Yes, the sun came out. Hurrah! What a difference it makes!
And so I set out with the puppies to Sandon with the intention of doing a section of the K&S trail that leads to Payne Bluff. I might have accomplished this goal had I studied the map rather than giving it a cursory glance. I certainly started in the right place. But about 20 minutes after setting out we hit a crossroads with a sign pointing left to Cody Spur. I looked around – hmmm – do I want to do Cody Spur? It didn’t seem so. Instead, I went up along the other choice. Eventually I had to make another decision: right for Reco Trail and left for Last Chance Trail. The latter looked quite a bit steeper – and who can resist a name like Last Chance.
And so up we went.
The trail was relentless. Near what I presumed was the top we crossed a couple of shale slopes with crazy steep drop offs – what fun! (maybe not). We got high enough that we hit snow – the wet and slippery kind. Finally after more than two hours of up (I estimate about 1200 metres) the trail levelled out. I could see it edging around the mountain with the likelihood of it heading downhill from there. In other words – a good place to stop for lunch, especially because we’d hit a sunny slope beside a babbling brook. Good enough!
And so, after a nice lunch shared with the dogs and bathed in mountain views, we headed back down. It was when I hit the Cody trail branch-off that I actually had a good long look at the map, and guess what? The Cody Spur leads to Payne Bluff. And I don’t think that trail has as high an elevation gain. But no matter – a trail to do next time. I think next time will come relatively soon. I have to do it before the snow flies.
I still haven’t found the local trails that make my heart and soul sing. But that’s okay too. Benson and Prevost never made my heart sing but I did them because they were there and hiking is super. So I’m discovering the local hikes I can get to. I strongly suspect the alpine is a summer thing – and that’s true of Vancouver Island as well. At least mostly. We’re still new here and there’s a lot to discover. This weekend – more exploration.
It’s been a good day because it ended with a hot bubble bath and the house is all warm and toasty. Love, love love, our wood stove.