Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Walk in the Park

Since I relocated to the West Coast, one of the things I have always made sure to never take for granted, is the beautiful natural surroundings.  It is often too easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day activities of a full time, Monday-Friday working life.  Weekends can all too easily be spent trying to catch up with the famously evasive dust bunny, or the over flowing basket of the week’s past fashion attempts.  Even worse, they can be spent trying to “catch up” with whatever “work” wasn’t completed within said “Monday to Friday" work week.

A few weekends ago, on a we’re staying “in-town”, have “too much chores to do”, “best of intentions” kind of weekend something happened.  OK… sadly… about 4-5ish “somethings” followed by several “shots of somethings” which was after the debut of my homemade ravioli (YUM), and a FAILED attempt of pairing red wine with red velvet mousse cake  AND technology showed us a forecast that included “Sun, warmth, and zero chance of precipitation”.  Dust Bunnies…what dust bunnies?!?!  VIOLA, we were spending our Sunday hiking the trails – destination Alder Flats in Golden Ears Provincial Park.
If you were to “google” the Hike to Alder Flats, you would find “West Canyon Trail (Golden Ears Trail): West Canyon parking lot to Alder Flats. Hiking trail only (5 kilometres; suggested time: 2 1/2 hours (one way); elevation change: 250 metres). Trail follows an old logging grade for 3.2 kilometres then swings uphill”

After spending a summer enjoying “bubbly drinks”, vitamin D sessions underneath the Okanagan sun and purely just being lazy, it was an eye opener.  Doable yes.  Record breaking return trip – not-so-much.    That being said, in the words of my dad, it was absolutely a “Chamber of Commerce” kind of day.  The sun was shining, no hungry bears were to be seen, and as we approached the flats, the crisp mountain air seemed to refresh and revive the soul. 
hmmm...  5km marker, yet we were not at our destination...

As the part of the trail that "swings uphill" one has to switch it into Mountain Goat Drive and proceed up steep rocky creek beds, and navigate over the numerous and slippery natural bridges.  Quite the sight to see knowing that "someone" actually took the effort to create this pathway up to the Summit. 

Wooden pathway

Lesson learned…
  • Always carry your “cougar rock” – NO, not THOSE kind of cougars…. 
  • I live with a mountain goat  (a cute one though)  xor
  • Trail markers are there for a reason
  • There are a BILLION types of mushrooms out there, just waiting to be photographed using digital macro
  • Hiking to Alder Flats leaves you craving the need to continue the hike up to the summitt
  • My knees act like I'm 100 years old when climbing down the rocky slope (apparently I do not naturally have mountain goat tendencies)
  • Starting to hike in mid-October, is just a tease.  Mountain trails turn to ice & snow all too quickly     
Roundtrip – just under 4 hours.  Not too shabby, if my opinion counts....even if it was "only a walk in the park".

View from Alder Flats - Golden Ears Summit

Had to add this picture in...this little tree found on a huge crater, on Alder Flats, literally growing on a thin bed of moss....

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