Margaret had not been on any of the hikes in Crofton and left it up to me to pick one. The tide was in, so I ruled out Osborne Bay Park and chose Crofton Lake, a short but enjoyable hike I've done many times with many friends. It is normally about a twenty minute hike up to the lake, a bit of time taking in the beauty and serenity at the lake, and fifteen minutes for the return trip. Let's say an hour's outing altogether.
Except when I lead my friends astray.
Back in the summer of 2009, when I first moved to Crofton, I had gone up to the lake with some friends and we had done a circular route - up the 20 minute trail, but back down through the trees and along an old logging road around Richards Mountain which gave us panoramic ocean views and eventually brought us back out at the parking lot. I hadn't done that route since, but figured - what the heck, it can't be that hard to find.
Somewhere along the way, I zigged when I should have zagged. There were many secondary trails through the trees, and on one we found some cairns marking the trail so we decided to stick to that one - if we came out in Duncan, or Chemainus, or Maple Bay, we could always use my cellphone to call for a friend to give us a ride back to our car.
We walked. And we walked. And we walked. I was somewhat anxious about not knowing where I was going so the camera stayed in my pocket most of the time. But if I had taken more pictures you would have seen more of this
|Trail on Richards Mountain|
and more of this
|More trail on Richards Mountain|
and a bit of this
|Oregon grape in bloom|
and even some of this
|Little camouflaged lizard in mud|
And some of a tired Eddie and a tired friend. I won't mention that said friend also slipped in the mud at one rather awkward point in the trail and ended up covered from head to toe with mucky mucky mud. No, I won't mention that.
|Tired Eddie on the trail|
We did eventually come out at a logging road, though at the time I had no idea which one. Instinct told us to head right, which would take us down the mountain. But my instinct hadn't been working very well so far that morning, so we turned left. It was the right choice - just fifty meters or so up the road we came to an intersection we recognized - the old logging road and a wide dirt trail - the dirt trail that in about ten minutes would get us back to our car.
We declared the hike a big success, despite taking two and a half hours and netting us one very muddy set of clothing, several aching joints, and a very tired dog. Next time, no matter how short the hike is supposed to be, I shall carry more water (I gave my bottle to Eddie), granola bars (I forgot to replace them after my last hike), and my walking stick. I did have my cell phone so we weren't in any great danger of being lost.
My friend proved her weight in gold - she kept assuring me we weren't lost, we were on an adventure. No, not lost, just exploring. Not at all lost, just having a nice long walk. Thank goodness for friends like that.