Thanks to Bill J for the photos and click here to view.
It may have snowed in Black Creek, but it was only cloudy and cool weather for our walk at Seal Bay. There were ten of us who enjoyed a 7 k walk around three loops in Seal Bay Park (off Bates Road) and a walk down Sea Cliff Road to the ocean followed by refreshments at the Country Market.
Thanks to Bill J for the photos and click here to view.
With a keen sense of adventure we set out on trails that were new to all of us. Including one wrong turn that required an about face, our 11 kilometer route was a loop on mountain bike trails south of Nile Creek. The area included big trees, recently logged patches and an enchanted area where everything was moss covered. The trails were very well maintained and look like they would be suitable for hikes between our wet season storms. A return visit is likely in our future.
Photos by Patti and the Bills. To see all of Bill Jorgensen's pictures click here.
Early in the week the weather forecast for Friday didn't look too wet. Perhaps a small group who didn't mind some showers would venture out. By Friday morning the rain had moved on and our group certainly wasn't small. We enjoyed a 14 km circle tour of Seal Bay Park. Our debrief was in the clubhouse at the Sunnydale Golf and Country Club.
Photos by the Bills. To see all of Bill Jorgensen's pictures click here.
Yes! It may have been pouring at night, but the weather for our morning walk was just cloudy. Starting from Noel Ave., we ventured along Brooklyn Creek, MacDonald Wood, the beach and up through Mac Laing Park. Debrief was at a new location that will take a reservation. Excellent coffee and conversation topped off a fine walk at The Mill! Thanks to Bill J. for photos to view here.
It was a Happy Hour takeover at the Flying Canoe Monday afternoon. And Happy Hour(s) lived up to the name. Our group out numbered the rest of the pub patrons and dominated the dance floor. Luke Blu Guthrie and Doug Biggs fed off our energy and delivered an outstanding performance. After the show Luke said "Your crew helped make that the best night all year!" Well done crew!
In October, the group leaders (Dorothy and Vicki) met for coffee with our fellow Probus Members who are on the wait list - Mary and Laraine. Lael was also at the meeting and has been taken off Wait List Status and is a full member of our Bridge Group. WELCOME LAEL!!! We met at The Mill in Comox and had a lovely time chatting about all kinds of things and, of course, Bridge.
We introduced a different scoring system on October 16; one that is used more often these days when playing Chicago Bridge. It includes scoring for Vulnerability. Lorna introduced this system to a group of 20. The rest of the players who are not familiar with the system will be brought up to speed when they play. Many thanks to Lorna for taking this instruction on! She was well received. Sheets with a scoring chart were passed out and will be available at all tables in the near future, but we urge players to know how to score without the chart.
This month we played at Shelley's on September 30, Phil and Marie's on October 8, Vicki and Robin's on October 16 and Dorothy and John's on October 24. Thank you to all the hosts!!!.
The Bridge Group is a very active group, with 40 engaged members. We meet 4 times a month.
This was our first return to the Quinsam River from Beaver Lodge Forest since our exploratory hike about a year ago. This hike started on the Rail Trail in the Beaver Lodge Forest in Campbell River. From there we made our way across the Inland Island Highway to mountain bike trails that took us along the top of the Quinsam River valley. Most of the walk from Beaver Lodge to the river was on an interesting single track trail through new and mature forest, with some short stretches on logging roads. The trail above the river, called Road Apples offered great views of the Quinsam below. After hiking 15 km everyone convened at the Rip Tide Pub for a debrief.
Thank you Bill Jorgensen for visually capturing our adventure. To see all of Bills pictures of our hike click here.
The dry weather held out for the November 3rd Digital Neighbourhood Scavenger Hunt in which 30 Club members (divided into 7 teams) participated. What an enthusiastic bunch they were! The number of tasks that each team completed within the allotted time was truly impressive, as was their creativity.
Cheryl had fun producing the task list which included items to find and photograph, team pictures to be taken at designated locations and actions involving strangers to be photographed or videotaped. Some of the tasks brought out the child in participants and gave them licence to be silly. Teams report that their interactions with strangers were well received. Judging by the wide grins in some of the attached pictures, the participants really enjoyed the afternoon.
The meeting point at the end of the scavenger hunt (for presentation of the teams’ digital evidence) was the Whistle Stop Pub where 35 Club members had dinner. Gift certificates were awarded to the winning team (Vicki Matthew, Robin Pearson, Phil & Marie Morck, Lindsay Sparkes), and scratch tickets were awarded to the second place team (Michele Morton, Sheila Precious, Steve Hill, Donna Young). Ray Fast won the draw for an additional scratch ticket. All teams deserve credit for doing such a terrific job.
Thanks to Jane Kelliher, James Kennedy and Steve Horn for their assistance with organizing the event and scrutinizing the digital evidence.
Even though we had been to Nymph Falls in Oct., we went back in hopes of seeing fish jumping. Yes, salmon were seen but off in the distance. Nevertheless, it was a lovely day for walking/hiking. Our group consensus led us on a different route on the lower river trail and loop trail and even the cog the log trail. We didn't go very far on the cog the log trail before a wet and slippery-looking bridge stopped us from going any farther. Great to explore a new route with new sights to see! Thanks to Bill B.for suggesting a new debrief site at Bigfoot Donuts. There was room for all of us and good coffee and food. It has more than just donuts. Thanks to Patti S. and Bill J. for photos. To see more pictures, click here.
A small group of hikers headed up the Mount Washington trail system for what is likely a last outing at higher elevations before the snow arrives. Croteau Lake was our intended destination, but we all felt like a bit of adventure and so diverted onto the trail leading up (UP!) Mt Elma, which is located between Lake Helen-MacKenzie and Croteau Lake. Two of our hikers had been on the exploratory for this route last month and were intent on showing the remainder of us the wonderful views from the summit. It was a very stiff climb, but we all made it to the top and promptly fell in love with the panoramas which were to be seen on all sides. What a wonderful place this is! Well worth the effort of the climb...but it IS rather hard on the knees coming down! I would rate it in the same category as a Mt Becher hike (fair warning!)
Photos below were contributed by Dawn Moore, Steve Hill and Lindsay Sparkes. Click on the link provided by Bill Jorgensen to enjoy his photos of our day - stirling, as always!
The Birding Group was well represented for this outing to the Little River Ferry environs with twelve members showing up at the trailhead. It was a lovely day and the birds were out enjoying it - we had one of our best days for sighting birds throughout each environment area. On our list were: Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Nuthatch (heard in the distance), Ring-necked Duck, Scaup, Spotted Towhees, Dark-eyed Juncos, Northwestern Crows, Mallards, Gulls, Raven, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creeper, Bald Eagles, Hummingbird, Common Loons, Red-breasted Mergansers, Red-necked Grebes, Harlequins, Belted Kingfisher, Surf Scoters, American Wigeons, Sandpipers (Dunlins?), Killdeer, Golden-crowned Sparrows, House Finches, Song Sparrow and Hooded Merganser.
Photos below were provided by Dawn M. and Ian T.
The Royston Cumberland Railway trail was our walk. This greenway was once very active transporting timber and coal from 1888 to the 1950s. Once the railroad tracks were removed, it was a Van West Logging road. Thanks to the Comox Valley Regional District, it was purchased in 2014 so that it could be maintained as a trail. Being a rail trail meant a fairly flat grade with easy terrain. I don't know if it was the cold morning temperatures or the fact that many of us have been walking regularly, but our brisk pace took us for a total of 8 k. That was 45 min. in one direction and 45 in the other. Usually our group averages at about 6 or 6.5 k. Thanks again to Bill for photos that you can view here.
We had a beautiful sunny, sometimes windy day to explore the Eastern Block of the Cumberland mountain bike trails. We met a few cyclists who were all friendly and welcoming as usual. Our route included wetlands, narrow trails through tall trees and open meadows with views of the Comox Valley and beyond. Our group carefully navigated a long series of boardwalks some of which were slippery with frost. Fortunately we all stayed vertical. We took our lunch break at the top of a bluff with views of mountains and forest to the south. After lunch we walked below the bluffs for a different perspective. After our 12.6 kilometer adventure most of us convened at the Waverley for drinks, snacks, conversation and lots of laughs.
Photos by Dawn, Bill B and Bill J. To see all of Bill J's pictures click here.
It was a perfect crisp sunny day for walking. Bear Creek Nature park did not disappoint. We followed the road to the River and River Loop trail and back to the main road. We came across volunteers sorting and later extracting eggs from Coho salmon. The Oyster River Enhancement Society volunteers were welcoming with our questions and viewing. With other trails wet and muddy, we stayed on the main road to the club house. A trail and the main road took us back with a wee cardiac climb at the end. What a great park Bear Creek is! For viewing pictures, thanks to Bill J., click here.
We had a large and enthusiastic group gathering at the home of Vicki Matthew and Robin Pearson on Saturday, October 19. After enjoying a delicious variety of appetizers and a few sips of some favourite beverages, many of the group moved to the games room for some serious (and NOT so serious!) fun. Thank you again for hosting SO many of us, Vicki and Robin!
Thanksgiving Sunday proved to be a lovely day to be out birding and our Group took full advantage, heading to the Royston Seaside Trail at the end of Hilton Road. Unfortunately, the tide was further out than expected, so many of the waterbirds were too far away to make good identifications, except when distinctive markings were detected (eg, for Surf and White-winged Scoters). As well, there were a fair number of shorebirds along the waterline, but again, distance defeated good identifications. I suspect that Black-bellied Plovers and Black Turnstones were represented amongst them, from the fuzzy photos taken. Added to the above, the following birds were noted: Double-crested Cormorants, Crows, Canada Geese, Gulls, Bald Eagles, Kingfishers, Red-necked Grebes, Horned Grebes, Mallards, Common Loons, Great Blue Herons, American Robins, Spotted Towhees, Killdeer, Northern Flickers, Stellar Jays and Red-breasted Nuthatch. Dawn Moore and Steve Hill contributed the photos below while Bill Jorgensen has provided a link to his images of the day.
12 of us braved the showers on a brisk walk at Nymph Falls Park followed by coffees and great conversation at the Country Market.
Random Readers met Oct. 9 and we had our usual wonderful discussions about a wide range of books. Here is one I suggested, it is a quick and fascinating read about an event I don't know much about - the sinking of a Newfoundland passenger ferry in the Gulf of St Lawrence in the midst of WWII. Some powerful writing, and I particularly liked getting into the characters from both sides of the conflict.
Land Beyond the Sea...
In the small hours of October 14, 1942, a German U-boat sank the passenger ferry SS Caribou in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Of the 237 people on board, 136 perished, including 49 civilians. In Land Beyond the Sea, bestselling author Kevin Major reimagines the events of that fateful night from the perspectives of both those aboard the doomed vessel and the German U-boat commander who gave the order. With his sharp, evocative style, Major delivers an epic work of historical fiction. Land Beyond the Sea is a powerful and empathetic testament to the acts of destruction and the acts of heroism carried out in the name of home.
We capped off the Thanksgiving weekend with happy hour at the Flying Canoe. KGB, Kahiamoe, Guthrie and Biggs put on a wonderful show.
Great music and cheap drinks.... I think we need a repeat performance soon!
We had a good turnout for last Thursday's Elk Falls trail system excursion and it turned out to be a lovely day for a hike - crisply cool under sunny skies. The day was even brighter with the orange/yellow fall colouring all about, both on the trees and on the ground. Most of the group could be seen kicking away at the fallen leaves and once in a while, handfuls were getting tossed in the air. Nice to feel young again!
One disappointment was to find that our information was incorrect - the trail renovations are NOT completed in the lower approach to the old generating site below the falls. We took the Canyon View trail up to the edge of the site, only to find our passage barred by fencing and a big "Trail closed" sign. Dang. Back we went to the start of our hike and onwards to the south, to cross the Campbell River on the wooden bridge and try the Canyon View Trail on the other side of the River. This time, we were able to continue our route up to and over the Millennium Trail and into the Elk Falls Park. We had our lunch at the renovated picnic site to the side of the Falls and then retraced our steps back to the trailhead. Despite the disappointment, it was a lovely day to be out and all enjoyed themselves thoroughly. "Debrief" was, as usual, at the Riptide Pub.
Bill Jorgensen has supplied a link to his photos of the excursion and is well worth browsing. Thanks, Bill.
A rather brisk cool morning found 21 of us walking Seal Bay Park from the new parking lot on Hardy Road. We followed what are familiar trails for many of us until we reached Bates Road. Again, we followed known trails back and I think the cool weather set our walking pace. It is that time of year again where hats, toques or gloves may be needed. Debrief was enjoyable at the Country Market where all of us could fit around the three tables put together. To see more photos, thanks to Bill J. click here.