Bay to Baker Hike/Memorial Day Pot Luck

A glorious day for hiking, as 31 of us discovered yesterday as we trekked up the Bay to Baker trail. The group spread out so each hiker could take the trail at their own pace, with a few hikers venturing all the way to the abandoned boardwalk and swamp area while most others meandered down to check out the waterfall. 
The potluck did not disappoint, either. The prelude to lunch started out with several cooks doing some last-minute assembly of their offerings, resembling a filming session of TV’s Top Chef show. When the buffet was ready, the tables were loaded with beautiful, fresh offerings and hungry hikers dove in like they had just been on a long hike!
The Maple Falls park is a cute little park and makes for a charming and convenient location to hold this yearly outing. 

Thanks to everyone for making this another memorable event. Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.

Hike Cedar Springs

What a lovely day to explore a site new to all but the hike leaders. After a thirty minute drive, a group of 12 hikers began their adventure at Cedar Springs Retreat, near Sumas. This spot has been a Christian retreat since 1982…. “The veil between heaven and earth is very thin at Cedar Springs”.  The grounds are open to the public but you must call first to check availability for a visit, as they often have groups of people there for retreat.  We headed up the main road then took a turn toward Haystack Hill, our main goal to get to the top and view the surrounding countryside, Sumas , and the Fraser Valley. This is a short but steep climb but the views are so worth it.  Returning to the path below the group went along and took our second loop which took us back to the resort along the path and over the old train trestles.  One can look down below at Saar Creek, which also runs along the path itself.   The walk was just under five miles in total.  At the end of the paths we walked through the Cedar Springs gardens and had a photo shoot;  the owners prefer that visitors not bring food onto the grounds. The gardens are amazing and were in full bloom.  All in all a glorious experience. 

Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.

Baker Lake N walk

Yesterday’s outing to Baker Lake N produced many 10’s:

Number of miles walked:  10.25

Views of Baker:  10 out of 10

MBC members at outing:  10

Number of campers per mile along the dusty gravel road leading to North TH:  10

Thickness, in millimeters of dust on Annie and Jim’s car:  10

Diameter, in inches, of Pam’s bbq bacon burger:  10

Acre feet of water flowing down the Baker River every hour: 10

# of steps that Mei has to take to every 6 of Jim’s steps:  10

# of times Ed was asked about distance walked throughout the day:  10

Hours spent driving, hiking, etc yesterday: 10

Overall a phenomenal day, super group, many of whom will be involved in the Baker Lake East “North to South or South to North” hike next month. 

Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.

For those of you who missed Laura’s get together at Brandywine last night, here’s a quick article about Kevin’s 2300+ mile journey through New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colordo. It was a an interesting account of the journey that required staunch resilience and perseverance.

Michael Davis

North County Bike Ride

Five bikers headed east into the hazey blue yonder on Thursday. While we didn’t actually smell smoke from the Canadian wildfires we were exposed to some north county fertilizer spray. Other than that, the five of us enjoyed a warm sunny adventure, traveling from Riverside Park through Everson then over to the edge of  Lynden and on into Sumas. We took a little lunch break in the park, watching the geese and their fluffy teenage goslings enjoying the creek and grass. From there we headed west over some sparsely traveled country roads, pulling up a hill or two, then cruising on back to finish our 20 mile ride. It was a small group, just big enough to be able to ride together and chat. Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.


Bike Steveston Loop

BIKE: Steveston Loop 27.4 miles.  Outstanding.  12 great people on bike trails 100% of the time, paved and hardpack.  Waterfront viewing 75% of the time but that other 25% Railway Greenway wasn’t shabby.  Two Canadian friends, down from Whistler this morning to join us, enjoyed meeting and riding with everyone.  

An overview of cars going into and out of the Massey Tunnel on hwy 99.  A pause along the slough for a peek at old-timey house boats being lived in.  Pause at Brittania Cannery housing circa 1880’s.  Weaving through beautiful waterfront Condo housing with generous landscaping in brilliant colour (we were in Canada after all).  Circle around Garry Point Park with mega views up Georgia Straits crowned with snow capped mountains, plus over to US and BC islands and our Olympics in the distance.  Pause for snapping turtles, endangered in SW BC, one condo pond always has some sunbathing for us.  Winding through Terra Nova salt marsh.  Past seaplanes moored on the river next to an excellent restaurant we couldn’t get to – but would have been totally fun to watch those planes that arrive and depart.  No rowing shells today on the river.  Flying down Railway Ave’s excellent bike path where all the traffic lights went green when we got to them.

Not bad for a perfect weather day with a fun group of folks who have become quite keen on discovering the range of variety on our Back to BC bike rides.

Back into Steveston we split off.  Some to byo in Garry Pt Park and some to eat at a waterfront restaurant where we could be close to our bikes.  Everybody happy.  I must say my bowl of clams and mussels was excellent.  

Another grand and glorious bike day in Vancouver environs.  A good memory until we pick up again in July.

Lots of great photos have already been posted on MBC Flikr site. Please enjoy them.


Mt Erie Outing

Beautiful views and comfortable temps accompanied 3 of us on our Whistle Lake/ Mt Erie hike Saturday.  Trip leader decided Saturday would be a good day to try a new route to the top of Erie, which winds along the Southern slope of Mt Erie.  This route has been closed in recent years due to private property encroachment but is open now to those who like scrambling steep ravines, steep rock faces, precarious ledges, and lengthening the overall trip from Whistle Lake to Erie and back by a mile.  All of us had a good attitude so pursued until reaching the top and enjoying a nice lunch in the shade while watching climbers and student climbers scale the flat rock faces of the South end of Mt Erie.  Shout out to  new member Louise Sidelinger who did her first MBC outing in a big way Saturday.  9 ish miles with an accumulative 1,000 ft elevation gain in 70 degree and sunny weather.  Great spending the day with you Louise!

Michael Davis

Avalanche Associates, Inc

Hike to Vedder Mountain

20 members share now the secret with me about a hike to the top of Vedder Mt. Summer sunshine and temperatures in the upper 70s greeted us at the start of our MBC exclusive hike. The trail is steep but only about 1.2 miles up to the top. We took our time and in 1 hour and a half we were at the top. Many native plants and shade from the big trees contribute to the enjoyment of the hike. At the top, a cliff with great views of Peaceful Valley and the foothills with Mt Baker in the background. The Fraser Valley in Canada if you looked to the other side. After an extended snack break at the top we turned around and went down the steep trail to our cars. Some of us rounded out the day with a drink at Barkley Village. Well deserved.

Now keep the secret and see you at the next FAN hike next month to Pine and Cedar Lakes, Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.


Mrs. Frog’s Wild Ride

Bike: Mrs. Frog’s Wild Ride was indeed just that.  Eight strong riders had a terrific day rolling up and down all day long across 3 cities, very many greenways, trails, bikeways and a lot of traffic lights.  Our small group made street crossings easy.  Throughout, it was constantly amazing how well connected these routes were.  Metro Vancouver is constantly upgrading their multi-transportation network and we certainly benefit when we ride around Vancouver and the greater area.  

We rode along shady rivers, through parks, zig zagged neighborhoods, wove along greenbelts, so much greenery all along the way.  In a few critical connections we found active road construction with re-routing necessary.  No problem to go around.

With such a beautiful day, we enjoyed a delicious lunch in Gastown sitting outside where we were close to our bikes.    

We dropped down along the Fraser River shoreline to enjoy the parks and mountain views.  At one beautiful spot we found a quite large homeless camp had developed.  As we came along, we met a man with a handcart full of soup bowls he was going to pass out.

It was a quick buzz underneath Pacific Place then up and around the Convention Centre.  We walked our bikes all the way out to the far end of Pacific Place, which was full of people strolling about.  3 or 4 cruise ships were lined up, they are gigantic when you are right up next to these horizontal skyscrapers.

With a hop over to the city’s biggest train station and we caught our Skytrain out to New Westminster, a 20 minute journey at a second story level and wonderful views.

Biking into New Westminster included protected walkways up and over expressways, a bridge and back, industry and housing.  We cruised right through downtown and uphill back to our cars.  At points, navigation choices were not obvious, but everyone had some form of mapping on their phones and we quickly made new tracks to finish our ride.

We were an excellent and fun group of riders who enjoyed the variety and discovery of our big city neighbors to the north. 

Photos are posted on the MBC Flikr site.


Bike Queen Ann Park Loop

BIKE Queen Ann Park Loop.  22 miles.
Yesterday was a beautiful day to be biking in Vancouver.  We were a party of 9, perfect for inner city flexibility with many turns and traffic lights.  This is a diverse route, all urban, some up and down, 3 parks to visit ( and bathrooms), garden colors to enjoy a cruise on some Seawall as well – plus lunch at Go Fish!      

We followed greenway routes throughout, all identified with bike symbols painted on the quiet residential streets plus great signage posted along the way.  A fabulous feature in Vancouver biking are the pedestrian/bike traffic light buttons that expedite changing the light.  When a trail crosses mid-block there will be a button to push and pronto the lights change and vehicles stop. 

Queen Ann Park is the highest point in the city.  We can always count on watching a few tai chi classes when we get to the top of the hill with the fabulous views over the cityscape, cruise ships and freighter plus mountains beyond mountains.  A wide range of gardens are found throughout the park plus the Bloedel Conservatory – which was not a bike visit.

We circled the very large Center Park’s wonderful tall tree’s with trails chris-crossing through the native understory, so peaceful, unique and also Burnaby’s highest point.  We appreciated the pedestrian overpass above a major multi-lane arterial, then it was all downhill to saltwater.  This route followed underneath one of the elevated skytrains, which creates a ‘free’ greenbelt right of way all the way down to the seawall.  

Ian MacDonald (husband of biking author Colleen) joined us again and happily pointed out all sorts of good art and info – a Henry Moore sculpture here, two sparrows sculptures there, the boot shaped Telus corporate offices, where MEC has moved to, etc.  Ian also enlightened us to the city’s grand plan to build a new skytrain and subway combination from Main Street downtown out to UBC.  That will be a brilliant asset when completed and I’m sure we’ll use it in a future bike ride.  We did pause at one of the current construction site that provided windows in the solid fence where we could look down several ’stories’ to the multi level underground project.

Go Fish! Is always a biking highlight, especially when the waiting line is not too long.  The short menu serves the very best fresh fish, definately superior fish tacos and fish & chips.
This little walk up is a few steps west of Granville Island and right on the trail. 

Last but not least was the beautiful asphalt Arbutus greenway that carried us gently but steadily back up hill toward our cars.  We were on the road before 3 pm thus meeting the earlier side of rush hour, so it was slow but steady into the tunnel and we were all happy not to be in the pokey pokey riding your brakes style of accessing the tunnel. 

Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.

A good time was had by all.


Sweetest little hike ever: Horseshoe Bend Trail

One question and one exclamation.  Any of you birders know what kind of bird that is?  No racket like a woodpecker, but maker of thousands of little holes in that tree.
And, the bench is back!  Missing for over a year, this bench at about the one mile mark replaces the one swept away in the flooding of ’21.
Despite the “meh” forecast, we arrived to the parking lot to 60 degrees and mostly sunny.  Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, there was a hint of a sprinkle around 3:00, but was a wonderful day to be in the forest along the Nooksack.  On Tuesday I stopped by the River after the Litter Patrol to check on things.  The water was a bit low.  After three days of 60’s and 70’s, the river was flowing high and fast with snowmelt.  Lots of white water. No kayakers today, though.
The trail was lightly used, but we exchanged greetings with a nice mix of old and young.  May have also enlisted some new Club members when running into a group of enthusiastic women from a Vancouver, BC Meet-up outing.  Peppered with questions about the Club and where it hikes, I encouraged them to check out the website for info. 
Horseshoe Bend is a great trail for many reasons:  only 4 miles round trip,
cool on a hot day, and the perfect intro to hiking for children and adults.  Hilly, but not demanding.  We began the hike on the original trail below the Hwy bridge. Because of serious trail erosion in the’21 flooding, it did require some side trips into the brush, over fallen trees, and a scamper up a tricky slope.   But it is certainly the prettiest part of the Trail, right at the river’s edge.
Some photos will eventually be posted on Flickr.