Thursday, November 1, 2012

UP Maple Mountain

Wanna come along?

Gail, Sadie B, Eddie and I decided to head UP the Maple Mountain Main logging road (note emphasis on 'up'), a route I have not taken since hiking it last with Lucy.*  I remembered it was steep, but we wanted a relatively good trail for a very wet day, and logging roads at least provide that.  I also knew it was not a place one could get lost as long as one stuck to the main logging road - and on a wet, foggy, fall day one really doesn't want to get lost.  Gail hadn't done the route before, and an overindulgence in Hallowe'en candy had me needing to burn some extra calories, so it seemed like a good choice.  We set the top, where the road starts to descend down the other side, as our goal.

At first, I thought I had remembered it as worse than it was - it started out a relatively gentle walk.  Then we hit what I remembered - the climb.  It is a climb that seems to go on forever.  I have three sources of information on the Maple Mountain hiking trails (two books and the municipal website), which variously put the distance to the top as approximately 3, 4, or 5 km (though I swear it was 25), and the elevation at the summit as either 505, 535, or 565 meters (from a starting elevation of approximately 100 meters). Since most of the climbing is done in the last half of the trail, that's a fairly significant elevation gain for a casual Thursday morning walk with the dogs.

Beautiful fall trail

But it was worth it.  The fall leaves are still beautiful despite the heavy rains and gusty winds of the past few days.  The dogs had a blast and although the top was blanketed in heavy fog, the rain stopped and the hike back down was quite pleasant.  It was a good workout, and we covered a greater distance than usual - something young energetic Sadie B needs and a good antidote to the wet-weather-blahs.

An eagle appears in the fog near the summit

Yellow leaves through evergreens set the woods afire

One lone yellow tree on a hillside near the top

When we returned home, Eddie collapsed for a long afternoon nap.  I puttered around the garden for a while, noticing that the blueberry bush has produced a late crop which is ready for picking.

Blueberries in November!

The sugar peas have also decided to bloom once again and though I doubt they will have time to mature, the raindrops on their two-toned purple blossoms provided a moment of pleasure.

Raindrops balance on a November blossom

Sugar pea flower after November rains

Hallowe'en is thankfully over for another year.  Eddie handled it very well, and even spent an hour in the carport with me (leashed to my waist, of course) greeting the children as I handed out candy. He practiced his quiet "sit and greet", and showed no anxiety at the children's masks or outfits.  The fireworks exploding a few blocks away only startled him momentarily,  until a large display produced noises louder and faster which caused him some stress. At that, we turned off the lights and hunkered down in my office watching television for the rest of the evening.

One final bit of news.  I spotted the November edition of Reader's Digest at the grocery store checkout yesterday, and realized I had not mentioned on the blog that an excerpt from an article I submitted to Our Canada Magazine was cited on page 92 of the October Reader's Digest (Canadian edition)*, as part of a promo for a writing and photography competition about "Canada's Most Interesting Towns".   I was rather tickled to see I shared the spotlight with such notable Canadians as Pierre Berton, Lorna Crozier, Audrey McLaughlin, Michael Buble, and Stephen Leacock. Just think, four or five years from now, people will still be reading my words in waiting rooms across the country!  :)

* Speaking of Lucy, I suddenly realized that I completely missed wishing her pups a happy second birthday on October 1st.  If any of the adoptive families are still reading the blog, I'd love to receive an update!)

** I had mentioned this matter when I was contacted by the publisher, but thought it was going to be used for a promo in Our Canada, not in the larger, better known Reader's Digest. I'm hopeful that Our Canada may eventually publish the whole article. 


Dom said...

Sounds like the perfect place to hike on this kind of day. Lovely photos and sounds like good exercise! Love the eagle.

georgia little pea said...

Your name next to Michael Buble. Well! That is fame. I shall keep an eye out when I'm at the doctor's 5 years from now. (I see your doctor is as up to date as mine.

The trail looks lovely but so cold. Eddie is already wearing a coat! I thought I saw on CNN that Sandy (much depleted) is now moving towards Canada? Love the sugar pea flower pictures. Beautiful. It reminds me of something a Buddhist friend said to me when Jordan died - "life is like a dew drop at the edge of a leaf".

Jean said...

Hi GLP - yes Sandy did move into eastern Canada, over 4,000 km from here thank goodness. However, my province had some strong earthquakes, fortunately further north and in lightly populated areas - but enough to remind us that disaster planning is essential.
Eddie is wearing a rain coat because he has such thick, thick fur that it takes forever to dry him and he gets yucky skin from trapped moisture. He's not crazy about it, though, as all that fur under a waterproof slicker makes him pretty warm!

Dom, it was a good choice for a fall day. Glad to hear JR is back safely and apparently no worse the wear for his adventure.

ReoAngel said...

A wonderful outing which almost made me tie on some walking shoes.

Our Reo wasn't impressed with the fireworks, but they weren't sustained this year likely from the heavy rain that fell later in the evening.

Congratulations on your RD conquest!

Mark said...

I also saw your article in RD, made me want to come visit Crofton. Unfortunately I would have to take out a 2nd mortgage to pay for the ferry ticket to the island lol.

Princess Molly is very afraid of fireworks she runs and hides downstairs in the basement shaking. at least it's only once a year.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful hike! Love the fall colours. I still have geraniums and a begonia blooming on my deck (which is covered).

Glad Eddy survived Halloween - his buddy Taleah is terrified of fireworks and it's never a fun day for us.


Anonymous said...

Congrats on the article in RD.
Wow you made it all the way to the top!! I've ever only driven up to the parking area and then hiked to the tower. That's before they closed the gate at the bottom. Too bad it was foggy. Its a beautiful view from the top where the tower is.