Crash, Boom, Bang!

That is what we heard a couple of times on our hike on Burnaby Mountain today.  It was definitely an adventure today.  First off, let’s just say, Google Maps App, I can count on.  Default-Weather-App-on-my-iPhone, not so much.  I knew how to get to the start of the hike today because I trusted my Google Maps.  You have always been there for me and have never steered me into a river so I will always be faithful.  And had Nicole turned you on, she would’ve continued passed the first “Broadway street” and onto the second “Broadway street” to make a right, not a left.  But no worries, someone has to get lost on one of my hikes at least once.  I’ve had my fair share.  It’s time for someone else to have that misadventure.  Thanks Nicole for taking one for the team!  Default-Weather-App?  You suck.  Is it your fault that there was a thunder storm and torrential rains during our hike when Nicole and I expected sunny weather?  I’m gonna have to say YES and NO.  When it comes to rain in Vancouver, it is always hard to tell, but you have not been so helpful to me in a long time.  Did the heat get you confused and were you stuck on the hot weather setting?  Hiking in a thunder storm was the last straw that broke my back.  I’m leaving you and switching over to The Weather Network App.  Let’s hope it’s an upgrade and not a downgrade from the Default-Weather-App.

That’s right, Nicole and I hiked in a thunderstorm.  It was actually pretty cool, until we heard the Crash, Boom and Bang.  The first time we heard it was on our way up Cardiac Hill.  Yup.  Cardiac Hill.  Who comes up with names like these for trails?  How is that supposed to encourage people to traipse along your trail, if you’re called Cardiac Hill?  Well, it was definitely a proper name.  I actually think it was worse than the Grouse Grind, and it was only a brutal 380 metres in length.  After conquering Cardiac Hill, we backtracked to Mel’s Trail.  And then there was the second, or was that the third crash, boom and bang?  Anyways, the rain started to come down pretty hard.  Luckily for us, we were under cover of the trees and surprisingly, not wet, or not as wet as we thought we would be.  But when we hit Mel’s Trail and the rain came down even harder and the jacket’s came out and the thunder sounded again, even louder, my first question to Nicole was if she wanted to continue on or just cut it short.  What a trooper!  We continued onwards, because the ultimate destination was to get to her namesake trail, Nicole’s Trail.

The hike was really nice.  The trails on Burnaby Mountain are dual use.  Hikers and cyclists share the trails and every so often we could see where the cyclists wiped out, because there would be leftover evidence from broken reflectors on the trail.  The trails were well marked and maps were placed at almost all the junctions.  All the markers gave you an approximate time to hike or cycle and it told you the distance as well for each section of the trail.  I don’t think I’ve every been on such well marked trails ever.  Well Done City of Burnaby!  There also wasn’t a lot of people on the trails.  We saw quite a few people at the start along North Road Trail and Dead Moped Trail as well as the section of the Trans Canada Trail that connected with Cardiac Hill.  But after we got onto Mel’s Trail, we only saw 6 people the rest of the way.  It was really nice.  Now, I have never hiked in a thunderstorm before and I’m sure there must be some sort of safety thing that my friends and coworkers would have to say about hiking in a thunderstorm, and there probably were a few moments of trepidation during the hike when I heard the thunder and I wondered if there was going to be lightening strikes somewhere.  Here are a few thoughts that ran through my head as we hiked:

  1. I’ve got a camera in my pack.  Out of the two of us, I’ve got the most metal that will attract a lightening strike.
  2. We’re short.  The trees are tall.  The lightening will hit the trees.
  3. We’re crossing under power lines.  The lightening will hit the power lines.
  4. We’re crossing under power lines.  The lightening will hit the power lines while we are under it.
  5. Gosh, that’s pretty with the mist rolling through and weaving around the power lines.
  6. Probably shouldn’t stop under the power lines to take a picture of the mist with my camera when there could be a lightening strike.
  7. I don’t have my New Zealand pack with me.  I’m not prepared for a lightening strike.
  8. How do you prepare for a lightening strike?
  9. My New Zealand pack has more metal in it than my Grouse Grind pack.
  10. Water resistant is not the same as waterproof.  But at least the wool is keeping me warm.
  11. I’m glad my shoes are waterproof.
  12. I’ve ruined another pair of white socks.  The dirt will never come out.
  13. Wish I had my bear bell with me.
  14. The rain really makes the cedars smell nice.
  15. Gosh those rocks are shiny and slippery.
  16. Well, now I know that my hat is not waterproof.
  17. Neither is my pack.
  18. Thank goodness my camera bag is waterproof.
  19. Next time I have to remember to put the iPhone in a ziplock bag.
  20. Wow, that’s amazing with the mist rolling in above us in the trees and the cedars smell great.

It was a great hike.  Again I had lovely company and a totally different experience, this time hiking in a thunderstorm.  We conquered Cardiac Hill and Nicole’s Trail which according to the trail map, Nicole’s Trail was categorized as an advanced/difficult trail.  And both of us have to agree that she was a wicked witch of a trail!  And what made it even better?  We finished the 7.5 km trail in 2 hours and 20 minutes, when the vancouvertrails.com site said it was a 3 hour hike.  Nicole, my friend, it’s time you join me on intermediate level hikes!

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