The other day I said to Simon that I missed hiking solo. My favorite thing is to hike with him and/or Nicky (and some wonderful other friends) but once in a while, it simply does my soul good to be out there on my own. It’s a walking meditation. I told him that two things were holding me back: access to trails and wildlife. He pointed out that there was as much or more wildlife on Vancouver Island and I always hiked solo.
I checked out trails the Copelands said had easy access. Old Glory in the Rossland Range.
I headed out at 6.30 a.m. and was on the Plewman Trail by 8. Yes, it was smoky but not nearly as bad as it was during the last few days. Up I went until I came out of the trees, marvelling out loud at the amazing wild flowers and meadows. This I had not expected. I’d heard that the Old Glory Trail was hot and dusty. I found nothing but beauty. The distant smoke that obscured the far ranges was beautiful in its own way – keeping me focussed on the wildflower meadows and close-in ridges.
I topped out on Unnecessary Ridge and dipped down to the valley to continue what appeared to be a formidable climb to the top of Old Glory – it certainly looks like a beast.
As it turned out, the trail switchbacked beautifully up and I never found it onerous – not one bit. In 3.5 hours I made it to the top and then headed down: lunch in a flower-filled meadow and then on to the other Old Glory trail to complete a circuit to the trailhead.
I loved every minute of the day.
It was – quite simply – perfect.