Friday 6 April 2018

A Walk In The Rain

Want to come for a walk with me? It's raining, a not uncommon thing on Vancouver Island, but we're all good with that, right?  If you don't walk in the rain here, you miss out on walking for more than half the year. 

Let's put on our rain gear, grab our umbrellas and go.  Don't forget to bring some water.  We'll be walking quite a distance - 12.4 km/ 7.7 miles - and you need to stay hydrated even on a rainy day.

We'll begin with a stroll to the Sportsplex, with its oval track often used by those nearby for their fitness walks (Personally , I don't see the appeal. I want to see varied scenery when I walk, but each to their own.), past the fields and baseball diamonds... exit via this pretty lane-way. I always enjoy it at blossom time.

From here we're going to walk the length of Lakes Road.  Yes, that is a long hill... we're going to pause at the bridge at the bottom of the hill to enjoy the view before we start the climb. (I apologize now for any raindrops that may have fallen on my camera lens.)

Lakes Road isn't as pedestrian friendly as our route has been so far.  There's a fair bit of traffic and the sidewalk runs out not long past the top of the hill, but it's worth it.  The landscape grows progressively more rural, and offers some lovely sights like this lot whose wild space has been colonized by daffodils.

There's a holly farm further on, with moss capped gate posts, a view of Quamichan Lake, and characterful old trees.  The farm's been there a long time and used to ship holly all over the world.  There's less demand for it these days and I'm glad they're still keeping the trees.

The houses are further apart now and even the newer houses have traces of old farms visible on their property, often in the form of rows of trees along the fence line.

I always enjoy passing by the sheep farm on the shores of Quamichan Lake. These are some happy sheep: the grass is always rich and green.  They know me so well now that they pose when I stop to take their picture. ;)  See how they're all looking towards me?

An old apple orchard near Lakes Road's intersection with Herd Road has recently been pruned.  These trees blossom late - next month - but they're beautifully clad in coats of green velvety moss.

I'll confess that my camera's getting a little heavy around my neck now so I'm going to stow it in my backpack for a bit.  We'll continue walking as planned though, turning left onto Herd Road, continuing through a treed area and crossing another bridge to emerge into rolling pastureland.  There are lots of horses in this area and it's easy to see why they like it.

My eye is always caught by the incongruous, like this lighthouse built to shield an irrigation coupling in the middle of a pasture.  It makes me smile every time I see it.

I'm getting a little weary now. It's been more than 8 kilometres since we started and we're on an uphill route once more.  The hill's less steep than Lakes Road's hill, it's a long, slow undulating climb.  

We're on Norcross Road now, passing small farms and then vineyards.  I'd take a picture of the vineyards for you but, really, they're pretty bleak at this time of year: gnarled black trunks, pruned hard, black with rain, marching along in lines beneath strings of equally black wire.  

There is a view of Somenos Lake though, and it's worth pausing for. Do you see that line of tall fir trees in the background?  Lakes Road is behind it.  We've covered some distance, haven't we.  :)

We're winding it up now.  We'll climb the last bit of this hill, then walk downhill on Bell McKinnon Road until we reach the highway. Cross the highway now,  and treat yourself to coffee and a muffin while you wait for the city bus to take you the last 4km/2.5 miles back to our starting point.  

Wow you guys!  Great walk!  Thanks for coming along with me.  :)

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