Instead of a New Year’s paddle (postponed due to weather forecast) seven hikers got together on the first day of 2020 to explore the trails and roads of Open Bay with a local guide – Val – followed by lunch and socializing at the Van Veen residence.
The day started out with outstanding weather – calm, dry and sunny breaks – and we took great advantage of it with nearly a three hour walk, some on the road and several legs through the beautifully sunlit forests that rim Open Bay. We stopped briefly at the beach access at the end of Valdez Rd where we enviously watched a lone kayaker crossing the mouth of Open Bay on the glassy calm water. We again accessed the water at the other end of the bay with a hike down the forested switchbacks to Big Bay and the We Wai Kai Reserve #8. None of us took a polar bear dip into the chuck and the tide was too high to walk the beach back to Valerie’s so we made our way back up to the road and to our indoor lunch spot complete with fabulous view and fresh hot coffee! We had a great vantage point to watch the weather deteriorate quickly into another winter storm. Thank you to our hosts.
And our day wasn’t over yet! We made a stop along Valdez Road and walked less than 100 m off the road into a spectacular grove of old growth Douglas Firs. Another hidden gem on Quadra Island. 8.5 km, 2¾ hours.
(click on photos to enlarge)