Trip Report – The Campbell River Loop – 26 Apr 2017

Six of us hiked a loop from the logging bridge on the Campbell River up to Moose Falls and back. This is always a great walk with lots of highlights, but this was particularly special because of the spring wildflower bloom. Immediately after crossing the bridge and starting along the trail on the north side of the river, we were greeted with a wonderful profusion of pink and white fawn lilies, trillium, and wild bleeding heart. For the first 2 kilometers these flowers carpeted the edge of the trail.  After a long winter, spring was everywhere.

We admired the Canyon View and continued on up to the Station View, with its rather industrial view of the generating station and construction. The Millennium Trail wanders through a fine forest with some very impressive old growth and leads to the Elk Falls viewing platform and suspension bridge, both amazing.  Elk Falls drops about 25 meters into a very narrow gorge with a right-angle turn.

We took the gradually ascending Old Growth trail and then the very steep descent to the rocky viewpoint for Moose Falls and the Dolphin Pool, where we stopped for lunch. Although the forecast had called for rain by mid-day, we had warm sunshine. We returned along the river, passed by Deer Falls and more views of Elk Falls, and crossed over to the south side of the river for more wildflowers before reaching the vehicles. 13.4 km; 4½ hours.

Debbie

(click on photos to view larger)

Hiking – The Campbell River Loop – 26 Apr 2017

Hiking – Ripple Rock Trail – 10 May 2017

Activity Hiking
Destination Ripple Rock Trail
Date 10 May 2017, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Diana
Contact Info 285-3204 or diana@gicable.com.  Contact coordinator about car pooling by May 9.
Description 8 km round trip hike on Ripple Rock Trail, 16 km north of Campbell River. If you have hiked the Maud Island trail on Quadra, this hike shows the Ripple Rock site from the other side of the strait. Bring lunch. Approximate time 4 hours.
Meeting Place Q Cove ferry terminal
Departure Time 9:00 am ferry.  If you are driving, come early for this busy ferry.
Difficulty
Moderate, with some steep sections
Costs Ferry fare
Trip limits None
Dogs? Must be on leash or under control
Notes: Contact coordinator by May 9 to make carpooling arrangements ahead of time so we are not taking too many cars over.

 

Natural History – Caving near Sayward – 31 May 2017

Activity Natural History – Caving
Destination East Memekay Caves
Date 31 May 2017, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Cyndy Chidley
Contact Info Cyndy Chidley: 250-285-3575
Bill West-Sells: 1-778-860-3131
Description Introductory caving (with some challenges) on north Vancouver Island.  Challenges include bridging, climbing, stretching, wriggling.
Meeting Place Q Cove ferry terminal in time for the 8:00 am ferry
Departure Time 8:00 am ferry to Campbell River
Difficulty
First cave “Chicken II” – easy; second cave “Scallop Falls” – moderate.
Costs Ferry and shared gas
Trip limits 12
Dogs? Possible; check on carpooling
Notes:
Wear rubber boots or runners that you don’t mind getting wet. Bring coveralls, a helmet that you are able to fit with head light and a head light, if you can get one.  Bill has some extras that he will bring.  Flexible gloves, if you have them. A change of shoes and socks. A lunch.  Not essential, but whoever has a walkie talkie, or VHF radio, please bring it with charged batteries.  The more we have of these the better.

Trip Report – Qualicum Area Birdwatching – 12 Apr 2017

A small group of us set out with low expectations, under heavy grey skies, to look for migrating geese. We were in quest of Brant, a beautiful small goose that makes a stop-over in this area to re-fuel on the trip north. We started our exploration at Rathtrevor Beach, just south of Parksville and had several other sites located in case we had to search the length of the estuary area to find groups of Brant. But as soon as we walked over to the edge of the sand we were delighted to see large numbers of these elegant black and white geese strung along the waterline. Among them were a number of shorebirds – Black Turnstones and Black-bellied Plovers. We walked out along the sand as far as we dared without disturbing the birds, set up the spotting scope, and enjoyed the show.

As we had a closer look, we realized that there was a lot of activity offshore as well. A bunch of immense sea lions were splashing and interacting just beyond the Brant, and we spotted a group of porpoise swimming by. Beyond all that were large rafts of Scoters and the occasional loon. There was a feeling of excitement in the air as all these critters were energetically feeding and organizing themselves for the next leg on the push northward to breed.

After taking in our fill at this location, we moved to the forested area on the other side of Englishman River to see what we could turn up there. The forest was beautiful, but there was not a lot of bird activity. We did spot large numbers of Swallows (Bank, we presumed) zooming about along the river. It’s always nice to see these birds in good numbers, knowing that their populations are struggling worldwide.

After a warm-up lunch in a pub in Parksville and we made a final stop inland at Hamilton Marsh near Coombs. A short walk took us to a large open wetland area with a dock extending into the water. We spotted many Canada Geese, Buffleheads, Red-winged Blackbirds and lots of Tree Swallows swooping about.

Altogether, our bird list for the day totaled 37 species:
American Robin
Northwest Crow
Bald Eagle
Brant Goose
Black Turnstone
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
White-crowned Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Black Oystercatcher
White Winged Scoter
Surf Scoter
Common loon
Eared Grebe
Black-bellied Plover
Mew Gull
Thayer’s Gull
California Gull
Pine Siskin
Dark-eyed Junco
Spotted Towhee
Wilsons Warbler
Red-breasted Merganser
Belted Kingfisher
Common Raven
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Mallard
Savannah Sparrow
Bank Swallow
Pacific Wren
Red-winged Blackbird
Bufflehead
Tree Swallow
Brown Creeper
Great Blue Heron
House Finch

Kathryn

(click on photos to view larger)

Thanks to Kathryn and Norris for the photos

Bird Watching – Qualicum Shoreline – 29 Mar 2017

Hiking – Campbell River Loop – 26 April 2017

Activity Hiking
Destination Campbell River Loop
Date 26 April 2017, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Debbie Quigg
Contact Info 285-3710 or debbie.quigg@ualberta.ca.  Please contact the coordinator in advance of the trip in order to arrange carpools.
Description The plan is to hike the full loop beginning at the logging bridge across the Campbell River.  We will hike along the north shore of the River (hopefully there will still be some trillium and fawn lilies in bloom), across the Canyon View Bridge, up to the Elk Falls viewing area, Moose and Deer Falls, before heading back down on the south side of the River.  This will depend on weather and construction.  About 12 km and 5 hours, if we do the full loop.
Meeting Place Q Cove Ferry terminal.  Drivers will need to be early enough to be on the ferry.
Departure Time 9:00 ferry
Difficulty
A few steep places, but mostly reasonable walking on good trails.
Costs Shared ferry costs
Trip limits None
Dogs?
Notes: Bring lunch and gear for weather.

Snow – Mt Washington – 19 April 2017

This trip has been cancelled

Activity Snow
Destination Mt. Washington
Date 19 April 2017, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Norris Weimer
Contact Info Please contact the coordinator at norris.weimer@ualberta.ca or 3710 by Sunday night so that car pools can be arranged.
Description This will be a late season snowshoe trip to Mt. Washington.  The snow is likely to be very wet.  The ski resort will be closed, so one possibility is to snowshoe to the top of the mountain.  We can modify this for the weather and the group.
Meeting Place Quadra ferry terminal to Campbell River.  Car pools should be arranged in advance.
Departure Time 9:00 ferry to Campbell River.  Those taking cars need to be early enough to get on the 9:00 ferry.
Difficulty
Moderate
Costs Ferry and shared fuel.
Trip limits Availability of cars going up to Mt. Washington.
Dogs? No
Notes: Bring equipment, warm clothing and lunch. Maybe sun lotion, if we’re lucky.

 

Bird Watching – Qualicum shoreline – 29 March 2017

 Change of date from March 29 to April 12!

Activity Bird Watching
Destination Qualicum area shoreline
Date 12 April 29 March 2017, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Mark Zimmerman
Contact  mz.markzimmerman@gmail.com or 285-2103; please contact the coordinator ten days to one week prior to the trip to ensure car pooling availability.
Description The focus of the trip will be on local area birds and water birds, particularly brants.  The group may visit more than one location depending on the cooperation of the birds.  Actual destinations will be decided closer to the time of the trip and will remain flexible.
Meeting Place Q Cove ferry terminal
Departure Time Early ferry departure TBD
Difficulty
Easy walking
Costs Shared fuel and ferry costs
Trip limits
Dogs? no
Notes: Bring lunch, gear for the weather and binoculars.