Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Hiking With Pete

I am visiting my brother Peter, in White Rock BC for a few days. He’s just one year younger than me. Pete is a professional musician and has done gigs all over the world. He is an environmentalist who not only talks the talk (don’t get him started) but he also walks the walk. He supplements his music income by doing landscape work. He keeps his life very simple; doing landscape work part time, doing gigs in the weekend, leaving himself days during the week to peruse his passion of ‘scrambling up mountains’ and exploring alpine ridges. He also does ocean kayaking and has gone all around the Islands here in Southern British Columbia. The amazing thing about Peter is that he does all this wilderness exploration and yet is an asthmatic.

I was thrilled when Pete offered to take me for an overnight hike in Golden Ears Park, in the Coast Mountains, Northeast of Vancouver.
We put our packs in his van and headed to the Albion Ferry, which launches from Fort Langley to take cars across the river to Albion.

We arrived late in the afternoon to the parking lot at Golden Ears Park.

This is a narrow gauge rail bed that was used for logging in the 1920s and 30s. These are Hemlock cedar and fir trees along the path.

We took a twelve-kilometer hike on this day. You can see alder trees that have fallen in the river because the river is always changing. You can see the smooth rock bed here that is left as the river changes course over the years.

I posed in front of a Douglas fir tree that is a hundred and fifty years old. Pete told me about a stump he found on one hike. When he counted the rings he realized the tree had been twelve hundred years old.

We passed trees on this hike that have been here since the time of Columbus.

We camped on a gravel bed in the river’s flood plane. We were in a valley surrounded by the mountains and forest.

As night approached, the clouds moved in over the mountains bringing rain to us just after we made camp.

The next morning we relaxed in the tent as we listened to the rain and the sound of the river nearby. When the rain stopped, Pete took out his camp stove and we had a cup of coffee and some pasta with cheese.

The rocks on this riverbed were gorgeous. I was just glad you were not here Squiddy. I just know you would have told me to load some up for your Waterloo pond.

We had a feast of salmon berries near where we camped.

You can see the lush vegetation on the path here. The best thing was the combination of alpine bird calls and the incredible scent of the forest along with the powerful oxygen atmosphere.

We stopped for a warm drink and some sweet corn chowder.on our way back. It was so wonderful to travel with Pete. I learn so much about nature and he taught me so much about how to travel in the wilderness safely.

I have been on many treks in Thailand, with expert guides, but Pete is the most knowledgeable guide I have ever traveled with.

3 comments:

J.P. said...

Wonderful blog. I always wanted to see the world Pete loves so much and you gave me that glimpse.
Just don't get him started on whale preservation!
J.P.

millie said...

Hi everyone!
I had a great visit with steve yesterday. I'm sure it'll be in the blog soon. I'm looking forward to going back and looking at the trip in Thailand.

Ya my old man's pretty nifty. Just make sure you have a lot of time when you ask to see his mountain pictures:P
Millie

~~ Melissa said...

What a wonderful time you had! I love the big trees. There are old, old souls in there.

Hi Pete!