Not sure how we managed this but another walk was accomplished before the rain set in. Seal Bay from the new parking lot at Hardy Road was our destination. Great to be out! A slight detour from the usual had us walking for a bit more time, ten minutes shy of an hour. Pleasant walk where we encountered other walkers and cyclists. Debrief at the Country Market had us squished in to two booths with added chairs. I guess the word is out that the Country Market has good food and coffee as well as fitting in groups. Thanks to Bill J. for photos to view here.
To celebrate the start of a new month...and a sunny morning(!), some of our hikers headed to the Wildwood Forest- Bob Webb trail system for some welcome exercise. The route is flat, so we kept up the pace for a 3-hour stretch (there and back) in order to stretch our muscles. Mission accomplished under great conditions of lovely scenery, blue skies and good company. Our debrief was held at the Superstore Tim Hortons, where we enjoyed food and drink by the fireside.
Thank you, Bill, for the link to your most excellent photos. Those below were provided by Dawn (click on photo to enlarge).
The Wine and Appies group celebrated Leap Day in style by wearing their most colourful, unusual and picture-perfect socks to our event on Saturday, February 29 at the home of Donna and Frank Young. The delicious variety of appies, happy conversations and made for a very enjoyable evening. Thank you again for hosting, Donna and Frank!
Despite a last minute warning that the trail to Ripple Rock had been covered in water at one point a few weeks ago, a hopeful group of hikers drove up to the trailhead in anticipation that a few days without rain had rectified the matter. Yay!...there were mud and pooled patches along the way, but we were able to persevere and enjoy another successful outing in the dead of this west-coast drippy winter. And, regardless of optimistic weather forecasts, the last kilometre or so of our hike was drippy. That's okay - our lunchbreak at the Ripple Rock viewpoint was dry, the scenery was gorgeous as always and we had a Junco visit us for handouts. We were amazed on the return section of our hike at just how many young adults and families we were passing - it is heartening to see first-hand the interest shown by the younger generations in enjoying the outdoors year-round.
The following photos are the handiwork of Patti and Dawn
The weather doesn't stop us. We are optimists! This pub to pub, which is now publess to publess, walk from Salmon Point is a favourite. It was a bit rainy but it quit for the walk through the woods. Then, we endured some wind on the return. However, everybody was happy to be out walking. To see more photos, thanks to Bill J., click here.
As a change from our usual Seal Bay routes, this time we went to the beach and back on each of the three beach access trails. We rounded out the adventure with a short tour inland to make an 8 km loop. All three climbs up from sea level were taken in stride by the relatively large group. Most of us retired to the Country Market Cafe for beverages, snacks and conversation.
Thank you Katie and Cheryl for the photographs.
Another glorious day. With sunny skies and a temperature of +2, we did the Piggott Valley Loop for the first time this season. To start off, we followed close to the original Rossiter's Rise trail down to a deactivated logging road. This led to a pleasant stroll along the road, with a short snack break, knowing that we had a grueling climb ahead of us. Of course, Bill's favorite birds showed up to attempt to steal his cookies, but they did provide for some awesome photographic moments. At this point we had to tackle the hill - a 100 metre climb with no level bits at all. Near the top, we stopped for our lunch break and certainly enjoyed the warmth of the sun. From there, we followed the road to the trail that leads to Lake Helen McKenzie. We turned left, and headed back to the Lodge for our debrief. Feeling good about our workout, we discussed possibilities for future challenges. Here's two that we hope to try before the end of this season:
Route to Ranger's Cabin: https://www.plotaroute.com/route/1034424?units=km Looks like another 1 km (one way) from the cabin to Hairtrigger Lake
Piggott - Mackenzie - Battleship route estimate: https://www.plotaroute.com/route/1034429?units=km
Today's actual route: https://www.plotaroute.com/route/1034421?units=km
Thanks to Cheryl and Bill J for the photos. To see all of Bill's photos click here.
Tuesday was a perfect winter's day for an invigorating hike and a number of our group members were able to take advantage, setting off at an early hour to catch the two ferries over to Hornby Island. Walking off the second ferry as foot passengers, we set off to climb to the Mt Geoffrey Escarpment and then to follow it southwards until the trail ended up back on the Island's road system. We then followed the road a half-hour northwards to Ford's Cove where we enjoyed a lunch break in the sunshine. A brisk hike along the shoreline trail and we got back to the ferry terminal in time to catch the 2pm ferry back to Denman. Debrief was at the usual Roy's Towne Pub, where all agreed it was a day well-spent!
Click on the link to view Bill Jorgensen's great photos of the day; those below were taken by Katie Hubberstey and Dawn (except the first, which is a Bill J. photo).
This was our third excursion in six days. We started from Anderson Hill pullout on what was offered as an “easy exploratory”, hoping to attract some members who have let us know that most of our outings are too challenging. None of those members signed up so our ambitious group climbed the hills towards Ramparts. With a few breaks to slow down our heart rates, we stopped at the crest of a hill for our well deserved lunch break, 220 meters above our starting point. After our break, we decided to not go any further up the hill, so headed back to our vehicles, taking time to enjoy the views of Denman and Hornby Islands. We had our debrief at Ace Brewing, where we enjoyed beverages and an assortment of goodies.
Thanks to Katie and Bill J for the photos. To see all of Bill's photos click here.
What a glorious day we picked to meet at Raven Lodge. With full sun and a temperature of -1, ten of us started off on Rossiter's Rise, rated black diamond. This is the first time this year that we've been able to do this trail as it's been closed most of the season. Once at the bottom we were faced with a heart pumping elevation gain of 100 metres to the junction of Tree Beard's Trail. After a short break, we continued on to Crooked Creek, where we stopped for our lunch break and and an offering of Valentine cookies. We then followed the trail back to the Lodge, where hot beverages were enjoyed. Another fantastic day “on the hill.”
Thanks to Cheryl and Bill J for the photos. To see all of Bill's photos click here.
This was a new route on the Courtenay Rotary Trail. Starting from the train station, we headed towards 29th Street and passed Bill Moore park. At the end, we followed another pathway and followed a few streets before going up 21st Street and returning to the rotary trail. It was only an hour to the train station so we walked towards 5th street. The weather was mild and seemed like Spring. This route will likely be walked again though the Puntledge Park loop might be added. Thanks Heather for the photo.
Two trips, two stories:
Today we did two different trips. One group did the marked trails while the other group went up to Croteau Lake.
Those of us who chose option #1 set a leisurely pace around four of the eight trails. After a cloudy start, we were fortunate to enjoy the sunshine. Although we have done these trails fairly often this season, the viewscapes are still a wonder to behold. After doing a respectable 6.5 Km, we enjoyed our debrief at the Lodge.
Thanks to Steve and Katie for the photos.
Our trek to Croteau Lake was another milestone for our group, going farther and into territory that we had not explored before on snowshoes. Our 12 km route took us just over 6 hours to complete. We were all feeling tired as we covered the last stretch across the Meadows. Back in Raven Lodge our spirits were buoyed, and we were proud of our accomplishment. There was even talk of where our next new adventure might take us.
Photos by Bill Jorgensen and Garry Olinek. To see all of Bill's photos click here.
On Sunday, our group of nineteen took advantage of more sterling winter weather by hiking the trail between Nymph Falls and Comox Lake...and back. Including a lunch break, the outing took 4 hours to complete, giving a nice workout on a beautifully crisp day. This route is a reliable one when rain has been prevalent in the near past as the trails are always in good condition, with limited puddles or soggy patches. And, so it was on this day. Bill Jorgensen has provided lovely photos of the hike - do check them out!
We enjoyed the best conditions so far this winter for our trip to Battleship and Helen Mackenzie Lakes. There is now enough snow in Paradise Meadows to allow us to cross the marshes and ponds confidently off of the resort trails. Most of our trip was on well packed trails. The fresh snow was light and our short stretch breaking trail through the forest was relatively easy. As usual Bill Jorgensen really captured the beauty. Click here to see all of his pictures.
30 keen bowlers enjoyed an evening of 5 pin bowling at Codes Country Lanes. Judging by the whoops and laughter a good time was had by all. We started at 7pm and were finished soon after 8.30 pm.
The Atlas Cafe was ready for our group when we arrived soon after that and most of us finished the evening with a beverage of choice and very enjoyable decadent dessert.
A group of birders headed over to the Little River Ferry area for an outing today. The plus? Lots of sunshine. The negative? A strong wind which whipped up the waves offshore and chilled us to the bone. Despite the cold, we persevered and were rewarded with views of various birds 'chilling out' amidst the waves. The Buffleheads didn't seem to mind the chop at all, busily diving for their meals in their various groups. Noted today were : Gulls (surprise, surprise), Bald Eagle, Red-winged Blackbirds, Hummingbird, Northern Flickers, Crow, Mallards, Buffleheads, Ring-necked Duck, Common Loons, Common Mergansers, American Wigeons, Double-crested Cormorant, Common Goldeneyes...and a Kite(surfer).
Our debrief was held at Quality Foods, where we enjoyed a meal and hot drinks.
Today's walk was a bonus. It was the Royston Cumberland Railway trail from Baden Road. With forecasts of lots of snow overnight, many of us wondered if there would be a walk. The snow was just a skiff covering the ground and much better than rain, rain and rain with too many puddles. Eleven of us headed out just glad to be out. Seeing just a little snow covering the trail and trees was a pleasant sight. No wind either! All of us went to the Royston cafe for good company and the same could be said for the coffee. Many commented on how good the coffee was! We even broke into song, Happy Birthday Lorne! Thanks to Bill J. for photos to view here.
Monday brought sunshine, so up the mountain went a group of snowshoers, to take advantage. Temperatures were hovering around -3 degrees, but the snow sparkled in the sun and we were pleased with our day. The route taken this time was a basic one: Tree Beard, Crooked Creek and Old Cabin trails made a nice loop to follow and we did so with smiles on our faces and a spring to our steps. Hot drinks and food followed at the Lodge before we made our way back down the hill.
Do check out Bill Jorgensen's photos for awesome winter scenery.
Well, THAT was a fun challenge!
Members of the hiking group headed to the Oyster River Mountain Biking Trail system yesterday to get some exercise on a cool, sunny day. Wow - what an excursion. The outing started as per usual, with an ascent to the ridge trail located well above the river. At the far end, we descended, expecting to head over to the riverside for our lunch break. Oops - a usually dry dip in the roadway was now a raging torrent of water...it was a flood channel! Oh well - we found perches by the water and enjoyed our lunches. Since the lower-level trail leading back to our cars seemed usable, we started nonchalantly on our way. Puddles were easily negotiated to start with but after a time, we found ourselves bushwhacking to get around some of them. Eventually, bushwhacking wasn't enough, as the pooled waters and running streams were more extensive: we had the choice of either backtracking some distance or "biting the bullet" and wading through the pools. We opted for the latter and can now endorse the weatherproof nature of most of our hiking boots! Kudus to our group of hikers for their cheerfulness under stress and willingness to soldier onwards! Feeling good about the success of our adventure, we eventually reached the trailhead and adjourned to the Country Market for well-deserved hot drinks and a review of the outing.
Thank you, Bill B., for getting us back in one piece and for your PLOTAROUTE of our day's trail. Thanks go as well, to Bill J. for his LINK to an excellent photo overview of the hike and to Dawn for the photos below.
Tuesday was a busy day for active Glacier Probus members who went cycling, snowshoeing and walking. The walkers headed out to the One Spot Trail starting from Burns Road. This is a gentle sloping trail where horses can always be seen and sometimes one ventures forth to make contact. Debrief was at one of the favourites, The Country Market. Thanks to Bill J for photos to view here.
Leaving the gray, misty day behind, ten of us met at Ramparts hill, where the sun was already shining. We mostly followed the logging roads but at one point broke trail down into a small valley where we encountered a creek. Luckily there was a snow bridge which, after assessment, was deemed adequate to use as a crossing. We continued on to an old cabin site where we typically stop for a snack break. Unfortunately the cabin burned down sometime last summer. The views from this spot were fantastic with the sun breaking through the clouds and fog rolling in. By the time we returned to our vehicles, things were looking more on the gray side. We held our debrief at Country Market with the usual lively conversation.
Thanks to Cheryl and Katie for the photos.
Snowshoe trip between two debriefs:
What a day! When we met at Superstore it was raining very hard, so we decided to go to Timmy's for a coffee to see if it would clear up. Lo and behold, the weather apps were showing better conditions on the mountain, so we headed up to Raven lodge. With snow falling and a cool breeze in our faces, we started up Great Big View. Five minutes later the sun came out as we were going up, up, up the hill. Did I say we were going up? With soft snow, tree wells here and there, and a steady climb, we had to pay attention to our footing. Once we conquered the first big hill we stopped for our lunch/snack break. Quite the view! As one of our members said,”Looks like ants on skis down there”. We then continued onto the Finger Glades trail, which included another steady climb through the trees (where we got rained on from the melting snow) to the top of the trail. The rest of the trip was all downhill, which was truly a blessing, as we were certainly feeling the effects of an estimated 200 metre elevation gain. Finally, it was back to the Lodge for our second debrief and the usual chatter about how wonderful it was to accomplish this trip. To cap off a great adventure we saw a heard of elk in the forest beside the road near the bottom of Strathcona Parkway.
Thanks to Bill Jorgensen for the photos. To see all of Bill's photos click here.
We started the new year off with a Mexican-themed wine and appies evening hosted by Jennifer and Robin Harrison on Friday, January 24. Everyone enjoyed the delicious selection of unique appies and desserts as they visited with other group members and re-connected with old and new friends. Happy new year to all and thank you again to Jennifer and Robin for hosting our January event!
BC Hydro announced that much more water than usual will be flowing over Elk Falls these days so we hiked the Canyon View trails to check it out. The falls did not disappoint. In addition to the usual ups and downs of this 12 km route we added a steep climb up to the Ridge Trail on our way back to vehicles. For our debrief, food and drinks at the Riptide Pub were appreciated by all.