Bike Fort Langley Area

October 7.  Biked Ft Langley area, 34 miles.  This turned out to be a better than usual fun bike ride.  Our plucky little group enjoyed a fine ride through the woods along the Fraser River, a big hill climb, a handful of up and downs, an excellent winding downhill and a return along the river.

Our highlight – besides the usual fabulous lunch at Wendels Bookstore and Cafe in Ft Langley, was stopping at Riverside Cranberry Farm, where they were holding an Open House.  Who knew there were quite a few bogs in the Glen Valley area of Ft Langley?  Folks were welcome to group tour by appointment or self guide around their fields to observe the harvest.  Basically, water fills the bog, they rake the low growing plants and bright red berries float to the top.  Gorgeous color!  Berries are then boomed into the corner and vacuumed up.  Water is then moved into the next bog and harvested.  Unique to this event was the opportunity to don rubber overalls and boots, walk into a wet field and have your picture taken holding or tossing a handful of berries.  That was when I regretted not making a reservation for us.

While sitting and enjoying the sunshine, Riverside’s farm owner Brian took a break and plopped himself down amid us and chatted away about his family farm, the harvest, the pleasure and exhaustion of holding an event and farm life in general.  Bright red cranberries kept popping out of his rubber wear as he shifted in his seat.  What a treat.

This event is open through Sunday, then Monday is Canada’s Thanksgiving. Consider a drive up to visit, go on-line to make an appointment for your own cranberry bog photo, and enjoy their gift shop of cranberry products.  Explore the very charming old town of Ft Langley and visit the Hudson Bay Fort’s museum, small and mighty it is.  Your day will be full.  Saturday is the community’s big Cranberry Festival. 

Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.

Janet 

BIKE Vancouver

BIKE Vancouver Arbutus Greenway Loop today.  What a great day to be back in the big city, riding off the street almost every moment.  We did ‘take the lane’ as a group a few times to get around construction sites.  

Our paved rail trail sliced right through town from south to north and put us on the waterfront sea wall.  Jon knew about the pedestrian bridge into Granville Island to avoid the cars.  Janet stayed with our locked bikes while everyone else ran around to see the many and varied sights, plus find the best pastries.  Bike theft is a huge deal at such a popular tourist spot so always bring your biggest lock. 

We enjoyed a few miles of shoreline out to UBC and lunched at a stellar beach with  a marvelous view back to downtown, the many mountains and dozens of ocean going freighters from all over the world that were anchored in front of us.

Up to UBC then we followed a quiet neighborhood bike pathway zig zagging past beautiful homes with deep shade from trees arching over the street.  In time, we made it back to our cars and happily we were early enough not to get bogged down by rush hour traffic through the hwy 99 tunnel, always a marker for a great ride in Vancouver.

This was a much varied, always interesting ride with fabulous views in all directions.  23 miles.  11 club members and two swell bike friends from Whistler who came along for the ride.  A good time was had by all.

Janet

bookbikehike@gmail.com

Winchester Lookout Work Party

6 folks willing to brave the Twin Lakes road at 7 in the morning, and the haul of materials up Winchester Mountain, made a day of it on Saturday, and what a day it was!  

The weather was as spectacular as it gets, the huckleberries were turning colors, the smoke held off and the views were everything that Winchester had to offer, which is considerable, but we had work to do.

The old door was removed in chip chop time and the assembly, dry fitting, cutting, dry fitting, cutting some more, dry fitting some more … and several more times 😉  resulted in a well fit, solid, latchable door to the lookout.  Primed and painted I might add.

An inventory crew went through every inch of the lookout documenting its contents, and weeding out quite a bit of old paint cans, stain cans, other cans and more cans.  They then decided that said weeded out stuff needed to come down the mountain so we made a pile, and it was huge!  Whew, we hauled stuff up, but down too, hmmm, as the day wore on it became obvious that maybe there was another solution.

There were folks staying in the lookout, folks staying on the flat ground on top of the mountain, folks walking through the lookout, around the lookout, asking for the restrooms and …well, you get the idea.  More of them on the trail coming up and, happily, they all needed to go down (except those staying of course).  We quickly decided to use the old adage, “It can’t hurt to ask”, so we did 😉  The number of people that agreed to pick up an item from the pile and deliver it to one of the three white pickups that could be seen from the lookout was amazing, really!  Everyone was happy to help in some way and they did.  The pile of unused, unwanted, unrepairable and just unneeded stuff moved from the top of the mountain to the bottom of the mountain.  It made the people carrying the stuff down happy, and it made the people that would have had to carry the stuff down happy, win, win, and all were happy.

That was really the theme of the day, all were happy, and the lookout now has a door that will protect its inner door through this winter.

Oh, the drive down was a bit nuts at 3 in the afternoon on what might be the last nice Saturday of the summer but hey, it was well worth it for a day on Winchester Mtn.

Next year the list will be longer and the projects will be larger.  We will reach out to the club members for help several times through the summer, so if you have not been to the Lookout, it is a treat, and hauling stuff up does not necessarily mean that you have to haul it down 😉

Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.

— 

Jim Gizzi

jagizzi@gmail.com

Hidden Lake Lookout Hike

12 members and 1 ex member joined the trek to Hidden Lake Lookout yesterday, arriving at the trailhead just before 10am to find plenty of parking.  Nice to see a light load of hikers after counting 155 cars at the Yellow Aster Butte trailhead last Saturday afternoon post Winchester repairs.

Smoke was at a minimum though we could see large plumes of beige smoke rising from multiple locations in the distance.  Cloud cover was non-existent so the sun and heat were a challenge to deal with the moment we exited the trees, about ¾ of a mile into the hike.  The consistent and considerable uphill trek up the mountain proved to be challenging for all, even the most experienced club members.  Fast elevation gain and high temps were the name of the game yesterday, everyone dealt with these elements with maximum attention to their personal condition.  Some made it to the saddle below the final climb to the lookout and others made it as far as their bodies could handle it.  Nobody reached the lookout.

No matter where we all turned around we were immersed in the beauty of this hike all day, every step, whenever we lifted our heads to look around we were inspired by the Cascades beauty.  Boulder fields aplenty at midmountain and upper mountain.  The mountains we passed through are truly a geologic marvel that our resident Geologist was happy to discuss.  You know the guy, he’s also good with our club funds numbers. 

Photos on the MBC Flickr Page..  Congratulations to all the fine individuals who spent the day challenging themselves on Hidden Lake Lookout trail!

Michael Davis

Bike Workshop

Six eBike owners met this morning at Cordata Park to learn about bike maintenance and safety. Some of us were able to take a tire off, repair a leak in the tube, and replace it. Others of us learned to keep the number of AAA or a close friend or bus fare handy. We learned about cleaning and oiling bike chains (apparently more often than once a year—who knew?) and we talked about techniques to keep us safe on the road. 

The class was offered through Whatcom Smart Trips who offers free classes individually or in groups, maps, and other resources. If you’re a cyclist, it’s worth checking out. http://www.Whatcomsmarttrips.org

Cutthroat Pass Hike 

Don’t you love it when you get a perfect autumn day for your hike? Crisp, crystal clear air, blue sky, the trail partly frozen from the night before and slowly warming up by the bright sunshine. The fall colores a starting to appear in the high mountains. Three MBC members experienced this yesterday with their 11 miles Cutthroat Pass hike. Debra and I decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail starting from Rainy Pass up to Cutthroat Pass and then down the other side to the Cutthroat Lake trailhead on the east side. We missed Angela at our meeting point in the morning but caught up with her at the Pass. She hiked on her own the PCT up and down the Pass. It was another great day in the mountains. Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.

Fritz

Shaw Island Biking

7 I-can’t-believe-we-have-such-a-beautiful-day hikers met three equally enthusiastic ones at the San Juan ferry terminal in Anacortes, where we boarded the boat for a lovely, short trip to Shaw Island. After hiking a mile or so on the tarmacked Blind Bay Road, we popped into the Graham Preserve onto a real trail, and emerged at the entrance to Shaw County Park, where we enjoyed lunch, some of us on the beach, some up in the picnic area. After lunch, we took a quick visit to Reefnet Point, then headed west past a field with cute, curious alpacas. A walk south on a gravel road took us to the spacious UW Biosphere Preserve. We spent about 15 minutes exploring the coastal trail, then someone had the bright idea to get back to the road on a previously unexplored trail through the tall grasses, which quickly turned into a trail in the woods, then no trail at all!  We bivouacked our way through scratchy wild roses and dangerously uneven terrain to get back to, um, not very far from where we started. Sorry about that. The rest of the walk back to the ferry dock consumed our remaining time and energy. I think we all had a good day, and appreciate that we live in an area where we can access such locations as the beautiful San Juan Islands.

Respectfully submitted.

Barb June

Racehorse Landslide & Racehorse Falls 8-21-22

Eleven club members and one guest gullibly believed trip leader George Mustoe when he promised an easy day hike to an interesting geological site. He failed to mention a stretch of trail that is so steep that it requires a rope for access, or all the various rocks and logs and bushes that make the hike memorable. As a reward for our efforts we got to see 50 million year old tracks of giant ground birds, three-toed horses, tapirs, and some small crocodiles. And there were lots of fossil plants, including spectacular palm fronds. 

The leader was mostly interested in eating his expansive lunch, but he now and then interrupted the gluttony to mumble comments a time long past when the region was a subtropical forest that existed long before the uplift of the Casacade Range. As a closing event, three of the hikers had the ambition to follow George on a “short, easy” hike to Racehorse Falls. He failed to mention the need to clamber over logs and rocks, and to ford the creek on stepping stones, but the participants appreciated the mini-adventure that led to a very scenic destination.

George

Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.

Lake Ann Hike

Oh well, every good hike needs a good sweeper. On this hike the strength of the hikers was pretty uneven, which resulted in a long drawn out line of hikers in the group. I really hope everybody had a good time anyway. Lake Ann is a beautiful place to hike and it seems everybody knows about it. This was by far the busiest trail for me this year. Yes, we had to park along the road again at 8:45 am and when we finished the hike I checked out Artist Point and I have never seen it that busy before – cars along the road up to Artist Point as long as the eye could see. Anyway the hike was great, the cloud cover provided us some cooler temperatures in the morning. Like last Saturday during our lunch break at the lake it cleared off a bit and we could see the Lower Curtis Glacier of Mt Shuksan. On our way back everybody left me in the dust behind and I enjoyed the first Cascade blueberries (Vaccinium deliciosum) this year. Thanks to everybody who joined me today for the 8.8 miles and 2,000 ft elevation gain/loss hike.

Fritz

Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.

Cascade Pass/Sahale Arm

Ten eager hikers headed for Cascade Pass (nine Members plus one guest) and all navigated

the 30+ switchbacks to reach the Pass.  The faster hikers arrived first, had lunch, and were

ready to continue upward towards Sahale Arm as the rest of us checked in at the Pass.  The

views at the Pass (and even on the way to it) were as spectacular as expected, but the four

Members who made it to high points above the Pass raved about the amazing views from

up there.  Some of the remaining six ventured upwards to the extent they were comfortable

with or remained mostly at the Pass, which was pleasantly cool and quite breezy.  Everybody

made it safely back to the trailhead after a challenging but very rewarding hike.

The road from Marblemount to the Pass is in excellent condition.  The first portion is well-paved,

and the remaining gravel portion is in very good shape, with nary a pothole to be found.  We

were fortunate in having excellent weather.  There were a few bugs, but they weren’t really

bothersome.  The whole day unfolded smoothly, with good communication and lots of

friendly interaction and banter. Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.

Al