British Columbia Desolation Sound

Roscoe Bay Marine Park, West Redonda Island

Wednesday, September 26, 2012S.V. CAMBRIA

The view from Mt. Llanover.

For the last fifteen years, hiking has been one of my favourite pastimes.  And though I spent most of those years in the company of Sally, whom I greatly miss on these adventures, I love the solitude it offers. 

But hiking in British Columbia is a far cry from the canyons of Southern Nevada and today I came up with the hair-brained idea to hike up Llanover Mountain.  I say “hair-brained” because I’ve done it before and knew exactly what I was getting into … or at least I should have.  But for some reason I thought the trail was six kilometres round-trip when it’s actually each way, making it a 7.5 mile hike.  And they’re not easy miles, either.  The first three are up-hill and final one is a near-climb.  But I made it to the to, 700 metres (2300 feet), where I rested all of five minutes before walking back down – the joy for me always lying in the journey rather than what’s at the end of the trail..

West Redonda Island has had its share of tragedies this summer.  Not only did a man die in Teakerne Arm after attempting a cliff dive and a fire broke out when a flare was shot off, we were told by a young couple we met in Rebecca Spit that a man had a heart attack on his boat a few weeks ago in Roscoe Bay.  Three men, presumably medics, parachuted into the anchorage with medical equipment, two of whom were injured in the process.  

Not knowing what kind of wildlife inhabits the island, nor wanting to add to the recent rash of tragedies that have taken place, I brought the bear-bell along.  How a one inch bell deters bears, I have no idea.  But the noise is supposed to warn them off.  I sounded more like Santa Clause than a force to be weary of and was concerned that one would come looking for their present.  Or even worse, would think I was one of Santa’s reindeer and would make a tasty meal.  But I needn’t have worried.  There were no signs of bears along the trail. 

When I got back to the boat, David, who hates hiking as much as I love it, was chatting with some of our neighbours who had just come from a swim at the lake (to my credit, I made no mention of the snakes).  We’d met Richard, Jude and their nine year-old daughter, Katya, briefly in June when we were anchored in Prideaux Haven.  Since then, they sold their home, packed everything away and are now living aboard their 46-foot sailboat which, like ours, carries the British flag – I believe we’re the only two private vessels in the area who do. 

Being the good Brit that he is, David invited them over for a cup of tea in the morning and we said our goodbyes.  And, just like that, another day fell of the calendar.

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