I was going to call this post “The Hike from Hell” but that would be unfair. Yesterday we did a hike that truly kicked our butts but was actually a great hike. Let me explain.
The trail info said it would be 9.5 km and 382 m of elevation gain, with great views by the water, and ‘moderate’. Well, it was closer to 12 km and 500 m of elevation. That was’t the real problem, it was how the elevation was gained.
The hike was a loop, with the first part though the forest, which of course was beautiful. A bit of climbing but nothing terrible. We ended up on a bluff in the middle of a meadow with dried grasses, and mishapen garry oak and arbutus trees, with beautiful views. It reminded us of some scenes in Turkey or Greece – dry with olive trees.
Then we descended steeply down the cliff towards the water’s edge. It was not too bad, with some switchbacks but the footing was loose and rocky. Not the favoured terrain for Bill’s knees. By this time we were 5 km in or so.
Then it got harder. Along the water’s edge the going was small ups and downs but they were steep and reminded us of Adirondack hikes. Shortest distance between two points is just straight up or down around rocks and roots. Some hand over hand and very unstable footing; the worst kind for aging knees. Needless to say the next 4.5 km was VERY slow going and added time to our hike. We started getting grumpy knees and feet.
So the hike took longer, and was more difficult on our joints, and we ended much later than expected. Certainly good exercise and we can feel it today a bit. We are resting up for our first long ride of the “Virtual GranFondo” tomorrow.
So belly-aching aside, I decided early in the hike to focus on pictures of ‘weird and wonderful’. So many pictures have been of great scenery, which abounds here, of which we will never tire. But changing focus was fun.
So, here are some weird and wonderful things I found. They aren’t really weird but I like the alliteration.
It was a bit sobering that a hike of this length and elevation was ‘hard’ for us. We used to to a lot more, over consecutive days, but those days are over and we will not let the things we cannot do stop us from doing the things we can do.