Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Elk River Trail...
on sunday and monday, A and i headed into the woods for an overnight hike. the elk river trail in strathcona provincial park is a meandering 11km journey through towering trees up to landslide lake, which sits quietly under the imposing towers of mount colonel foster, the 4th tallest peak on vancouver island. landslide lake gets its name from the slide that occurred in 1946, following a large earthquake on the island and subsequent rockfall on the north tower of colonel foster (read about it here), leaving a large scar that was washed free of trees and other vegetation. the last time i was up to the lake was about eight years ago, and it is still as lovely as i remembered.
i took A LOT of photos (what, me?) so i'll be sharing more throughout the next little while, but i thought i'd first share some of the bigger scenery of the river valley and lake. it is a beautiful peaceful area, although also one of the more popular trails in that end of the park, and as last weekend was a long one, there were lots of other hikers to be seen. we camped at the second campsite along the trail, about 9km in, which is where the majority of folks camp. i was a bit disappointed to see people camping up at the lake, despite signs everywhere asking people not to, and also how many had large fires at the main campsite although they also aren't permitted. and with bc parks proudly proclaiming its 100 year anniversary, and strathcona being the park that started it all, on a busy trail on a busy long weekend, there was not a park warden to be found. it seems unfortunate that we are celebrating 100 years of parks and at the same time our government (and apparently, some of the population) has very little concern for the conservation of these beautiful places. (i won't get off into a tangent about how skeleton warden staff aren't even the tip of this iceberg.)
but i'll get off my pedestal and get back to beautiful nature photos. it was a bit overcast on our first day and sunny on the next, and beneath the tall trees the world was humid, wet, and creeks flowed freely across the trail in many spots. the snow melt is in full swing right now, a bit late with our cool summer so far, and heavy with our deep winter snowpack. at certain spots along the trail you could not only hear the rush of the river, but feel the thunder of it under your feet. the rush of the river beside our campsite made me dream of a wild wind storm shaking through the trees.
we didn't see any large wildlife, but there were mushrooms and wildflowers and ghostly white slugs to keep my camera clicking. i'll be back tomorrow with more photos. have you done any hiking recently?