Saturday I went up to Buntzen Lake again and hiked the Diez Vistas trail (same as last weekend). However, there were a few differences. First, I went with my son this weekend. Last weekend I went with my daughter, which is a more easy-going hike. She feels no urgency to complete anything in any hurry - driving me slightly crazy, but I'm thankful to be out and also to be spending time with her. My son on the other hand is go, go, go .... mo rest for the wicked!
Our mission was to complete the entire trail and see as many viewpoints as we could. My daughter and I only visited the first two. Unfortunately this weekend it was MISERABLE! I knew rain was on it's way in and when we arrived at the trail it was mostly cloudy with just the odd raindrop. By the end of the trail it was WET! As such, the view points left an awful lot to the imagination. But, we saw enough that we would love to do this hike again on a clear day.
My daughter and I took a good hour and a half to get to the first viewpoint. With my son we got there in an hour, and between the dog and I, we were most definitely holding him back.
Even though we didn't get the best views on this hike because of the weather, we did have some excitement. About 20 minutes into the hike, the dog suddenly stopped then ran off the trail into the bush a few feet. She had seen a black bear! It was maybe 50 feet from us, standing up against a tree, just watching us. The dog wanted desperately to go after it, but I called her back to us. I thought if the bear went away peacefully then I didn't want the dog chasing it. She LOVES to chase bears, and has done so quite successfully on hunting trips with my father in law. She was known for running away from camp and treeing bears.
As it was, the bear just took a little look at us, then scampered off in the other direction. The dog wanted to go after it and kept trying to head in it's direction, but I wouldn't let her and eventually she forgot. To be honest, I was kind of excited and relieved to have encountered my first bear ... and happy that my son was with me. I knew there was a great possibility of encountering one out in our forests, and I'm was very pleased to see my dog's reaction. One of my big reasons for bringing her is for some added security from animals and humans. She did her job just right!
Further on the trail we were coming down a hill and heard a VERY loud CRACK! We were certain it was another bear as there weren't any other humans nearby. But, after stopping and having a very good look, then, proceeding slowly and cautiously, we never did see anything ... and the dog wasn't even remotely interested. Perhaps it actually was just a branch breaking on it's own.
The entire hike took us a good 4 1/2 hours, and we rarely ever stopped. A couple times we tried to take some pictures but they were just all grey. The viewpoints weren't worth hanging out at for long with the weather, so we plundered on. I definitely could have used a few rest breaks, but my son likes to plow on. He was rather bored with my pace - hahhaa.
The last hour and a half were quite boring. For a good half hour we had to detour off a closed trail, and had to follow a road. SNORE! Eventually we got back to the original trail, but it was a very popular trail that was very well groomed. It was a beautiful running trail, but not quite what for a hike I enjoy a more challenging terrain.
This hike was TOUGH! I definitely got whiny as the trail progressed. You climb up steep, rocky sections for about an hour or so ... then down the same kind of stuff for about 2 hours. I am rather clumsy so must pick my footing VERY carefully. By the last hour I was sore, wet, and tired. My feet were killing me and, well, pretty much every other body part. My son actually pushed me up some of the hills at the end. :D. With the detour we had to take, I would estimate this hike was approximately 17 Km. The main trail is, I think, 14Km, but we had to take quite the extra loop.
If you are interested in a much more picturesque blog report of this particular hike, check out VANCOUVER LIFE - DIEZ VISTAS TRAIL. I came across this blog while researching local hikes and this blog is very thorough and informative. I have been combing over it extensively the last week in search of new adventures!
Sunday I had planned to hike with my daughter but it was absolutely POURING out. A little drizzle is one thing, but this was pelting against my bedroom window. With my soreness from the day before, plus my daughter fighting a cold, we thought it best to postpone this one for another weekend. Little trooper said she would go if I wanted to, but I didn't think we needed to subject ourselves to that. Hopefully next weekend!