Friday, April 19, 2013

Grace Road Park in spring

Let's go hiking, Mama Jean!

The last time we visited Grace Road Park was in the fall.  The waterfall had dried up and the river was low.  Sadie B and Eddie decided it was time to show Mitzi the river, and commandeered Gail and I to drive them to the trailhead.

Hey little buddy, you'll like this place!
The day was overcast and the temperature was mild - a perfect day for hiking.  Sadie B and Eddie were happy to be running free, and Mitzi trotted along willingly on her long flexi-leash.  A pleasant walk down to the river, and soon the waterfall was in sight:

Banon Falls
(which also has another name, but I've forgotten it)
There is still snow in the mountains, so the river is not yet at its peak.  Strings of water cascaded down other parts of the cliff face,

but there was still lots of rocky river bank to explore, and the water was clear with a translucent green tint that reminds me of a watercolour painting.  My pocket camera didn't capture it well; local readers just might have to check it out for themselves!

Ah hope you don't expect me to go swimming!

Eddie and Mitzi explored the shoreline, while Sadie B paddled along the edge of the river:

Gail and I chatted loudly after seeing what we think were the tracks of a young bear in the sand.  I expect he was long gone, but a little conversation is always a wise precaution in bear country in spring.

Go 'way, Bear!
I is not a snack!

After a few treats to restore their energy,

Auntie Gail has the BEST treats in the world!

We headed into the trees again, wandering on paths where bleeding heart and trillium were already in bloom:

Trillium in bloom

First blooms of bleeding heart

On the way back up the hill to the parking area, Sadie B thought a thorough splash in a mud puddle would be fun:

Mud, glorious mud!

A good time was had by all, and just as we reached the cars a spring shower began.  Good timing!


Anonymous said...

Jean, thank you for highlighting another beautiful place to explore on the Island. After your advice about Kinsol Trestle, I think that Grace Road Park should be the next road trip.
That waterfall is so unusual. I don't know if it is just the camera angle but it looks like it turns at a right angle as it flows down the hill. And the rocks under the water look like many tiny slab steps. Unique!

georgia little pea said...

Methinks some doggies had a hose down after. I can't believe how nonchalant you are about traipsing around in bear country. I get the loud conversation but do the dogs ever run off after a scent?

Jean said...

GLP, I've lived, hiked, backpacked, and camped in BC since I was five years old, and although I've seen many bears I've never met one who wasn't more afraid of me than I was of him. As long as you are making a noise as you walk the trail (and walk back the way you came if you see a little cub), they are not usually a threat. They much prefer to run away from danger than to attack it. They ARE a problem in areas of some cities where development has encroached on their territory and where people leave garbage out so often that the bears become unafraid of people. They have even been known to climb in windows to get to food on the counter!
I'm actually more afraid of cougars, who move silently through the tree tops and are predators, pouncing on small moving targets like dogs and kids. Fortunately, they are much less common and I have yet to see one here, though others have.
As for the dogs, both Sadie B and Eddie have excellent recall and we always keep them within sight (Mitzi is always on leash as she has no recall and eagles could carry her off). Whenever I see fresh bear poop, I do leash Eddie up, though - the biggest danger of hiking with dogs in bear country is that the unleashed dog will chase the bear, and the bear will turn around and chase the dog who comes running right back its owner, bear in tow.
Bears can run very fast, and it's always best to have them running AWAY from you!

Jean said...

Anonymous - there is a bit of an angle to the waterfall, as there are two huge, smooth slabs of rock at slightly adjacent angles. The water rolls over one then takes a slight turn as it cascades over the other.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures Jean. Definately time to pay Grace Park another visit.
Is the road in any better?


Jean said...

Else, we took the Cranko Rd entrance which is paved to the point where you start walking - and other than one large mud puddle, the trek down to the river was fine.
I think the yellow gates on the other (Grace Rd) entrance were open this time, but we didn't check it out.