Trip Report – Stramberg Old Growth – 25 May 2016

Four hikers and one dog enjoyed a lovely spring hike, beginning at the south end of Vic’s marsh where we were fortified by ripe salmonberries. We stopped for a look at the old barn built by Vic Balatti. The building is still sturdy but several square-timbered floor and ceiling joists have been removed. The trail winds along the marsh through open Douglas fir forest with occasional old growth fir. Past the end of the marsh the trail passes through stands of moss-covered alder, hemlock and back into mature fir.   Several old growth cedar are lying on the ground where they were cut sometime in the past and left for some reason. One large solitary Western white pine was noted along the trail. We stopped for lunch in a grove of old growth fir, then proceeded on a short distance to the main stand of old fir trees. One giant clearly stood out in the crowd, a massive, stovepipe-straight beauty that was worth the hike all by itself.

The north half of the trail is less used but well-marked with flagging tape. Sections of the trail at this end could be improved by a chainsaw and clippers where downed trees make going slow. On the way back, we stopped off for a snack at the bluff overlooking the lake at the north end of the marsh. By mid-afternoon, the day was warming up so a cool Northwest breeze was welcome.   Hiking time was a bit more than 5 hours moving at a good pace, and including lunch and a snack break (13.2 km).   Highlights were the old fir trees, of course, but also the wide variety of plant communities we hiked through.


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Hike – Stramberg Old Growth – 25 May 2016


Trip Report – Sooke – 16-18 May 2016

We began our trip to Sooke by visiting the Sooke Potholes. Eight of us drove up to the Regional Park and spent a few hours walking to the viewpoints and beaches, admiring the channels and sculpted rocks. 5.3 km.

We camped at the Sooke River Campground, which was well located for us and very quiet. We had wonderful appies and socializing each night. There were quite a lot of birds, including quail, rabbits and at least one bear in the area.

On Tuesday, seven of us hiked the Coast Trial in the East Sooke Regional Park. After the car shuffle, we started at Aylard Farm and hiked west to Pike Road Trail. The views along the rugged coast and across the Juan de Fuca to the Olympic Peninsula were spectacular. We really enjoyed the arbutus trees, which were continuous along the exposed bluffs and the excellent wildflowers in spite of the dry conditions. The route, undulating over the many rocky points and bluffs, was quite challenging. Just under 7 hours; 14.7 km.

On Wednesday, several people headed home, while four of us had an easy walk at Whiffen Spit and Sooke Harbour House. We then went separate ways, with some biking on the Galloping Goose trail to Matheson Lake; hiking up to Babbington Hill in East Sooke Regional Park; and visiting the Sooke Museum. It was too windy for kayaking. There were lots more destinations we couldn’t begin to visit in two and a half days.


Here is a list of flowers:
harvest brodiaea
death camas
smooth alumroot (heuchera)
white rhododendron
evergreen huckleberry
tiger lily
nootka rose
red paintbrush
sea blush
field chickweed
red columbine
nodding onion
fool’s onion (brodiaea)
orange honeysuckle
wild strawberry
broad-leaved stonecrop
false lily-of-the-valley
small-leaved montia
Siberian miner’s lettuce (candy flower)
white-flowered hawkweed
narrow-leaved hawkweed


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Hiking – Sooke – 16-18 May 2016

Trip Report – Around Mt. Seymour – 13 May 2016

Five of us hiked from the Nugedzi trail head, up the old logging road north of Beech’s Mountain, along the old logging road that runs on the west side of the Nugedzi plateau, up a trail to a viewpoint of Nugedzi Lake, then down along a flagged route and trail to connect up with another old logging road which continues below the west and north sides of Mount Seymour and then descends, ending in a recently logged area just south of the gravel pit. The old logging roads can be very nice for walking, covered by a carpet of moss when they are level. The steep ones can be rough walking though.

The west side of the Nugedzi plateau features a number of small lakes or ponds. The north side of Seymour features some nice views to the north.

The trip was 14.4 km and took 5.5 hours, not including the car shuffle.


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Hike – Mt. Seymour logging roads – 13 May 2016

Kayaking Training – Mine Lake – 29 June 2016

Activity Kayak training and refresher course
Destination Mine Lake
Date 29 June 2016, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Darcy Mitchell and Valerie van Veen
Contact Info
Description Doug Taylor, Paddle Canada kayak skills instructor, will provide training (or skills review) in assisted rescue, self-rescue and bracing (techniques to avoid kayak capsize). Depending on the number of registrants and their background and experience, we may have one session for those without prior training, and one for those with training in these skills. Assignment of individuals to particular sessions will take place once registration is complete; if most people are looking only for skills review, we may not be able to offer basic training in this session. Contact Val van Veen at the email address given above to be sent a registration form that will include requested information about your current skills level and completed training.
Meeting Place Mine Lake boat launch/ beach access, 2 km beyond Village Bay Lake
Departure Time Session 1 – 8:30 am; Session 2 – 12:30 pm
Costs $55 per person
Trip limits 10 (5 per session)
Dogs? no
Notes: Space is very limited and participants will be registered on a first-come, first served basis. Deadline for mailing the registration form with payment is 8 June.

Multi-day Kayaking – Carrington Bay – 12-14 June 2016


Activity Multi-day Kayaking
Destination Carrington Bay, Cortes Island
Date 12-14 June 2016, Sunday to Tuesday
Trip Coordinator Margot Wood
Contact Info 250-285-2393.  Please contact the coordinator by June 1st.
Description We will leave on the 10:50 a.m. ferry to Cortes. Drive over to Coulter Bay and launch from there. A nice paddle to Carrington Bay, to set-up our tents at the tent site. Explore Quartz Bay/Penn Islands. After dinner we can explore Grandma’s Grove plus the trails in Carrington Bay Park, which has a rich homesteading history along with a gorgeous lagoon. Next day paddle to Von Donop Inlet to explore.
Planning to leave Tuesday afternoon, returning to Quadra. Time either 3:50/5:50p.m. ferry.
Meeting Place Cortes ferry line-up
Departure Time 10:15 for the 10:50 ferry
Moderate to difficult, weather dictates the difficulty.  Some exposed crossings.
Costs Ferry and gas cost.
Trip limits Must have kayak rescue skills.
Dogs? no
Notes: I will organize car-pooling and pot-luck dinners. Bring your own breakfasts, lunches and water for three day’s.
Ocean kayak and all necessary safety equipment, camping equipment, walking boots.

Hiking – Open Bay – Big Beach Creek forests – 22 June 2016

Activity Hiking
Destination Open Bay – Big Beach Creek forests
Date 22 June 2016, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Valerie
Contact Info 285-2329 or  Please contact the trip coordinator prior to the trip.
Description North Island people can meet at intersection of Hyacinthe Bay Rd and Granite Bay Rd. We will make the loop that was identified in a few explorations this winter/spring, using trails, routes, and logging roads. Be prepared for some bushwhacking. About 3-4 hours of hiking. Bring snack/lunch. Alternative may be arranged if raining.
Meeting Place Heriot Bay Parking Lot at 10 am; Granite Bay Rd. intersection at 10:15
Departure Time 10:00
Costs none
Trip limits none
Dogs? Must be under control at all times

Hiking – Ripple Rock – 20 June 2016

Activity Hiking
Destination Ripple Rock
Date 20 June 2016, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Valerie
Contact Info 285-2329 or  Please contact the trip coordinator prior to the trip.
Description 8 km round trip. A moderate to challenging hike on the improved Ripple Rock Trail to see the famous Ripple Rock site from the other side (if you have already done Maud Island). Bring lunch. Return on 3:30 or 4:30 ferry expected.
Meeting Place Meet at ferry to carpool if arrangements not already made.
Departure Time 09:00 ferry to Campbell River
Moderate, some steep sections
Costs Ferry costs
Trip limits none
Dogs? Must be on leash
Notes: Good trail/hiking shoes recommended. Cancelled if raining.

Kayaking – Open Bay – 6 June 2016

Activity Kayaking
Destination Open Bay
Date 6 June 2016, Monday
Trip Coordinator Valerie
Contact Info 250-285-2329 or  Please contact the coordinator prior to the trip.
Description This will be an intermediate paddle. Depending on currents, weather, we could paddle to/around the Bretons, Moulds Bay, Village Bay, into Hoskyn Channel. Lunch stop to be determined enroute.
Meeting Place Launch site, Breton Rd, Open Bay
Departure Time 10:00 (arrive around 9:30 to prepare)
intermediate, strong  winds and currents possible
Costs none
Trip limits none
Dogs? no
Notes: Participants must be prepared for wind and strong currents; kayaks must be ocean kayaks equipped for ocean conditions. If access road is wet we will have to carry/trundle kayaks down a short hill to the beach. Meet at launch site (end of Breton Road) after 9:30 to be on water by 10 am.

Hiking – Surge Narrows – 1 June 2016

Activity Hiking
Destination Surge Narrows
Date 1 June 2016, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Julie Mellanby
Contact Info 285-3978.  Please contact the trip coordinator prior to the trip.
Description We will hike the trail to the Surge Narrows viewpoint.  There will be nearly a 9 knot flood current at 11:00.  We will continue on the unmaintained route for additional views of the rapids.
Meeting Place Heriot Bay store parking lot, to arrange carpools
Departure Time 09:00
Costs none
Trip limits none
Dogs? yes

Hiking – Stramberg Old Growth – 25 May 2016

Activity Hiking
Destination Stramberg Old Growth
Date 25 May 2016, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Janis McLean
Contact Info 285-3614.  Please contact the trip coordinator prior to the trip.
Description This trail begins near Village Bay Lake and follows open meadows leading into and through the forest on old, unmaintained logging roads.  The reward at the end of the hike is a grove of old growth firs.  This is not an official trail.  Expect blow-down and brush. About 13 km; 5 hours or more.
Meeting Place Heriot Bay store parking lot, to arrange carpools
Departure Time 09:00
moderate, due to unmaintained trail and quite long
Costs none
Trip limits 10
Dogs? yes
Notes: Bring lunch and water.