Neck Point Nature Walk

We’re not a really a family that enjoys shopping, especially for non food items. I tend to hit my threshold very quickly and can’t remember the last time I spent longer than a hour in a mall looking at clothing. Typically we try to plan our urban consumer experience like a military exercise—clear objectives, get in, get what we need …

Rosewall Creek Ramble

Earlier this month I had a day to myself and thought that it would be good to check out the waterfalls at Rosewall Creek. I know a couple of people who have hiked up to the falls but didn’t really have a clear idea of how long it would take and what was involved—that always put me off making the …

Ammonite Falls

I’ve been working on slow exposures and moving water over the last couple of weeks so that was a good excuse to take a side trip out to Ammonite Falls while in Nanaimo running errands. I did a little research on the internet to figure out how to get to this “little visited” water fall that is a bit off …

Long Walk to Landslide Lake

Having recently done the ≈ 25 km hike to Moat Lake a couple of weekends ago, I felt that I was ready for the long slow hike up the Elk River Trail to Landslide Lake in Strathcona Provincial Park. I’d done the 11 km (one way) hike to the lake years ago (when I was in better shape and working as …

Over in the Meadow

A couple of weeks ago when I hiked out to Moat Lake, the fall colours were just starting to get interesting. This coming long weekend the display should be well along, and the rich reds of the blueberry leaves, the golden yellow of the Jeffrey’s shootingstar leaves, and the brilliant white-flowering rhododendrons should be spectacular. Paradise Meadows #1 The golden …

Moody Murray Meadows

One of my favourite places along the Kwai Lake loop in Strathcona Provincial Park is Murray Meadows. I love how the trail rises up (or descends down, depending on whether or not you’re going clockwise or counter-clockwise around the loop) from the open, wet sedge meadows and climbs up to Croteau Lake. That particular slope of meadow framed by tall sub-alpine …

March to Moat Lake

I don’t know what was more difficult: the long hike out and back to Moat Lake in Strathcona Provincial Park, or sorting through the photographs this week. The hike was a physically draining 25+ km and by hour 8 I was literally dragging my feet from Croteau Lake down through Battleship and Paradise Meadows. The light was less than ideal …

Around Aston Pond

Two weekends ago my brother-in-law J. and I hiked out to Panther Lake to see if we could scout out a route back to the Cruikshank Canyon lookout trail and Lake Beautiful. After bushwhacking our way to a lunch spot on the east side of the lake and a relaxing lunch being harassed by gray jays, we reassessed the terrain …

Glacier Lilies on Mount Arrowsmith

Mount Arrowsmith has long been on my list of Vancouver Island mountains to climb—not so much for the views from the top, but more for the extremely interesting plant communities that you hike through on the way up. The day didn’t begin with Mount Arrowsmith as the primary destination. Originally, Sandy McRuer (Rainbird Excursions) had Mount Moriarty in mind, but …

Kwai Lake Hike

It’s been a late year for hiking in the sub-alpine on Vancouver Island. I thought I’d check out the “back-country” of Paradise Meadows, Strathcona Provincial Park today before the rain moves in later in the week. My original plan was to complete the shortish (about 8 km) Lake Helen MacKenzie loop but trail conditions were fairly good up to the …