Friday, June 26, 2015

Herbert Glacier bike ride

Mr. X and I had been taking Fridays off work to enjoy the spring weather. We'd been spoiled for choice.

There was one final thing I wanted...and Mr. X just didn't. So I borrowed a bike and took a solo cycle to Herbert Glacier. This is a trail designed for riding and I was thrilled to check it's true that you never forget how to ride a bike. The last time I'd ridden was years ago in Washington DC of all places.

I quickly ate up the trail passing several families on foot and finally ditched the bike for the last half mile of the trail. I was rewarded with the blue glacier, mountain peaks and Herbert river. And a few wildflowers.

A great, easy ride, and I still had a whole day left for important things like a movie.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Eagle Glacier

A few years ago, we tried this trail on a hot, hot day in June. About two miles in, Mr. X broke his toe and there went our summer. This time, we made sure Mr. X had proper footwear and we were off.

Actually, we didn't start until about 2 pm and since we knew we had at least 10 miles round trip, we were in a bit of a hurry. We quickly passed the wide flat trail near the highway and headed into the rooty, rocky, windfall laden trail on the edge of the Eagle glacier river.

We spotted woodpeckers and just the tips of devil's club.

We crossed the river and many streams and were amazed to find elaborate planking covered with roofing material about three miles in. We thrilled at the sight of a beaver dam, which was flooding portions of the trail. We loved the blueberry bushes on the edge of a muskeg. And got yelled at by a few Stellar's Jays.

We made to the Eagle Glacier Cabin, but it was occupied so we backtracked down the trail to eat our dinner - pbJ with raisins and bananas - at the lake.

On the hike out we managed to walk right up on a black bear. He totally played it cool and even let me take his picture after we got some distance from him. He stood completely still chewing his cud, pretending he hadn't seen us. When we got completely around him, he turned and crouched in a defensive position. It had to be the day that I forgot to pack the bear spray. Mr. X reached for a couple stones that he carried for the next three miles in case the bear followed us. Once we had to scramble our neanderthal tools were abandoned.

We were treated to sights of a porcupine, kingfishers, swans and the calls of an owl.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Benjamin Island

In Mid-May we paddled out to Benjamin Island to see the sea lions. We hiked through the woods, surprised at how many wind falls there were and also surprised that someone had left a campfire smoldering. The breeze likely whipped it back up. I got a good chuckle at the new signs posted. It's never my intention to get close enough to a 500 lb animal to feed it. No thank you.

It was a Friday afternoon and so we had the island all to ourselves. A little creepy. A little satisfying. There was no one to make us feel guilty about how much time we spent watching the sea lions. I enjoyed seeing the little pups nursing and the teenagers harassing each other. Mr. X liked the lion with what appeared to be an entire salmon stuck to the side of his face...err looks like you got a little something right there.

There was enough of a cold breeze that we hiked back to east side of the island to eat our sandwiches. Mr. X was impressed with the new benches someone has made. On our paddle back to boulder beach we managed to scare both ourselves and a solitary sea lion. He was minding his own business, diving and playing. Unfortunately our timing was poor because he surfaced about 10 feet from us. We were glad he chose to re-dive immediately. Crossing back to the mainland we had to navigate through some fairly deep waters that also happen to go from protected to less protected. I'll admit the rolling waves made me a little sea-sick and I couldn't enjoy watching the water birds until we got out of the wind tunnel. Then I was pleased to see bonaparte gulls, scoters, and grebes.