Snowden Demonstration Forest's Lost Lake/Lost Frog trail system by Campbell River is a good bet for a hike during winter, so that was the destination for Sunday's outing. It was a lovely sunny day, with the woods made very pretty with rays of sunshine lighting up the landscape here and there. All were enthusiastic about getting out amidst such greenery at this time of year, making another successful outing for the hiking group. Our debrief was at the Riptide Pub, where we ended the afternoon with snacks and drinks and lots of conversation.
"The Grizzlies" was the first movie of Comox Valley Art Gallery's Winter Series. Everyone very much enjoyed the movie. It covered the story of an idealistic first year teacher who was placed in Kugluktuk, Nunavit in exchange for assistance at University. He has difficulty with his job, as he has no understanding of the Inuit culture. However, eventually, he gathers a group of young men and teaches them to play lacrosse. This is a very successful venture, that made a tremendous difference in the young men's (and women's) lives and improves life for everyone in the village. The movie was based on a true story, and is kind of a "To Sir, With Love" Nunavit style!
Dinner afterwards was at Sushi Wara where lively conversation ensued, as always. We are a lively group! it.
The Tuesday walking group continued the New Year in style. Even as it started to snow while we gathered in Home Depot car park 12 of us headed out to Wildwood. In spite of the snow it wasn’t too cold and we all enjoyed a brisk walk and a breathe of fresh air.
We then retired to the Country Market for coffee and chat.
Thanks to Cheryl and Bill for the photos. Click on this LINK to view Bill's photos
Two Outings, Two Stories
Steve and his merry band of men and women took advantage of the marked snowshoe trails on Mt.
Washington. We did the Old Cabin Loop, combined with Crooked Creek for around two hours, then
stopped for a break at the Lodge. Once refortified with hot beverages and snacks, we headed out on the
Lookout Trail and checked out the Biathlon Rifle Range. By the way, we were all expert marksmen and
scored 5 out of 5 targets. Upon returning to the Lodge, we met up with the rest of the group that Bill had
led, where we held our normal debriefing.
Thanks to Dawn and Cheryl for the photos. Click here to see Bill Jorgensen's pictures.
The rest of our group crossed the meadows, did some trail blazing through the forest then followed a well packed trail up to Battleship Lake. After a stop for sustenance and beverages we carried on to Lake Helen MacKenzie for another satisfying break. A well packed trail back to Raven Lodge completed our 8 kilometer loop.
Thank you to Steve Ray, Steve Hill and Cheryl McMahon for the photographs.
Today's hike was brought forward from last Friday due to Friday's inclement weather. Good move on our part. Friday's participation list was only 6 while 13 members were able to show up today...and it was sunny. It was a good outing as we reveled in the sunshine and not-too-cold temperatures. The trails were fairly busy with bikers and people on their horses, so we were stepping aside now and again to let them all by. It was good to see so many people out enjoying the day. Our route took us from Burns Road, along the Bob Webb trail to Brazier Rd, where we hooked into the One Spot trail, to take it to its end at the Tsolum River. There and back took about 3.5 hours to complete, leaving us time to have our 'debrief' at the Whistle Stop.
The Tuesday morning walking group got the New Year off to a great start. It was drizzling as we left town for Salmon Point but we kept going and were rewarded with a dry morning. 15 of us were out for one of our favourite walks and though not sunny the weather was perfectly reasonable. Unfortunately Country Market was closed so we went to Timmys but it was a squeeze.
Thanks to Patti and Bill for the photos. Click on the LINK to view the rest of the photos.
What a way to celebrate the end of 2018, with an invigorating hike around NE Woods and down to the seashore off Curtis Road in Comox! Still, with more celebrating planned by many for the evening, I must say that we were a bit taken aback (pleasantly so!) by the record number of hikers who showed up for the outing - 21! It was a good thing we had walkie-talkies along so the front and back of the group could keep in communication... We all enjoyed the exercise and the lunch break on the beach made a welcome break, as we contemplated the lovely view and chatted away.
Photos below were contributed by Katie H. and Dawn M. ; Bill J. has provided a link to his photos.
The Movie Group was very active in 2018! We attended a lot of movies, which you can read about here or on our activity page. I'm also going to sneak a report in from November 18 since it was missed.
"Three Identical Strangers" was the final movie of the Fall Series. It was an excellent documentary about a man who discovered he's a twin and then they discover there's a third. They unravel what happened to them when they were adopted to different families, and a chilling plot was unravelled. This was a movie well worth seeing! After, we went to dinner at the Black Finn. It was a great way to cap off the season!
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The CVAG Winter Film Series starts on January 13 with "The Grizzlies". Come and join us! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
What better way to end the year than with an outing to enjoy the birds and lovely scenery under a sunny sky: on the 30th, a number of birders headed to the Ship's Point area to see what bird species they could detect on water, shoreline and land. All in all, the consensus was that we did pretty well, with a total of 18 species: Horned Grebe, Hooded Merganser, Common Mergansers, Mallards, Song Sparrow, Dark-eyed Juncos, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, gulls, Black Oystercatchers, Common Loon, Common Goldeneyes, Buffleheads, Surf Scoters, Scaups, Northern Flicker, Belted Kingfisher, American Wigeons and (highlight of the day) Black Turnstones.
Thank you, Katie H., Robin H. and Dawn M. for your photos.
Campbell River's Elk Falls/Millennium/Canyon View trail system was the destination for yesterday's group hike. It was a cloudy, cool day but we were all just glad to get our exercise under dry skies. The beauty of the route was a real bonus which made our day truly enjoyable. River flow is high at the moment as excess waters are released from the reservoir, so the Elk Falls were well worth visiting.
Thanks, Bill J., for your usual contribution of excellent photos (click on the link). Photos below are contributed, with our thanks, by Katie H. and Dawn M.
On the first day of winter, twelve of us headed up to Raven Lodge. As there were only two marked trails
open, we decided to just wander across and around Paradise Meadows. With the sun breaking through,
we once again marveled at the beauty surrounding us. After a couple of hours of meandering, we
headed back to the Lodge for our “debrief”, were we enjoyed hot beverages and perhaps a cinnamon roll
or two. We left feeling invigorated and looking forward to our next outing.
Thanks to Bill Jorgensen, Cheryl McMahon, Dawn Moore and Steve Ray for the photos. Click here to see Bill's photos.
We had a beautiful day for our first snowshoe outing of this winter. Mt Washington Resort reported more than a meter of snow in their alpine area. It seemed like no less in the meadows. We broke trail for about a kilometer following the Tree Beard route until we came to a creek that didn't look easy to cross. We back tracked, then headed down the meadow to a well packed trail that likely went up to the lakes. It provided an easy way back to our vehicles. Our debrief was at the Cornerstone Tap House where we were entertained and inspired by the Wednesday Craft and Draft group. They may have recruited a new member or two.
Photos by Michele and Bill.
This week was our last pre-Christmas walk, and with the recent downpours we were not sure that we would get to walk. However fortune favours the brave, and we walked the AirPark and down to Millard Creek (more like a river at present) in sunshine and cloud, and no rain.
Unfortunately we lost three members before we started, but they arrived in good time for the coffee!
For coffee and chat, the standard has now become a visit to "The Whistle Stop", for a coffee enhanced with a little alcohol (its called Christmas cheer!). Bailey's coffee with a large dollop of cream on the top is the favourite, and was enjoyed by some.
Thank you to Cheryl and Bill for photos, and as usual Bill's photos can be viewed by clicking on this LINK
What a fine time we had, wonderful! Christmas treats, good conversation, and yes, many good books to review. Here is a review from Genevieve. And please join us, we are a relaxed group where each person brings something interesting they have read recently. Eclectic, interesting, low key fun. No homework!
“On the Black Hill” by Bruce Chatwin
Although Bruce Chatwin is known mostly for his travel writings, this is entirely a work of fiction. As with his travel writings, Chatwin is a master of descriptive writing. In this novel he brings to life a remote village in Wales and paints a detailed tableau of country life from the early 20th Century until the 1980’s. The focus of the novel is location and characters but has no plot to speak of. As such it is a detailed portrait rather than a story. But so detailed are its descriptions that the reader is carried away into this tiny little corner of the world.
This reader rates “On the Black Hill” three stars out of 5. A very pleasant read on a rainy winter’s day.
The Lunch Bunch met on Wednesday December 5 at the Avenue Bistro in Comox for an early Christmas lunch. The service was efficient and a fine time was had by all. We were 16 in number since there were a few last-minute complications for some members.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all! Edie & Murray
A small group of hardy hikers (hmmm - hardy hikers...I like that!) hit the trail from Nymph Falls to Comox Lake, and back on Wednesday. Okay, it was cold and drizzly, but that didn't damper the enthusiasm for exercise and the smiles were much in evidence the whole way. The drizzle cooperated and subsided while we had our lunch break at the BC Hydro Dam picnic site (Comox Lake end) so we were able to enjoy the rest. We were back before the drizzle morphed into rain, so we felt quite lucky. Our debrief was at the Whistle Stop Pub.
Bill Jorgensen has contributed the photos for the day's outing. Click on the LINK to enjoy them; thanks, Bill.
With short notice some keen hikers took advantage of a break between storms. By joining and leaving the hike at different locations, our contingent hiked distances of 7, 10 or 14 kilometers. The full 14 kilometer route started in East Courtenay and included Sandwick, Lewis, Simms, Air Park, and Sunrise Rotary Parks, as well as the cemetery and the garry oaks reserve behind Vanier. All of us hiked the Riverway Trail from Simms Park to The Bayside Cafe for treats, then back to Simms.
Photos by Steve and Bill. Our route.
On Sunday, December 2nd six Probus members attended “A Christmas Carol” in Nanaimo at the Harbour City Theatre starring our own Steve Hill as Ebenezer Scrooge. It was a well done play, thoroughly enjoyed by all. Steve was certainly the star and most professional of the actors. We were spell bound by his performance and those of his extensive cast members, many of them children. The period costumes were especially well done. The carolling performed by actors as scenes were altered certainly put us into the Christmas spirit.
We ended the afternoon performance by having dinner together at The Firehouse Grill in Nanaimo, just a short walk from the theatre. All enjoyed their dinner and Steve was able to join us.
The performance continues until December 15th. If interested check out schmoozeproductions.com
No photography was allowed during the performance, but thanks to Bill for his photo of us at the Firehouse Grill.
We were back to the Cumberland mountain bike trails for this hike, but exploring trails that were new to most of us. We hiked in the area referred to as the Eastern Block. As usual the bikers' creativity was apparent with the Iron Curtain trail and a few hammers and sickles on signs. Our route included wetlands complete with an impressive beaver dam (Site D?), mature forest, walking along the top and below a rock cliff, bridges, boardwalks and a clear cut with views of the Comox Valley and the Straight. There was some frost but traction was mostly good and we all stayed upright. We used trails rated intermediate for biking so our elevation changes were mostly gradual and hiking was fairly easy throughout the 11 km tour. The Wandering Moose was the site of our very comfortable debrief. Our route.
Photos by Katie, Steve Ray and Bill B.
Our Christmas Season Wine and Appies group gathering was held at The Griffin Pub on Thursday, December 6 and we all enjoyed the delicious variety of appetizers, comfortable environment and cheerful and efficient service that was provided by the pub staff. It was also wonderful to visit and get caught up with other group members during this busy time of year. Merry Christmas to all!
With the temperature down at around minus 3, this was the first winter walk where gloves, and coats and hats were necessary. Regardless it was a beautiful sunny morning and the combination of blue sky, sun and crisp air made for an excellent outing. After little discussion it was decided to use the Whistle Stop for coffee, and as usual coffee was taken by most with a few of the thirstier members taking another rather larger dark drink-no names to be mentioned.
Photos courtesy of Bill Jorgensen, click on the LINK to see them.
For our group's first visit to the Griffin Pub we were entertained by Centerpiece, a rock and country cover band. The small but close dance floor was well used through the evening. Most of us stayed past our usual bed times for a chance to try our luck at a growing cash prize. At 11:00 Bill Jorgensen's name was drawn. Bill didn't choose the right card for the big jackpot but received a gift certificate as a consolation prize. Thank you Bill for your photos of the evening.
A chilly, sunny December morning saw some of the Hiking group members on their way over to Denman Island for a return visit to the Boyle Point Provincial Park trail system. Led by Bill Boham, we started from a different trailhead, ending up with a route that was around 8.5km long. After a short break at the Chrome Island lookout, we ventured onto an old side trail which followed the cliff-top along the west side of the Island. An interesting but arduous choice, which will likely not be repeated due to the fair amount of scrambling over deadfall and the semi-bushwhacking involved! As before, we were impressed with the varied and beautiful landscape - it is definitely an area for many repeat visits. Before heading back to the ferry, we stopped in at the Craft Market in town for a light lunch and a wander around the stalls.
Photos are provided by Katie Hubberstey and Dawn Moore.
The first of December was forecast as a sunny day, so a bird outing was planned to take advantage. The forecast was off a bit - we had periodic misty showers during the morning, but … so what. All six enjoyed the one to two hours spent on the Royston Seaside Trail area, binoculars glued to the eyes, trying to identify the numbers of birds that were, for the most part, in the distance. Our list?...Gulls, Crows, Bald Eagle, Common Loon, American Wigeons, Mallards, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser, Bufflehead, Cormorants, Golden-crowned Sparrows, Kinglet, Canada Geese, Surf Scoters, White-winged Scoters, Great Blue Herons, Scaups, Spotted Towhees, Annas Hummingbird, Flicker, Robins, and Juncos. Photos weren't great this time, due to distance involved from camera to subject, but are included to show identifying features.
The walking group lucked out again this last Tuesday. The forecast had been terrible but 7 of us met up and headed out to Seal Bay. Bill agreed to ‘lead’ the walk though it was Carol and Sandy who set a fierce pace. The weather was super, the sun came out and the light through the trees made it very special.
We were having our usual coffee at the Country Market when the rain started.
Thanks to Bill for the great photos. Please click on this LINK to see the photos