I am soooooo glad I went. Yes, there was a moment of hesitation this morning – it rained – but stopped. Would it start again? My hiking buddy for the day was uncertain. I thought some more and said, “To heck with it! I’m going! I mean, hiking in the rain is better than not hiking at all.”
I packed Abby in the car because I would need someone to talk to. I distinctly remembered the amount of bear scat on that trail from last year. A lot!
I waited for my person for seven minutes and drove to the trailhead, excited to see the sun working hard to poke its way through. It should also be noted here that I was wearing my new boots! And my new socks! Seemed like a good way to break things in.
The next thing I want to note is that the North Slocan Trails Society deserves reams and reams of kudos. Given what I’d seen in the late fall and through the winter (miles and miles of blowdown) I was in awe of the work they had done. They’d chainsawed their way through everything and practically swept the trail clean. Really amazing. I did my best to help – throwing aside any sticks that had fallen since. But what a load of work they did.
It should also be noted that the bear scat was there in piles (literally) – as much or more than last year. Needless to say, I talked to Abby a lot.
We encountered one very brief shower and the sun did come through. And it was lovely. We reached the top 2.45 hours after setting off – just in time for lunch on my favourite tree stump. Any day that I can sit down for lunch in the sun with beautiful mountain views is a good day.
Abby was very appreciative of the sandwich – she got a big chunk of it!
And then down. We were about 45 minutes into our descent when I heard a big noise behind me. I reacted reasonably. I shrieked. I turned – two mountain bikers right behind me.
I apologized for shrieking. We chatted – nice guys. I asked them to please go ahead and run interference with bears. They promised that they would. This makes them doubly nice guys – and for at least half an hour I didn’t feel the need to constantly engage Abby in conversation. Besides, by then she’d found a deer bone and was engrossed in chewing on it as she walked.
We got back to the car almost 6 hours after setting out – 15K and 850 metres ascent. The boots are lovely.