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On Saturday September 25 our group of 13 hikers headed off to the Cumberland Forest for a 14km hike. We followed a diverse route which included a variety of different styles of trails and some very attractive scenery. We also got to share part of our hike with the company of 700 competitors, participating in the Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race. It was amazing to see these serious racers giving it their all. Our route took us past the China Bowls on Perseverance Creek and then up to Allan Lake where we stopped for Lunch. Our debrief was held at Bean around the World.
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On September 24th, eighteen members of the golf group played nine holes at Mulligan’s followed by a de-brief on the patio. This event was intended to celebrate our 2021 golf season and, to thank everyone for their participation. Covid and the heat wave made it challenging and impacted our attendance this year. Our current membership is 55, however only about half of our members made it out for our events this year. Our goal since the inception of the golf group has been to promote fun golf for players of all levels. We hope we have achieved this goal and our prizes and competitions at our year end event were planned with this in mind. There were 2 competitions held this year; a putting contest and a count of the number of times each player entered a sand trap or water hazard. Both competitions were won by John McGinn. He won the hazard competition with a record of 6 hazards found in 9 holes. Close seconds went to Tricia Nicol with 3 sand traps and 2 water hazards and Marie Morck who hit 5 water hazards. Four of these 5 water hazards that Marie entered were on one hole, hole # 8. No doubt there is quite a story to be told there. John won the putting competition by leaving his putt 30 cm from the hole. There were several putts left about 35 cm from the cup. All players were permitted a few practice putts before announcing their final 2 attempts to drain the 30-footer. Unfortunately, David Schneider walked up and drained the 30-footer with his practice putt but then couldn’t repeat it for the real thing. Men’s and ladies club champions were determined by random draws from all participants at the year-end event. The champions are Nancy Brown and Donald Bourne; each presented with prestigious trophies worthy of their outstanding athletic abilities and dedication to the game. All winners were provided with a gift card donated by Mulligan’s Golf Club. Each of the 4 gift cards can be redeemed for a free 9-hole round of golf at Mulligan’s. We encourage all golf group members to relay our appreciation for their donation the next time they are at Mulligan’s. Since formation of the golf group in 2015, it has been led by Keith Millard, Ken Oyler, and Dave Scott. There have been several members who have assisted with the group, but it needs to be acknowledged that Tony Nicol has been an assistant every year since the group was formed. Dave Scott advised the group of his intention to step down as the leader at the end of this season and asked for a volunteer to take on leadership next season. Nancy Brown and Barb Sabey volunteered to co-lead the group next season. Thanks Nancy and Barb.
This is a lovely Autumn walk, the Royston Cumberland Rail trail. It is fairly flat trail with such a gradual incline that one barely notices it. Debrief at the Royston cafe. Good coffee and conversation! Thanks Patti for the photos.
So happy the walk was changed from the windy, rainy Tues. to this day. Views are amazing from the low tide while walking Marine Drive to the Royston Wrecks. You could even walk out at the wrecks. The birdhouse tree is seen from the Royston Seaside walk. Debrief was at the Royston Cafe where we could sit out on the picnic table while loving the sunshine. Thanks to Patti for photos.
The Bridge Group continues to play once a week. We've only missed about one month since the pandemic began. We're a happy, friendly, relaxed Bridge Group. In the summer, we met in-person for a picnic since we needed to see one another after playing online for so long. It was lovely to see everyone. Now we are playing a hybrid version of our Bridge. Some people play virtually, and some play in-person, based on each person's preference! Dorothy and her partner bid and made a small slam a week ago! If you know anything about Bridge, this is not easy!
Here are some candid photos taken at our First Annual Summer Picnic. (Rest In Peace, Skip)
On this pleasantly cool late-summer day, some of our hikers drove up to Campbell River's Snowden Forest and divided into two groups to tackle the Four Lakes and the Lost Lake-Lost Frog trail systems. It was a good day.
The Four (Riley, Elmer, Frog and Lost) Lakes route used this time took the hikers up the shorter, less hilly right side of Elmer Lake, while the other group added a circuit around Riley Lake to their Lost Lake-Lost Frog route. Result? - distances covered by the two groups were quite similar and they got back to the trailhead within 20-30 minutes of each other. As usual, all enjoyed the outing and the debrief that followed, at the Riptide Pub.
Four Lakes route: Photo below was submitted by Lindsay. Click on the link to view Bill J.'s photos, which are as great as always.
Lost Lake-Lost Frog: photos below by Patti, Steve Hill and Dawn
The first outing of our Birding season took place at the Courtenay Airpark under blue skies. Perfect conditions for an enjoyable time together, but not so great for grabbing photos of the plentiful bird life encountered – most photos tended to feature ‘silhouetted’ birds (black with little colour showing). By the time they were lightened, they were washed out and harder to identify. Between the ten participants, we managed and came up with quite a varied list of birds sighted: European Starlings, Northwestern Crow, Great Blue Herons, Belted Kingfishers, Eurasian Collared-Doves, Bushtits, Song Sparrow, Gulls, Ring-billed Gull, Killdeer, Western Sandpipers, Least Sandpiper, Canada Geese, Bald Eagle, Hummingbird, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, House Finches, Turkey Vultures, Northern Pintails, Green-winged Teals, American Wigeons and Mallards. Of further interest was the seal activity in the river mouth and an Oregon Grape bush with grasshoppers and stink bugs. Thank you, Bill, for sharing your fantastic Scope – it was great getting the closeup look at faraway birds!
Photos were contributed by Steve, Ian, Bill Dawn.
Two hikes were offered on Labour Day Monday...and boy, did the hikers aiming for the Cruickshank Canyon Viewpoint...labour! This route is known as one of our top-of-the-list hard hikes, thanks to its distance (23km or so) and undulating nature (elevation change of around 630 m), but is one of the Group’s favourite outings due to the sheer beauty of the landscape encountered along the way. Monday was no different, with twelve hardy souls setting off on their 7-hour jaunt and enjoying the day despite the distinct feeling that the route is lengthening by the year! Good on ya, everyone, for coming back with smiles on your faces!
Cathy has supplied a link to a Relive tracking of the route (which includes some photos) while Katie has provided a link to her photos of the hike, a few of which are shown below along with a photo contributed by Lindsay. Bill J's photos are now available by clicking on his link . Enjoy!
The second hike was between Cumberland Rec Centre and Comox Lake, following trails that paralleled Comox Lake Rd. This outing was much more relaxed, taking 2 ¼ hours to complete and ended with a picnic debrief at the Number Six Mine Park, next to the Rec Centre. An enjoyable outing for the three of us.
This, Newcastle Island, has to be a favorite for the walking group. We allowed lots of time to walk the paths following as close to the shoreline as possible. Walking the perimeter is a bit of a hike, rather than walk, with the distance and the hills but worth the amazing views. The weather was sunny and comfortable. Our debrief was at the concession for food, coffee and ice cream. Perfect! Thanks to Patti, James and Steve for photos.
Elk, Moose and Deer Falls was our destination. Never tire of the views, the sounds of rushing, cascading water and the amazing old growth trees on the trails. With Covid and changes in hours, the debrief was not at Riptide but Moxies. All of us ordered lunch. Good food and entertaining stories today! Thanks to Barbara and Lorne for photos.
Our hikers returned to one of their favourite trail systems on Monday (Denman Island's Boyle Point Provincial Park) where they divided into 2 groups to tackle the route in opposite directions. Hiking conditions were perfect, with slightly cooler temperatures, so the pace was good and smiles abound. One group took the side trail down to the shoreline, with its sea-level views over to Chrome Island, for their snack break while the other group had their break at the Chrome Island Lookout. The latter group completed the hike first and drove on to Fillongley Provincial Park where they had time for a loop walk up to the homestead property of the Beadwell family before returning to the cars. By this time, the first group had arrived and we all settled down to the serious matter of enjoying lunchs... and singing a round of Happy Birthday to Patti!
Photos below were contributed by Patti, Barbara, Dawn, Katie and Bill J. Do click on the Katie and Bill J. links to view the remainder of their photos.
Another beautiful day for a hike! The Elk Falls trail system was our destination. Group 1 was to do the loop to the falls in the clockwise direction and started off on our adventure with enthusiasm. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before we discovered that much of the trail was closed for maintenance. Undaunted we searched our phone apps for alternate routes and after heading off in the wrong direction once, found the well hidden trail that we were looking for. Lots of climbing with some very steep sections led us to our destination. The falls and suspension bridge did not disappoint and we had a lovely lunch stop there. Not wanting to try the same perilous steep descent on our return we found another way down and eventually returned to our cars with ankles, knees and wrists intact. It was truly an exploratory adventure, one that was enjoyed by all!
Bill J. provided the photos below; do click on the link to view the rest of them
Group 2 started off on the same Canyon View trail, but in the opposite direction...and met up with the same closure sign...and just as blithely ignored it! Since Group 1's side of the Campbell River was shorter, they reached the problem area on the Millennium Trail before us and a flurry of texting occurred. Our group decided to complete the Canyon View loop and to then explore the trails (Quinsam Nature Trail and Beaverpond Trail) on the other side of the Quinsam Provincial campground, which was across the highway from where we had parked. Good move for us, as we were able to get a bit of a workout with some basic ascents/descents on the deteriorating trails while enjoying the unexpected change in routing and our picnic lunch at the Quinsam River Hatchery.
Photos below by Dawn
It was a beautiful day for a hike to Hairtrigger Lake, an absolute jewel in the Strathcona Park crown. Twelve hardy souls set out on an 18 kilometre trek, doing a counter clockwise loop which took us up the right side of Helen Mackenzie Lake. Though experiencing a ‘gnarly’ climb on the ascent, we were rewarded with a well deserved lunch stop at stunning Hairtrigger before passing both Kwai and Croteau Lakes on our way back to the parking lot.
Bill J. provided the photos below; do click on the link to view the rest of them.
A second group (of three) set off for the same destination, but did a there-and-back version via Battleship, Croteau and Kwai Lakes. This entailed adding around two km to the route, but provided an easier ascent. And, yes, what lovely surroundings at Hairtrigger to enjoy our lunch!
Dawn provided the photos below.
Meeting at the southern (Seabank Rd.) entrance to the park, we were greeted by a dog in a pickup truck who was not sure we should be there.