Trip Report – Hyacinthe Bay & Point – 20 June 2018

Eight of us kayaked from Len Road across Hyacinthe Bay in the morning  (1 km; ¼ hour).  It was a very short paddle to Maple Bay where we explored a property that is proposed to become a wilderness conservation area.  From there we hiked up to a viewpoint with views over Hyacinthe Bay and Rebecca Spit.  It was steep and rugged in places, a path following cairns.  We returned to the Bay for lunch (hike – 4.4 km; 2½ hours), then kayaked on to Lady Ann Bay.   One interesting feature of Hyacinthe Point is the exposed pillow lava which flowed out under water causing the “pillow” formations. Three kayaks returned from this point and five continued on for an extended paddle since the weather was hot and calm.

On our paddle there were herring jumping out of the water near us, which attracted an eagle to swoop in to catch them a couple of times.  He put on a very nice show quite close to us.  We continued around Heriot Island in shallow water and returned to the vehicles. (kayak – 6.0 km; 1½ hours)

Many thanks to the two owners who invited us to visit their properties.


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Kayaking/Hiking – Hyacinthe Bay & Point – 20 June 2018


Trip Report – Morte Lake Loop – 13 June 2018

We decided at the last minute not to go to Surge Narrows to hike. The weather forecast was sketchy and the recent rains would have made it a wet walk. Ten of us had a lovely walk around Morte Lake without more than a few drops of rain. We hiked the loop counter-clockwise, stopping at some of the high bluff viewpoints. We had lunch at the northwest beach and admired the lovely green water. After the south beach, we took the side trip to the lake viewpoint on the south shore. We returned to the vehicles on Lower Dead Fish, enjoying views of the creek and some old growth fir. The forest seemed to have been refreshed by the recent rains. 10.1 km; 3¾ hours.


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Reconnaissance Report – Broken Eyes Mtn – 11 June 2018

The trip to Broken Eyes Mtn (aka Campbell RiverLookout) was postponed several times due to weather and rescheduled to sometime later in the summer.  But when the forecast turned sunny, we decided to check out this trail since the trail descriptions online left some doubts about it.  We can confirm that this trail will leave you breathless.  

After a short level hike on an old logging road, the trail crosses a stream on a long, narrow log bridge.  Some people won’t like this.  Then the trail goes up.  It climbs 500 m in 2.4 km, up through a forest.  The trail is well established and well flagged.  It’s rough and it’s dirt.  It’s about as steep as it can be, somewhere between the steepness of stairs and ladders, mostly.  It could be slippery when wet.  Hiking poles might help in some places and get in the way in other places.  The very steepest parts have ropes or chains to provide hand-holds.  Bring gloves.  There is no exposure, but one chained section would be tricky for many hikers without the chain.  At the top it levels off and the viewpoint is breathtaking.

According to the summit log, this is a surprisingly popular hike, and a four-year old, seven-year old and a dog have made it to the top very recently.  Altogether 7.0 km, 4 hours.


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Hiking – Broken Eyes Mtn – July 2018

Trip Report – Kayak training – 6 June 2018

Thanks to trainers Doug Taylor, Monica Russell and Penny Taylor, seven club members learned and revisited kayak rescue and paddling skills in the club’s annual rescue workshop. In a separate afternoon session, five members and guests were introduced to the use of the Greenland paddle. The day was cool, partly sunny and rather windy, but still the best day of a wet blustery week.

Doug and his fellow trainers have adopted a ‘backwards’ approach to teaching assisted rescue. Rather than starting with the dreaded “dump yourself upside down” (otherwise known as a wet exit), this step is taught last, after participants have practiced emptying a swamped boat and re-entering with the help of a fellow paddler. Participants unanimously preferred keeping wet heads and water up the nose until the end of the session.

In the afternoon, club members learned about the history and construction of the Greenland paddle and practiced various strokes in a short tour of the lake. Paddling technique is quite different from that of the Euro paddle, and is considered very efficient for long trips, especially in windy conditions. The shorter and lower stokes place less stress on the shoulders. For the older paddler, this is a real advantage.

Once again organized through Coast Mountain Expeditions, the two workshops were both well received and very useful. Several participants mentioned that they would like to see self-rescue included in future workshops, which will likely require some advance information about proper deck rigging.


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Kayaking Training – Main Lake Provincial Park – 6 June 2018

Trip Report – Main Lake Provincial Park – 30 May 2018

Nine of us had a sunny day for the paddle and hike. Although the wind had been terrible for the past two days, we hoped that the forecast would be correct and a break would come at noon. As it turned out we had variable winds most of the day and only a bit of a head wind on the last leg. We paddled from Mine Lake out onto Main Lake and then to the creek from Clear Lake. Although the landing is a bit sketchy in the reeds, we managed to find the trailhead to Clear Lake. The old logging road is in fair shape with only two bridges out and a few downfalls. It wanders up through alders and is grass covered most of the way. It is a very open and beautiful walk. At the end you come up on a rock with an 180 degree view of Clear Lake.
We returned via the same route and had lunch at Main Lake. On the return paddle the lake was dead flat most of the way until the wind came up at the entrance to Mine Lake. All in all, a very good day. We paddled for 3 hours and 4.7 nm (9.6 km). The hike portion took an hour and forty minutes and was 1.85 km each way.  All totalled, we were gone 5½ hours.


Thanks to Norris and Les for the photos

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Kayaking – Main Lakes Provincial Park – 30 May 2018

Trip Report – Caves near Sayward- 23 May 2018

Eight of us met Bill, our all-knowing-guide, at the beginning of the long, dusty logging road into Cave Land.  Bill took us through Chicken II, a standing-room passage way leading to interesting geology.  After which a short drive took us to Scallop Falls Cave.  We spent slightly over an hour winding single file through narrow, curving, scalloped marble passages, with water running through them.  We scrambled, manoeuvred and slithered up to the top of the falls.  The beautiful limestone cave features and the contortions to navigate the route were impressive.  We debriefed together over lunch at Bill’s new campground.  As the adventure drew to an end, the participants felt a unified sense of accomplishment. .


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Thanks to Norris, Cyndy and Bill for their photos

Natural History – Caving near Sayward – 23 May 2018

Trip Report – Cortes Island – 14-17 May 2018

Eight hikers arrived on beautiful Cortes, drove to Whaletown. Wandered around this sweet village, the floating dentist, the little post office, the tiny library and the church. Sculpin Potter opened his studio for viewing and some selected a few pieces. We even met the Sea Caption who was attacked by a bear last year in the Great Bear Rain Forest, he told us his story. He was busy painting bear paw prints on his boat. We then drove to Linnaea Farm and selected our bedrooms, all happily roomed. Ate lunch and then off for our first hike to Easter Bluff. It was an extremely hot day and thank goodness we were in the woods. What a delight to reach the summit, with its views of Cortes Bay, looking down on Linnaea Farm fields and beyond, incredible views. All found a little shade to sit and cool down. Returned to the farm and a number of members jumped in the lake.
We noticed a very tall fir clothed in wisteria on the shoreline, so beautiful. Dinner Team # 1 cooked a delicious meal, everyone sitting around the large table sharing stories and getting to know each other. We all ate so much, we decided to take a walk to see a close-up of the wisteria tree. Bed time.
Day 2: Another hot and sunny day. Up early, everyone ate a good breakfast, lunch packed and off to K’was Park Trail Network. Janis was our fantastic guide. This network of trails varies in difficulty and moderate climbs. Rugged in some places, magnificent old growth with trails that lead around the two lakes of Hague and Gunflint. Found wonderful places to stop, reflect, eat lunch, and just rest from the heat. Some of us climbed to the high manzanita covered bluffs, up and down the ladder, certainly well worth the climb. We always find this park magical. One could spend days in this park, we still need to walk the ‘Secret Trail’, next time for sure. Returned to the farm and several jumped in the lake or took out the canoe. Dinner Team # 2 cooked another delicious dinner, many laughs and stories happened around the table. We all helped with clean-up, giving us the time to travel to Smelt Bay to watch the sunset. Wandered along the beach, families were on the beach enjoying the warm night, even a trumpet player. A wonderful display of the sunset over Marina Island. Back to the farm and all filled with beauty.
Day 3: Yet another gorgeous day. Cyndy was our guide on this day. First stop, a walk through the woods to Hanks Beach. It was truly wonderful sitting on the magnificent rocks overlooking Twin Islands. We then drove to Manson’s Lagoon, low tide at this time giving us the opportunity to walk out and explore the beach pools and the islands. The islands were covered with wild flowers, colours of blues, yellows and pinks. We enjoyed having lunch on the top taking in the serenity of the lagoon. Off to walk the trail through the woods to Mansons Landing, stopping at the Community Co-op for a treat and to say ‘hello’ to the old turkey in the community gardens. A trip to Cortes Museum and all enjoyed the exhibit of ‘Refuge Cove’. Walked to Cortes School, terrific gardens created by staff and students. We then walked the trail, again created and mapped by the students of Cortes School. A beautiful trail that led us back to Mansons Lagoon. We stopped and marvelled at the newly carved totem pole overlooking Mansons Bay. Returned to Linnaea, of course a number jumped in the lake to cool down. Dinner Team # 3 prepared a delicious dinner, enjoyed by all. After dinner we then drove to Hollyhock to wander the garden and the beach area. A lovely treat to end our day.
Day 4: Members up early, clean-up began in the farmhouse. Everyone pitched in and soon the house was sparkling clean. After breakfast, food and gear packed, said our ‘goodbye’s’ to the farm and off to Carrington Bay. A beautiful hike through the woods down to the bay. Stories and dancing performed on the stage and enjoyed by all. Explored the magnificent lagoon, lots of starfish and sea cucumbers. Such a beautiful camping area. Took the trail to ‘Grandmother’s Grove’, feeling the energy and beauty it gives. The Forest Trust for the Children of Cortes Island Society has been formed to purchase these forestlands and to hold them in trust for the children of Cortes Island in perpetuity. Members managed to connect with the 1:50 p.m ferry for home.
We all gave input regarding our Cortes Trip, communicating how much we all enjoyed these days on Cortes, the trails, the laughs, the stories, the sharing and giving, the delicious food and of course staying at Linnaea Farm is always a delight. Many thanks to our guides, the drivers, our stretching exercise teacher, and for the donation collected for ‘The Children’s Forest’. A terrific group of members at Margot thanks you all for your positive support.


Thanks to Jan, Bonnie, Cyndy and Mary for the photos

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Multi-day Hiking – Cortes Island – 14-17 May 2018