Sunday, October 22, 2006

Hollyburn Mountain

After a wet and gray week, Cheryl and I were cheered by the weekend forecast: sunshine Saturday and Sunday. We planned straightaway to not waste the sun and dry days. An adventure, the destination of which was left up to me, was planned and the kids packed off to bed (after reading chapter 3 of "The Voyage of the Dawntreader" to them of course).

I packed our lunches. I made up separate baggies of goldfish crackers and home made GORP: raisins, chipits, and smarties. We had to go without the peanuts because of Maddy's allergies. I made up some PBJ's, packed one apple for everyone, one nutrigrain bar each, and filled up our waterbottles. Everyone had a bottle for themselves and I filled four 1 litre nalgene bottles in reserve.

The next day started out with a very thick blanket of fog. We only live about 20 minutes from the ocean, so this is typical. We packed up the van, drove up the hill on 176th St and found ourselves in golden morning sunshine. Forty-five minutes after leaving our driveway, we were at the trailhead of my chosen destination for the day: Hollyburn Mountain.

According to my battered copy of 103 Hikes in Southwestern BC, I last did this hike in September of '92. Fourteen years since my boots touched this trail. That was a little much to swallow. My printing on the margin also noted that I was stung by a wasp. It was the first time I had ever been stung by a bee or wasp. I remember thinking, "Oh great. What a time to find out I'm allergic." Thankfully nothing happened.

Alpine Autumn - above. Melissa headed up the trail - below.

In the middle distance is North Vancouver. Just beyond you can see Belcarra on Indian Arm. Beyond is Burnaby Mountain and SFU. The far distance is the Fraser Valley and the U.S.

The trail gets steeper.

We passed a number of these little alpine ponds - like jewels in the mountain crowns.

It got pretty steep in places, but it still wasn't as strenuous as Mt. Seymour last summer.

The Three Amigos. Extra points if you can identify which is which.

Maribeth, "Care for a green smartie?"

Megan, "Thank-you. Don't mind if I do."

Melissa feeding the gray jays. At first I tried to tell 'em NOT to encourage the jays. They're also known as "Camp Robbers" for their aggressive theivery. I eventually gave up. It's pretty cool having one land on your hand to eat the goldfish cracker or raisin or chipit you're holding out for it.

Megan is very silly. She did this spontaneously - without any prompting at all.

We had a good time, didn't we?  Madeleine and Cheryl (and Maribeth in the backpack) silhouetted at the top of the powerline road, just before it plunges back down to the trailhead and parking lot.  In the distance, far across a sea of clouds blanketing the Straight of Georgia, is Vancouver Island and behind it the peaks of Washington's Olympic Peninsula.  Yeah, we had fun.

You can see the rest of the photos in this set by going to this link: Hollyburn Mountain.

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