Saturday, June 24, 2017

Whadda Week

I'm kind of glad this week is over.  I've debated writing about my little hike in Kilally Meadows earlier this week as my older sister reads my blog and she'll be telling me not to hike there any more or at least stay on the main paths!

I followed my usual route, parts of which are on secondary trails, because I love to explore and this particular section is a spot where goldfinches hang out. As I moved along the very overgrown paths I whacked at the bushes with my big walking stick. I do this because of spider webs that hang from one side of the path to the other - I hate getting them in my face and hair so it's become a habit to move my stick up and down to clear the path. As I got near the end of this path to where there is a little clearing I saw a man with his pants around his ankles sitting on a log or low-lying branch. Caught by surprise (to say the least) I heard my mother's words come out of my mouth as I said "goodness" in a withering voice and moved quickly on.

Now...I'm about 95% sure he was taking a "bathroom break" but I think if that were me I'd say something like "oops, sorry" or "caught short, pardon me" but he was silent. I quickened my pace and moved on. I moved across an open field looking back from time to time but I never saw him again. I'm sure he went in the opposite direction, hopefully mortified!


Then I caught sight of this beauty! It was a lovely few moments as we watched each other.  Until I realized something was biting my legs - I looked down and found about 10,000 mosquitoes sucking my very delicious blood. As I've mentioned before I am a "bug buffet"! I stood still long enough to get 3 photos then slapped myself silly watching the doe run off into the trees. Needless to say I've had a tough week recovering from all of those itchy bites. I try not to scratch at all as they seem to disappear more quickly that way. Anyhoo, I have survived and healed.

Once piece of good news - my daughter finally brought a pickup truck today from work to get her Jeep's hard top which has been sitting on my patio for weeks! Now it's going to sit on her boyfriend's parents' patio! (I'm told their yard is much bigger than mine - I'll take their word for it!) I'm so glad to have that monstrosity gone! So now I have to try and grow more grass in that area- I have successfully grown grass between the flagstones but now have a large area of just dirt.  (Now seeded) I have more room for my patio furniture and plants - but everything needs to dry out as we've had a TON of rain the past few days.

This was the sky on Thursday when I was playing slo-pitch. Shortly after I took this photo thunder started to rumble so the game was called. It rained the rest of Thursday and all day Friday. Today it's sunny and I look forward to everything drying out and having a nice bike ride.

Have a great weekend everyone. Any special plans?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Mystic Beach - The Juan de Fuca Trail

I had a great time hiking the Juan de Fuca Trail - well, a little piece of it anyways...I walked to China Beach and back; then did a 2km section to Mystic Beach and then back again, parking my car in between the two. 

Yes, I know I was breaking the #1 cardinal rule of hiking, (don't hike alone), but I was seldom alone. As I hiked towards Mystic Beach I passed a mom hiking with her 3 year old boy! I told the kid he was making me look bad! 

 This part of the trail was considered "medium difficulty" with further sections considered "very difficult. I saw a group who were leaving to do the whole 47km over a couple of days - I doubt I'll ever do the whole length. First of all you have to apply for permission and secondly you need to hike in a group. Only a certain number of hikers are allowed at any one time and it fills up early in the year.

I found it challenging enough - I lost the path many times and did some "bushwhacking" - whenever I spotted a bit of boardwalk I knew I was on the right path.  With so many tree roots it was often hard (impossible) to detect where the path was. A lot of the boardwalks were under water and under mud and I'd have to detour around to keep from getting bogged down in the mud. The whole time I could hear water trickling under foot.

 A perfect environment for ferns! There's a path there somewhere!

 Photo below: now I know why my nose is always burnt!  Note to self: need bigger hat!

At one point I had to cross a suspension bridge over Pete Wolfe Creek - my least favourite type of bridge!

Wibble wobble wibble wobble...

Made it!

 Various sections of boardwalks and bridges were in need of some repair. I almost took a tumble where this section turned to the bridge - a few boards had rotted through.

 And then there were the stairs! Going down! ...and down...and down...

Bit of caution tape to warn of crumbling wooden slats...

...et voila! Mystic Beach! There's the group of serious hikers lounging about :0

 It was a beautiful beach with a few grotto like areas that did make it seem mystical...love the depth in this photo...

There's one little waterfall...

...my favourite waves crashing photo...

...lovely big rocks in the water...

I didn't stay in this spot too long - the tide was coming in and I'm always afraid of getting caught!

 Another waterfall...

 ...a sweet little grotto...

...and another...Mystic Beach has earned it's name...

And CRASH!

Ummm - time for those folks to move away from the incoming tide - there's a rope hanging from somewhere which I'm sure gets put to good use once the water is higher...



...what a magical place!

 Time for me to head back UP.

Hiking back didn't seem to take as long.

Here's the monster that I made :) Go check it out!




Saturday, June 17, 2017

Tsunami Zone


A little further up the road from Jordan River - one of the many "tsunami" zones where debris
still washes up from Japan after the devastating earthquake in 2011.

video

Jordan River


The trek from the parking lot at Jordan River wasn't very different from French Beach but I
enjoyed it immensely. Efforts had been made to make it somewhat safer which
I appreciated :)


I enjoy the suspense of going down down down until finally
the beach and water is revealed.

Of course on my way down I had to snap a few photos of the flora - more
fantastic ferns...

 I love how ancient ferns are - they've been around since the Jurassic period!


Finally I emerge from the trail and reach the beach
 - as I am just a few kilometres down the road from
French beach it isn't really anything new.
But to me it's worth looking at again.

View to my left...

View to my right - somewhere down there is the actual Jordan River.

Hey - I'm getting better timing the waves!

The Russians are coming.....!

I'm going to have the Dickens of a time deciding which photos
I'll turn into watercolour paintings - this one below is a contender!

 I have to say the size and amount of 
driftwood and tree fall 
on the island's shores boggles my mind! 
I saw many a warning sign and I obeyed!

 Hi everyone - having a terrific time exploring the coast!
The weather is perfect.

 Tree sculptures :)

Anyone know what these flowers are called?

 I turned and walked to my right (northwest) to see if I could
find the river but ran into a rock wall. 

Time to travel further along the coast. I want to walk
part of the Marine Trail in Juan de Fuca Provincial Park.
There is a section that runs from China Beach to
Mystic Beach - how can I NOT go to Mystic Beach!?


 Next up: The trail to Mystic Beach!



Thursday, June 15, 2017

Off to the West Coast of the West Coast

While visiting B.C. for Canada's 150th birthday I took 1497 photos. 
Be afraid....be very afraid.....
Nah...don't worry, I will be selective. 
The area that I covered on my 2nd day on the island is in the bottom right hand corner...I druve and I druve my little Veloster heading ultimately for the Marine Trail in Juan de Fuca Provincial Park.
I don't know about you but when I see signs and gravel roads headed towards the ocean (or in this case the Juan de Fuca Straits) I just have to explore. 
So I did.
First place I stopped was called French Beach.
There was a small parking lot and a trail headed, I guessed wisely, to French Beach.
***

One thing I noticed about most trails I was on - TREE ROOTS! 
Look up and trip, look down, look up and trip, look down
I wore good shoes with heavy tread but my hiking boots would have been a better choice
and I worried constantly (that's a bald-faced lie) about rolling my ankles.
I didn't thankfully so I am good for Scotland in September! Imagine how many
photos I'll take on that trip! 😝

I am a big fan of ferns I think they are fantastic!

Over the mucky areas - boardwalks! 
I took the opportunity to look up safely...

and this is what I saw!

 My sculptor's eye sees the most wonderful creatures in the trees...

 Do you ever get the feeling that someone is watching you?

Nope, me either...
I made one of my own but not sure where the photo is...

 Perfect timing!

 I love how the light filters through the trees... 

Soooo, if there is moss on all sides of a stump which way is north? 

Welcome to French Beach!!
Ummmmmm, where's the water?

There are gigantic trees....

I'm getting closer... 

 Ta da! Gorgeous French Beach with the Olympic Mts. in the background! 

Aaaack! Are we being invaded?

 Looking to my right - I love how the giant trees come right to the water's edge.
Excuse me while I practice taking shots of the waves breaking on the shore...
it's all about the timing!
Nope.

Better...

 BEST!

 There was a nice picnic area. Compare the size of the picnic table to the tree next to it!

 I tried to upload a movie I took of the sounds of
the waves but the file was a little too big
and I don't know how to edit to make
it smaller!
So....imagine....

Next stop - Jordan River!