trail was entirely ice free! And this was a mid-winter day. The photo shows the view looking north-west to the Vancouver Island mountains and you can imagine with little if any breeze it felt very pleasant sitting in the sun for a while.

The panoramic view from a bluff, one of three on the slopes of Mt. Davies that we call Unotwotrois Bluffs. [TH photo]

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Next Hike

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

Last week we had pleasant dry weather, but the high ground was mostly hidden in the clouds so we decided to do a coastal hike for a change. The shoreline running north from Shingle Beach to near Hydro West is rugged most of the way, but a well flagged hiking trail runs along the cliff tops and skirts the impossible sections by swinging inland here and there.  At any time of the year it can be a physical challenge so right now with lots of moisture everywhere is certainly not the best time!
My photo is of a clam shell that was at the side of the trail last week and probably dropped there by a gull flying up from the beach.  I knew a marine Moon Snail had cut the round hole - the interesting thing about it was that the round piece of shell is always missing except this time it was not and only fell away when touched. 

A clam shell with a large hole cut in it by the marine Moon Snail, Neverita lewesii. [TH photo]

Friday, January 24, 2020

Next Hike

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

Last week we had very difficult weather conditions by Saturday after several days of heavy snowfall with ice formation on our roads  and most of us were unable to hike as we usually do.  However, two hikers managed to make their way on foot to the trails on the north side of Sturt Bay and found an area relatively free of ice and snow.  The photo for today was taken last Saturday in that area — thanks Candi!
We are now in a very different marine weather pattern with much warmer air temperatures and lots of quite steady rain day and night. 
The entrance to Sturt Bay on a cool windy January day. [CL photo]

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Next Hike

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

Last week we decided to stick to a lower elevation for our hike, this time driving only just a short distance past Sienna Road and parking at the next junction where the road down to Hydro East branches off of Bell Road.  We had hoped to avoid hiking in the snow again, but in open areas there was still some snow here and there.  It was nice to be in sunshine when we were enjoying our lunch break on top of the mountain.

Last Monday morning I was listening to CBC radio and heard an interview with an expert on human heath and exercise options etc.  He makes a very good case for rough terrain hiking being good for our brains!

Daniel Levitin quote from this episode of The Current :—

"We've also been sold a bill of goods. I think about the value of exercise. Exercise is important and aerobic exercise in particular is heart healthy. But all that aerobics exercise isn't nearly as important for brain health as simple movement, particularly movement that involves navigation, navigation in open countryside. If you can. I went on a hike last summer in Quebec. We were hiking in this public park on a dirt trail and there were all kinds of tangled roots and things in the middle of the trail. You had to be careful to step over them and not trip. A light went off in my head that connected the research literature on what we called embodied cognition and what was really going on on this walk, which was that I was exercising my hippocampus, the part of the brain that is devoted to navigating and spatial memory."


Once again we found ourselves hiking in the snow, this time on the windy summit of Mount Manzanita.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Next Hike

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

Last week we felt there would still not be much snow yet on the high ground and headed up Bell Road, past First Lake and parked at the junction just after the Vancouver Island Hydro lines. There was nothing more than the odd tiny patch of snow here and there and we were soon hiking south along the gas pipeline and made good progress past the north end of Bobs Lake to the road gravel pit on the sharp corner. From there we took the steep trail up through the forest to the viewpoint at the top of Mt. Flicker, our lunch spot.  Although the elevation is pretty high here there was no snow to be seen in any direction. However, there were plenty of ominous clouds not far away from us and it was too cold to sit still for very long. We did have some snow patches on the trail on the north side of the peak, but nothing when we got back to the road again.  We did run into a brief snow shower and my shot shows it had began to turn the road white as we headed back downhill to the vehicles.

Hiking in early January on the road near Bobs Lake. The snow flakes were extra large, but it only lasted for a few minutes.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Next Hike

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

Last week we decided to drive south as far as we could hoping we would not run into any snow on the roads in the Bobs Lake area.  We did find there was snow on Bell Road as we approached the lake, but not much and we decided to keep going. We eventually parked at Fiveway Junction with snow on the ground and a cool wind blowing as we started hiking south along the gasline. Once we got into the forest there was no wind at all and hardly any snow except in the few clearings we had to cross.  Certainly the trail was slippery at times, but we made steady progress and reached the lunch spot bluff in ninety minutes.  The view we had of Lasqueti far below us and even the more distant Hornby Island was a bit unexpected as there was a lot of low cloud around. After lunch we decided to drop the plan to continue on the steep circular route back to the vehicles, and headed back the way we had come in.

Hikers on a snow covered bluff on Wayne's Short Trail which runs south and west from Fiveway Junction on the Anderson Bay Rd.