Trip Report – Main Lake from Surge Narrows Rd- 13 June 2019

Seven members and two dogs hiked the path from the Surge Narrows Road to Main Lake.  The route was dry and in good condition, with the usual deadfall trees to climb over, under, or go around.  It was cool in the shade of the forest.  The forest has several notable big Fir trees and an open understory.  After lunch at the lake, four of us walked to Yeatman Bay, three of us stayed at the beach to swim and nap.  The dogs split up.  We saw a mink emerge from Yeatman Bay and run into the forest.  At the Main Lake beach we were out of the wind, but we could see lots of whitecaps further out.  9.8 km; 4½ hours.

Norris

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Hiking – Main Lake from Surge Narrows Rd- 13 June 2019

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Trip Report – Mine Lake Bluff – 5 June 2019

Seven hikers headed out in mixed weather. It had rained earlier but the trail had dried up and the lake level was low. We stopped at Camp Homewood to look at their new dock and cabin then proceeded up the hill. The rocks on the steep portion were dry which greatly helps the climb up. There were overcast skies at the top but the views were great. During lunch a dark cloud blew in and let loose a deluge for 20 minutes that soaked us. As it slowed down we descended down the back side of the hill. The huge maple by the cliff is always impressive. By the time we returned to the vehicles there were sunny breaks. All in all it was a good hike. 5 km, 3½ hours

Les

Thanks to Les for the photos

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Hiking – Mine Lake Bluff – 5 June 2019

Trip Report – Village Bay – 29 May 2019

Six kayakers put in at Len Road and across a low tide exposed beach on a beautiful spring morning – sunny and warm. Because we found ourselves in very calm conditions as we crossed Hyacinthe Bay, and with the forecast not calling for significant wind until late afternoon, we made the decision to add Dunsterville Islet to our itinerary. It took about an hour to reach the islets and we decided to land on the smaller of the two to explore and have a short break. We found excellent campsites, a profusion of wildflowers of many kinds, a pair of oystercatchers and the inevitable plastic junk. An hour later (not such a short break) with two hatches full of trash and many flower photos taken, we headed back across a still calm Hoskyn Channel with our sights set on Village Bay and lunch. The views in all directions were fabulous and only slightly obscured by smoke from very distant forest fires. We thought about going a little further on to Crescent Channel but time and hunger kept us on track for the beach, on Wei Wai Kai land, at the head of Village Bay. As we ate lunch in the hot sun and sheltered by the small island just offshore, the afternoon wind was picking up and we could see the water sparkling off in the distance. One brave swimmer tried the water.  We put in at 1300 and headed south into a rising tide and increasing southerly wind. The sparkly waves in the middle of Hoskyn soon sprouted whitecaps and we had a very different afternoon paddle. The changed conditions gave us some variety in our day and allowed one of the group to give her brand new kayak a good test. We took the seas broadside as we crossed Open Bay and then had the tide and the wind help us cruise into Hyacinthe and into the beach, now much closer to the parked vehicles. 17.2 km; 5½ hours.

Vic

Thanks to Norris, Vic and Terry for the photos

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Kayaking – Village Bay – 29 May 2019

Trip Report – Thompson/B&B Trail loop – 22 May 2019

Seven hikers and Kona (the dog) enjoyed a four-hour hike on this loop with a side hike up Eileen’s Bluff. The weather was sunny, high of 26°C, with a slight NW breeze which was welcome on the open ridge bluffs. Starting at the Thompson trailhead, we hiked to the first viewpoint, stopping to admire the views to the east and north, and proceeded on a route north down the open ridge, dropped off the ridge at the big moss-covered maple tree and continued on a deer route through the forest to the old B&B trail. After a short distance on this trail, we headed north on a little used trail, at one point crossing a steep gully spanned by a very large old log. At the end of this trail, a rough route climbs west up the open ridge of Eileen’s Bluff to a steep drop-off at the top, overlooking part of John Marlowe’s woodlot. Here we stopped by a small pond for a snack in the shade and admired the view east across the islands to the mainland mountains. Retracing our steps to the B&B trail, we proceeded south up the trail through the cool forest along the stream gully. Along the way the group admired a couple of decaying alder logs lined with pearly-white oyster mushrooms. At the T-junction with Thompson Trail, we proceeded south to the second viewpoint turnoff and followed this trail up to the top of the ridge for our lunch break, with more spectacular views east. Instead of retracing our steps, we followed a sketchy route east and north down the ridge to intersect Thompson Trail near the first viewpoint intersection. From there, it was only a few minutes down the trail to the vehicles on Thompson Road. On the way we watched an ambitious brown-striped garter snake attempting to swallow a full-sized slug.   5.3 km;  3½ hours.

– Janis

Thanks to Norris and Les for the photos

Hiking -Thompson/B&B Trail Loop – 22 May 2019

Trip Report – Shellaligan Pass Loop – 15 May 2019

We had a good group of 11 people and 2 dogs. We parked on Valdez Road and walked the logging road to the shorter loop trailhead. We hiked through the new and the old forest to Village Bay where we stopped for a short break. The day had begun overcast, but cleared to a lovely day. We stopped again to admire the scenery from the rocky bluffs leading into Village Bay before continuing on the trail overlooking Hoskyn Channel. We stopped for lunch on the beach and then hiked back along the logging road to the vehicles.  About 7 km, 2½ hours.

Julie Mellanby

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Hiking – Shellaligan Loop – 15 May 2019

Trip Report – Cortes Island – 6-9 May 2019

A wonderful four days of sunshine for our Cortes Trip.

Day 1: Nine women came along, leaving Quadra on the 9:05 am ferry, arriving in Whaletown at approximately 9:45 am. We drove on to Linnaea Farm and took our food into the kitchen fridge to stay cold. We then drove to Manson’s Landing and hiked on the trails that the students had created through the forest to Manson’s Lagoon. Stopping to view the beautiful carved totem pole on the beach, then walked on to the lagoon. The timing was perfect because we reached the lagoon at low tide and walked out to the islands. The islands were covered with wild flowers, colours of blues, yellows, pinks and even chocolate lilies. We sat and ate our lunches, watching the geese with their babies. A number of blue starfish in the tidal pools along with sand dollars, a lovely treat, the lagoon was covered in shells. Return hike along the lagoon trail and onto Hague Lake, even two of the ladies swam. Then on to Manson’s to say ‘hello’ to Tom the turkey plus a treat from the Co-op, arriving at the farm by 4 pm, gear brought in and took the time to get settled. Dinner team # 1 prepared a delicious dinner, served at 6 pm. A group then took a walk around the farm, seeing the cows and the planting of produce etc. Nine pm we held meditation and everyone was present. Games were played by a few members, plus group discussions. A lovely end to a glorious day.

Day 2: Soon the kitchen was busy with individuals preparing their lunches and breakfasts. Eight am – meditation, the focus ‘I am my Silence’. This was a day for hiking Kw’as Park in silence, giving each person the opportunity to truly appreciate nature. The trails lead from Linnaea Farm along the sides of Hague and Gunflint lakes, through deep old forest with numerous old growth trees. We climbed up to the higher rocks overlooking Hague lake for lunch, warm sunshine with us, we all managed to find a little shade. In the afternoon we climbed over the high manzanita covered bluffs, a most beautiful avenue of tiny blue flowers helped our descent. Climbing down a newly erected steel ladder to the forest floor. Kw’as Park is a jewel, so much to see, to hear, to feel, we celebrated each step in silence. Arriving back at the farm in good time for dinner preparation by Team # 2. Another delicious dinner, giving us a chance to discuss our day of silence. Meditation at 9 pm again appreciated by all. All ready for a good nights sleep.

Day 3: Again, the busy kitchen with preparation for lunches and breakfasts. Today, the trip was to Blue Jay Farm, this is a 350 acre farm overlooking Carrington Bay and Squirrel Cove on the edge of Blue Jay Lake. A productive busy farm, chickens, cows, goats, ducks, lumber yard and also a huge amount of fresh produce grown, a magnificent farm. We toured the farm and then Tiger the cat came with us for a hike through the forest and around the lake, he took great care of us. We had lunch at the lake and a number of brave ladies swam in the cold waters. Another hike to a high ridge overlooking the farm and Carrington Bay and beyond. Such a wonderful day. We stopped for a short time at Squirrel Cove and then on to Linnaea Farm. Dinner Team 3 prepared the dinner, yet another delicious dinner. After dinner, a group went for a short walk and some played games. Nine pm meditation to end yet another beautiful day.

Day 4: Individuals awoke early to get a start for leaving the farm. We packed our lunches, ate breakfast and then cleaned. Nine-thirty am we set off to hike Easter Bluff, a pretty hot weather hike. Arriving at the top to take in the magnificent views overlooking the south and west end of Cortes and the mountains beyond, looking down on Cortes Bay, also a good view of Quadra. A trek down to Linnaea Farm to get into our vehicles, we then drove to Hanks Beach. This is a short forest walk to a secluded wide sandy beach with intriguing rock formations which we explored. Hanks Beach overlooks Twin Islands. We stopped awhile and ate our lunches before walking back to our vehicles. We then headed for the 3:50 pm ferry, reflecting on our wonderful trip to Cortes Island. The whales gave some a terrific display in the waters off Cortes.

A huge thank you to everyone, our fantastic trail guide, our meditation guide, the dinner teams etc. etc. A wonderful group. Yes, we were Silent on Day 2 for our walk in Kw’as Park. ‘ I am My Silence’.

Margot Wood.

Thanks to Jan, Janis, Kathryn and Cyndy for the photos

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Multi-day Hiking – Cortes Island – 6-9 May 2019

Trip Report – Noel’s Pizza Peak – 2 May 2019

Five hikers started from the Nugedzi parking area. It was a partly cloudy day that was perfect for the climb up the old, rough, washed out road. Just past the route up to Beech’s Mountain. we turned off the road. It was a good thing that we had a GPS track from 2014 as the trail was overgrown and had quite a bit of blow down. It was fun to go a little ways and then try to find some old ribbon. Without too many set backs we made it out to the bluffs and were rewarded with some spectacular views of Discovery Passage and Quadra while having lunch. We then retraced our way back to the vehicles. 8km; 4 hours

Les

Thanks to Les and Vic for the photos

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Hiking – Noel’s Pizza Peak- 2 May 2019