Thursday, July 10, 2014

All weather adventures

As I write this post, it is a balmy +23C at 7:00 pm.  Typical summer weather for Vancouver Island, BC but that is not always the case.  In fact, just 4 days previous it was cloudy and rainy.  The temp was not terrible, hovering around +15C, but not the type of weather that has you jumping up and down as you head out the door for a hike. Yet here we were, heading out the door because the kids and I had arranged a group hike to Saddle Trail and Jewel Lake, a gorgeous hike that offers vistas of valleys, the Pacific Ocean, the Salish Sea, with Mt. Arrowsmith as a backdrop. (Highest Mountain on southern Vancouver Island) Sadly, I forgot to book the sunny weather.

Peek a boo view of the mountains surrounding Saddle Trail

Final approach to the saddle.

Adventuring in the rain is not new to us and now that I think about it, most of our summit hikes have been in the rain and offered no views.  You are probably asking yourself, then why go? I say, why not?  Hiking in the rain, without the views to distract you, make you see things you don't usually see.  Rain droplets on leaves, vibrant greens, shiny browns and stunning misty landscapes.  And how many times do you get the chance to play in the snow while it's raining? That alone is worth it. (Ben and Liv loved this)

There were 6 other hikers joining us on the hike this rainy day, and a few times it was asked why are we here? Obviously we all enjoy the outdoors and not one of us would have traded in the day for nothing else.  We all wanted to hike and share the experience with each other.  I mean, what else would we have done, clean the house? No thank you! 

Eat lunch over looking Jewel Lake (somewhere in there) or clean house?

I love our adventures in the rain.  When was the last time you stood out in the rain and just let yourself get wet?  I did, 4 days ago, and have many times in the past and will many times more.  Just a few weeks ago we got caught in a shower while biking.  Ben loved riding thru the puddles.  I quickly learned to keep my distance if I didn't want mud in my face.  Liv was not a fan of biking in the rain but hey, she didn't give it two thumbs down!

No matter the weather, if we have an adventure planned we go.  I call it All Weather Adventures.  And if you asked the state of my house, I will happily admit it is long overdue for a good cleaning and I am OK with that!

I leave you with a few parting shots of some of our other All Weather Adventures.

Rainy day summit of Mt. Benson
Visiting the fairy homes on Mt. Erskine (Salt Spring Island).  Gnome one home.
Misty landscape of Mt. Maxwell.

Trail info:

Other than the mentioned scenery, the great thing about this trail is the distance and level of difficulty.  3km will get you to the Saddle Pass and another 1/2 km or so will get you down to Jewel Lake.  Elevation change from trail head to saddle is about 450m with a few steep sections but nothing that would rank this more than moderate in difficulty. It is a great day hike that makes you feel like you have ventured deep into the wild. 

For more directions and a peek at the stunning scenery this hike offers, I recommend you visit Lorne Collicutt's blog.  Great photos and write up that will tempt you to go see it for yourself.  That's what happened to me!

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