It was, at the very least, an auspicious introduction to the Island Mountain Ramblers – my local hiking club.
My first hike with them, led by the legendary Matthew Lettington. And where were we going? Heather Mountain: 1400 metres elevation, many kilometres, the first 7 of which are on a logging road. Now anyone who knows me, knows that I had to have taken temporary leave of my sanity to register for a trip on a logging road. And the only reason I did was for a chance to try out the Ramblers, a chance to ask Matt all about the club and etc. etc.
I was willing to suck it up. The trip also promised fabulous alpine for two hours. And I’d never been.
So – off we went, meeting 4 more people down in the Cowichan Valley. Three went in Matt’s jeep (including me) and 3 in Mary’s truck.
We zoomed away, hitting a dirt road past Youbou. Mary had done this mountain before so she knew where she was going. Still we passed her where the pavement ended so that she could follow us.
We went to the locked gate, parked and waited.
And then we waited some more.
Something must have happened.
We tracked back – no sign of the truck. We went back to the end of the road – and then back again – and then back again and then back – and – well, by the end of 1.5 hours, we were all pretty damn familiar with that road.
We gave up. By that time it was 11 a.m. – too late to start on an 8 hour hike. Fine – we’ll do Mount Baldy. And then we got a text from Mary. – They had been behind us, lost sight of us, stopped and turned around.
And went off to hike on Mount Prevost.
So the three of us went up Mount Baldy – had a good 4 hour hike and that was that.
I liked Matt’s attitude – liked hiking with him. He’s damn fast but he also doesn’t have a “racing” attitude. I think I’ll feel comfortable with this group.
And I had a lovely bubble bath and I am in my favourite position – in the sun, bare feet and shorts.