Sunday, 26 June 2011

Moonset over Vancouver Island

I saw the magic at once - moon setting over my island - in slow motion behind the mountains until only a silvery/golden sliver of moon was visible before it fell into the night.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Fairview Cliff

One of the most uneven spots on the Sunshine Coast Trail has been on the cliff south of Fairview Bay.

Here is a view of Fairview Cliff seen from the side, with the trail way up above on the right.

When we drove out to work on the trail at the beginning of June, we saw these cubs feeding in the meadow.

One of them scrambled up onto this old growth fir and observed us from his safe perch. The other resumed grazing.

At the cliff we began with drilling holes into the bedrock on the low side of one section of trail, and then cemented steel rods into them.

We left the tops sticking out so we could attach horizontal lengths of 3/8" re-bar to them.

Once these were fastened in place we gathered large rocks and banked them against the net of rods and horizontal stringers.

We piled these big rocks high enough so we could back-fill with ever smaller rocks, until we had a flat trail surface which we topped with dirt.

This stretch is now a stroll where before it might have been a chattering squeak.

Time for lunch, men. Willie and Terry give it the stamp of approval.

Master driller Jim is in a pensive mood after drilling dozens of holes in the heat of the first hot day of the summer. Terry and Scott look on in the filtered shade of Arbutus, shore pine and fir.

Nice to relax for a while, and recharge.

This section was steep - not only sideways, but also going forward, slanting downhill.

This needed special attention and we built cement steps which now take you comfortably from one level to the next.

An adjacent area had a rock slide, with boulders ending up right on top of where the trail had passed through.

Here we had to physically move the boulders and/or knock them to smithereens.

Some of us think that that is fun.

We knew we would need a handful of outings along this part of the Sunshine Coast Trail before the trail was just so - safe with fabulous views of the ocean below. A few more steps would go a long way toward making grandma and grandpa happy.

On the next expedition we added one more step at the bottom to finish it off so you didn't have too high a step where you least wanted it.

Yet later we removed the wooden forms, and cut back the rebar pins with the angle grinder. Now that section was complete.

Looking back toward Saltery Bay the path has also been widened and smoothed.

On the last outing one of the tasks was to build a dry rock wall which would work well in this stretch.

Dipper is importing rocks from the neighbourhood. Big rocks are best. His tongue isn't hanging out - but it's a grunt.

Here is the result. After a couple of hours the dry-rock wall is finished. We back-filled against it and topped the rubble with dirt to leave a smooth surface to traverse.

We also tackle another section that is too narrow and precipitous, the last to require steps. First we hammer-drill it and chip away the side hill bedrock.

The big friendly persuader remains on standby: a sledge always comes in handy to make rock behave, but, hesitantly we leave the stone age tools aside and enter the 21st century with generator and hammer-drill.

After widening the route, building a dry rock retaining wall and back-filling, we drill and build the forms for a few more steps as the grade was just too steep to navigate safely without cementing in rock steps.

We were too busy mixing and pouring to get a picture of all of that frantic action, but a loving touch at the end of the day states that we are finished.

After five expeditions we have pulled out all the tools that are already down at the landing, waiting for the Island Girl water taxi to pick us up.

Thanks Bob and Sue for your help in this project. Much appreciated.

All done, ready for visitors. Bring them on. This formerly nasty section is now grandma- and grandpa-proof. Fairview Bay, here we come.

The first set of steps is fully cured. Perhaps a bench in this section will make an appearance in the future.

It is a gorgeous spot to while some time away. Every hour or so a ferry passes by. Working boats and pleasure craft ply the waters of Jervis Inlet from time to time. Whales and dolphins are occasional sightings round about here, but sea lions, seals, otters, eagles, turkey vultures and all manner of smaller beasts and birds inhabit these environs in numbers.

Sam was met by a work party while hiking the Sunshine Coast Trail

This is Sam Adams.  Sam is from Robert's Creek area.  Sam was hiking the whole Sunshine Coast Trail. 

We met Sam on the Confederation Trail as 3 of us were trail clearing.   He was looking well and anticipating the Snow on Tin Hat Mt. and Mt. Troubridge.  Sam had his Snowshoes.  Like all good hikers Sam was very well equipped.

Picture and blog post by Richie Tait

Monday, 6 June 2011

Rubber Band and Confederation lake; 5-June-2011

Thanks to the crew who cleared the Rubber Band trail from Inland lake and up to and round Confederation lake. We enjoyed a clear steady steep hike up through the glorious old trees above Inland lake. Round Confederation lake
there were several wet spots and very slippery rock and roots (I guess the winter's snow'd recently gone); still, nobody died and we were up at the cabin in 3.25 hr from the boatlaunch.
Bright sun; some gentle breeze; beautiful views; great day!