Trip Report – Hornby Island – 18-22 Feb 2018

Day 1: Nine members left Quadra on a clear and sun-filled day, however, when we reached Courtenay we hit snow. On arrival at Hornby Island, the snow was quite deep, we drove to our guesthouse at Tribune Bay on unploughed roads. Unfortunately, the power was off and the four bedroom guesthouse was freezing. We soon got a fire going after chopping wood and finding kindling. A quick snack and all out for a hike at Helliwell Provincial Park. This is one of the finest walks on Hornby, through old-growth Douglas fir forest and along weather sculpted sandstone cliffs, glorious views of the mainland, Texada Island and Lasqueti. Another treat for us was watching listening to the sea lions, eagles etc….all waiting for the herring. It was such a lovely day and we soaked up the beauty of this trail. Returned to the guesthouse and all decided to keep our coats on, although it had warmed up a little. Dinner Team 1 soon got cooking in the kitchen before the darkness fell, the smells from the kitchen were divine. We ate a delicious meal in candle light, most still wearing our warm coats. After dinner we shared some of our favourite books and travel stories. The fire was kept going all night to keep us warm. Power back on at 11:30 p.m. but not the heat.

Day 2: A wonderful sunrise. After breakfast we met Joanne (our Hornby Island trail guide) and she took us onto the Mount Geoffrey Forest Trails. There are countless trails and we were pleased to have a wonderful guide to follow. We broke trail in the deep snow climbing quite steeply and eventually picked the Cliff Trail to hike along the bluff overlooking Denman Island. We also had spectacular views of snow-covered mountains on Vancouver Island. Worked our way back down and returned to the guesthouse for lunch. The afternoon trail that we chose was to explore Big Tribune Bay. It was low tide and we could walk out along the beach, scramble over rugged sandstone boulders and investigate the beautiful formations. Joanne was invited for appies and dinner. Dinner Team 2 prepared a fantastic dinner. Joanne shared many stories of Hornby and we learned a lot about the island and its residents. All to bed. It was starting to get warmer inside……yeah!

Day 3: The morning was overcast with light snow falling with sun in the afternoon. After breakfast, we headed to Shingle Spit near the ferry dock. This picturesque, mainly forested trail is sandwiched between a spectacular conglomerate rock face on one side and bluffs overlooking the water on the other. We walked to Ford’s Cove and all enjoyed looking at the boats before walking back. We stopped for a delicious lunch at the Community Hall, many residents come each Tuesday to enjoy the food and company. It was lovely to talk with the locals, most soon knew that Quadra people were visiting the island. The afternoon hike took us to Heron Rocks. We hiked down to the rocks that gave us spectacular sandstone formations and tidal pools. Best of all was watching and listening to the sea lions plus all the various waterfowl and numerous eagles, all waiting for their annual herring feast on Hornby. Dinner Team 3 prepared another delicious meal. After dinner some played a new game and others read/chatted.

Day 4: Light snow fell most of the day. After breakfast we drove to the Bench Trail, part of the Mt Geoffrey Escarpment Provincial Park. The trail climbed steeply in places, but not difficult. Passing many arbutus, several large fir and a number of maple. The trail took us to the edge of the bluff with a couple of viewpoints, although unable to see far due to the light snow falling. This was a pretty trail enjoyed by all. On returning to the guesthouse some stopped at the Co-op store, what a lovely treat. Socks, scarves etc. were purchased, we all agreed the downstairs area of the store was like stepping back in time, plus the display of all the magnificent quilts created by the Islanders. Lunch back at the guesthouse and then some members went out to either Big Tribune Bay/Little Tribune Bay/Ford Cove and Heron Rocks. Dinner Team 4 prepared another delicious meal, followed by the sharing of stories along with lots of laughs around the table.

Day 5: A beautiful sunny day. Everyone up pretty early. Some of us actually ate quiche/chocolate cake for breakfast from the previous night’s dinner. Everyone packed and into our cars by 9 a.m. A final hike at Helliwell Park. We decided to turn left at the junction, giving us different view points. Walking through beautiful open forest containing enormous old-growth fir, cedar, large maple and alder. On emerging from the forest we found ourselves at the edge of the water. We were again entertained by the barking of the sea lions and waterfowl. We continued walking along the edge of the spectacular cliffs, fantastic views and many, many eagles. Creatures still waiting for the huge herring feast that happens in early March. We took our time because hikes come no better than this one. Caught the noon ferry to Denman Island, some continued onto the ferry and others hiked at Boyle Point Provincial Park. Took a short trail to Eagle Point and walked to the viewpoint of Chrome Island Light Station. The island was originally named Yellow Island because of its light colour. Chrome Island’s main claim to fame was a spectacular shipwreck, which took place during a gale on Dec 16th, 1900. Back on the road and caught the ferry to Vancouver Island, catching the 3:30 p.m ferry for home. What made this trip so enjoyable was the beautiful hikes on a lovely island, magnificent wildlife, delicious dinners and most of all a group of wonderful people. In every walk with nature, one receives far more than they seek.

Margot

The bird and mammal list follows the photos

(click on photos to view larger)

Thanks to Norris, Stephen and Diana for the photos

Bird List

Common Loon Bald Eagle
Horned Grebe Black Osytercatcher
Pelagic Cormorant Black Turnstone
Double-crested Cormorant Mew Gull
Great Blue Heron Glaucous-winged Gull
Canada Goose Marbled Murrelet
Mallard Northern Flicker
American Wigeon Downy Woodpecker
Harlequin Duck Pileated Woodpecker
Surf Scoter Northwestern Crow
White-winged Scoter Common Raven
Common Goldeneye Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Barrow Goldeneye Pacific Wren
Bufflehead American Robin
Common Merganser Varied Thrush
Red-breasted Merganser Song Sparrow
Red-tailed Hawk Red-winged Blackbird

Mammal List

Steller Sea Lion River Otter
Californai Sea Lion Deer Mouse
Harbour Seal Mink
Black-tailed Deer

Multi-day Hiking – Hornby Island – 18-22 Feb 2018

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Trip Report – Hopespring – Thompson Trail loop – 21 Feb 2018

Three hikers and one dog enjoyed a lovely 2½ walk in the woods. Because Daphne wanted to add lots of steps on her FitBit, the coordinator ensured this would happen by going the wrong way, not once, but twice. We began at the Hopespring entrance, continued past the three sisters on to the grove of old growth. We then headed up the trail, supposedly toward the Thompson trail, which actually took us close to Rousseau Ridge, adding about half an hour to the total trip. According to the FitBit we took about 14,000 steps.

Sandra

Thanks to Sandra and Vic for the photos.

Hiking – Hopespring-Thompson Loop – 21 Feb 2018

Hiking – Hopespring-Thompson Trail loop – 21 Feb2018

Activity Hiking
Destination Hopespring-Thompson Trail loop
Date 21 Feb 2018, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Sandra Burns
Contact Info sandraburns.ca@gmail.com
Description This is a classic loop on official trails, with lots of variety: a big descent, old growth Douglas fir, some optional views, creeks, and forest.  The hike will be about two hours.
Meeting Place Hopespring trailhead
Departure Time 10:00
Difficulty
Fairly short and undulating
Costs none
Trip limits none
Dogs?
Notes: Bring a snack and poles if you use them.

Trip Report – Mt. Washington – 14 Feb 2018

Another day in Paradise – Meadows and surrounding area.  Six of us enjoyed the warm sunshine and clear views, provided by the fresh north wind for some show-shoeing and cross-country skiing.  The few centimetres of snow from the night before provided excellent conditions.  The snow-shoers did the Great Big View loop and the Snow Paws trail.  5.9 km, 2½ hours, plus lunch.  The skier did a loop of the Ponds, Paradise Meadows, Jack Rabbit, and later, Jutland.  Approx 15km.  We had lunch on the sunny balcony at Raven Lodge with great views and Whiskey Jacks.

– Norris

(click on photos to view larger)

Snow – Mt. Washington – 14 Feb 2018

Trip Report – Maud Island – 8 Feb 2018

The weather forecasters promised much better weather if we postponed this trip one day, so we did and they were right. The wet winds from the southeast shifted to dry winds from the northwest, and the day was sunny, with clear sky and views of the mountains with all their fresh snow.

Seven of us made the trek to the Maud Island viewpoint overlooking Seymour Narrows and the Ripple Rock site.  We did the hike as a loop, stopping at the Mt. Lolo bluff on the way out and continuing through the forest and over the causeway to Maud Island.  We were impressed with how much tidal action there was only a half-hour after slack water, with the wind against tide.  A group of sea lions used the calmer water right beneath the cliffs to relax and play.  We had lunch at the viewpoint, including Les’ wonderful smoked salmon, and then returned via the Saltwater Lagoon.  10.1 km; 4⅓ hours.

– Norris

Photos by Norris and Les

(click on photos to view larger)

Hiking – Maud Island – 7 Feb 2018

Gear Sale – Quadra Community Centre – 22 April 2018

 The Gear Sale has been cancelled because it conflicts with the beach clean-up.

Activity Gear Sale
Location Quadra Community Centre, main hall
Date & time 22 April 2018, Sunday; 10:00 – 2:00
Event Coordinator Valerie van Veen and Darcy Mitchell
Contact Infomation mitchelldarcy51@gmail.com and vvv@qisland.ca.  Please contact both by e-mail for questions and registration.
For sellers, the registration deadline is April 20th.
If you want to be a seller, click here for the registration form
Description Either as a buyer or seller, come to the gear swap.   Outdoor gear may include equipment and clothing for land, water, air activities but NO MOTORIZED equipment and NO indoor exercise equipment.  You don’t have to be a member to participate.

Hiking – Miracle Beach & Salmon Point – 28 March 2018

Activity Hiking
Destination Miracle Beach and Salmon Point
Date 28 March 2018, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Les Hand
Contact Info 285-2029.  Please contact coordinator 2 days ahead as schedule may change.
Description We will drive to Miracle Beach and walk along the ocean to Black Creek. This is a short 3.5 km walk up the creek and thru the campground. We will then drive to Salmon Point and have lunch.
Afterward we will do the 7 km walk along the ocean to Oyster River and back. This goes by a Ducks Unlimited area so is good for bird watching.
Meeting Place Quathiaski ferry terminal
Departure Time Early enough for 10:00 ferry car-pooling
Difficulty
Easy
Costs The shared ferry, fuel cost and your lunch. Their menu is online.
Trip limits none
Dogs? Must be on a leash due to the birds.
Notes: This is along the ocean so not a good walk for heavy wind and/or rain.