Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hiking - Diez Vistas

Recently I've been reminded that we shouldn't let life slip by.  Do the things you want and love to do as often as you can do them.

With this in mind, on Saturday my daughter and I ventured out for a hike.  Wanted to do this last year, and it just didn't happen.  Partly because, to be completely honest, I'm a little scared hitting up trails like this without my husband.  I am somewhat directionally challenged and really just afraid to try new things on my own, but he's just too busy and it's not an option to wait for him to be available.  I have to figure this out on my own and hope sometimes he can come.

For this hike I chose a trail that was expected to be in good condition (many of our local mountain trails still have a good layer of snow on them).  It also was to offer some spectacular views and a reasonable challenge, without being too difficult.  My daughter has never hiked before and I wanted to really encourage her and have her enjoy it.

The trail starts at the beautiful Buntzen Lake in Port Moody.

I had never been up here before, but it is beautiful!  Of course it was a gorgeous day too.  There are a variety of trails around here and I would love to come back here and check them out.  Even some that are flat enough for some trail runs.  There is also a rather large off-leash dog section of the lake to allow the puppies free play in and around the water.

The hike starts out with a steady, but easy climb on a fairly open, yet wooded, trail.  The perfect tree cover for either a hot sunny day, but would probably also offer good coverage on a rainy day.

We took along our big dog, Heike.  In the woods like this there is always a very good possibility of bears and apparently she is a fantastic bear chasing dog (I hope to never have to test this!).  Heike is actually my father-in-law's dog, but I have kind of adopted her in the last year or so and she goes everywhere with me now.  When she was younger she did a fair bit of Schutzhund Training.  I definitely felt more protected taking her along.  Although, as we got further up the trail, she was pretty tired and I'm not sure how much protection she could have offered. ;)

As it was, because it was such a beautiful day, we passed a fair number of other hikers and I think the risk of a bear encounter was probably on the slim side.

The forest we climbed through was absolutely gorgeous!  For the most part it was a well maintained trail, with some quite steep, challenging sections ... and then a nice mix of flatter rolling hills.  It was nice to have the variety.  There were a few times I had to give the dog a "lift" or "tug" to help her through a technical section.  My daughter didn't handle the steeper sections so much.  I said to her at one point, "You do realize that every time we have to climb you get whiny?".  She said, 'I know."  hahahah  But at the end of the day she liked it and said she wants to do it again.  I look forward to taking some of her and/or my friends out on hikes sometimes.  But this was really nice to do for just her and I.

The name "Diez Vistas" translates from Spanish into "Ten Views".  Apparently there are ten viewpoints along the trail.  Unfortunately, we didn't have time to complete the round trip and just visited the first two viewpoints and then came back down the trail.  I'm hoping to get up there this weekend with my son and we will complete the whole loop and see how many viewpoints we can find.

When we got to the top poor Heike was pooped!  I learned some lessons on this hike.  I never thought about bringing a doggie dish for her.  I had treats for her, but nothing to put water in.  I guess I was expecting to find some creeks, which we did but only on the lower end of the trail, not up top.  As it was, I poured water into a baggie and she drank from that.  I'm going to see about getting a little backpack for her and she can carry some water too.

At the top we had a couple snacks and took a good 20-30 minute rest break, taking some pictures and just taking in the view.  Even had cell reception up there so got a call into my husband and a couple of texts with friends (Hi Tamara!).  I probably could have sat there for longer.  It was so peaceful.

(just one of the MANY views looking out over Metro Vancouver)

I don't know why I look so red in this picture.  I actually wasn't overly hot at all.  I think it's a lighting thing.  It also looks like I was right on the edge of a cliff, but I can assure you that I was not and it was very safe.  I wouldn't risk that!

Overall it was an absolutely wonderful hike and I actually worry a bit that I may have set the bar too high for future hikes. :)  But more adventures will follow to determine that.  I can not wait to get out there again.  

It was a good practice run and I have a few things to pick up to make future hikes even better:
  • collapsible doggie dish
  • doggie backpack
  • better shoes for my daughter (hers were bothering her so I swapped shoes with her ... then proceeded to twist my ankle - grrr!)
  • bear bells (just in case!)
  • bug spray - this hike was OK, but it will get worse as it warms up

Also, it would have been better to have had more time to complete the full trail.  As it was I had plans for a girls' night and had to be back in time for that (where I proceeded to dance way too much on my twisted ankle - including jive dancing when my husband showed up).  It was a FULL weekend.  My son turned 18 last week and hosted a party at our house on Friday, got up early and out for the hike Saturday followed by a late night out with the girls.  Sunday was blissfully quite.  Other than getting my girl off to work, I spent the majority of the day on the couch with an ice pack on the ankle and desperately trying to rehydrate after a day of hiking in hot weather followed by perhaps a teensy bit of alcohol - hahaha.  It was actually a GREAT weekend!



Fran said...

I've seen these photos on Facebook and I was amazed with the beauty of the trail. what a treat to hike there. So beautiful, we don't have that here in Holland.

And I love, love, love your dog!

I have a doggie dish for Bella but last time we went for a long walk I didn't bring it, expecting that she could drink something in the woods but there was no water to be found. Learned the same lesson: always bring water for her when going for long walks.

Thanks for sharing Heidi, you made me very happy by doing this.

Tamara said...

Wow! When you said you were out for a hike and it was beautiful you weren't exaggerating. It makes me want to get on a plane and fly right back out there!

Which I may do in August.... hehehe.... I'll keep you posted :)

Nikki said...

That is such a lovely hike, but I gotta say, it just about killed me last time I did it! Ha ha. I found the steep sections so hard! Good for you guys for doing it though, with our gorgeous weather, it must have been sooooo nice.