That’s what the text message said at 7:45am on Saturday as I lay in bed listening to the rain hitting the window pane. Nicole wanted to feel the fresh mountain air, in the rain, in North Vancouver. I would’ve preferred a sparring session in the basement! And people think I’m nutty? I don’t know if it’s becoming a trend, but our hikes together seem to coincide with rain. But it’s all good. Since I am admitting to being a fair-weather hiker, having Nicole drag me out into the rain on a hike is a good way to get me to change how I feel about fair-weather hiking. And plus I needed to test out my new waterproof jacket.
So this last weekend, we tackled the Two Canyon Loop in North Vancouver. I’m sure it would’ve been a nice hike, however when we were there, part of the loop was closed for maintenance so we had to make a few adjustments to the loop. This was in addition to the fact that both me and Nicole forgot to bring the map with us. If anyone has read the description of the trail on vancouvertrails.com, and read the comments about this hike, a lot of people were lost and confused. And I could see why since there were actually a lot of trails criss crossing, so it could be quite confusing and the maps that are posted do not indicate a “Two Canyon Trail”. When you first get into the parking lot (free parking) look for the signs for the Homestead Trail and Fisherman’s Trail. You will start out on the Homestead Trail and eventually veer off for Fisherman’s Trail. However as I said Fisherman’s Trail was closed so we ended up staying on Homestead Trail and followed the signs towards Twin Bridges Trail. Twin Bridges Trail will take to you to…Twin Bridges. However there is only one bridge now, and the only signs of the original twin bridges, which have since come down, are the pillars off to the side of the current bridge. After crossing the bridge, we started to see indications of possible mountain biking activity. I think we only encountered two mountain bikers though. Perhaps the torrential rain was a deterrent? After the bridge, Twin Bridges Trail connects to Fisherman’s Trail. We headed onto Fisherman’s Trail. This section of the trail was not under maintenance so it was safe to hike. We continued along Fisherman’s Trail until we hit Baden Powell Trail (BP Trail). Make sure you follow the right direction for the suspension bridge. For the most part the signs were very helpful and there were maps posted at most junctions, but some of the signs were showing wear and tear and the lettering had faded so that we had to guess at what it was trying to tell us. But when we were able to read the signs, it gave us distances to a certain point and estimated hiking times. Nice (when you could read it). So following the BP Trail, it eventually led us back to Lilloett Road. Don’t forget to cross the road. I almost made the mistake of just following the trail that was parallel to the road. Don’t Do It! Take a look behind you and admire the “Baden Powell Trail” sign and then cross the road and reconnect with the BP Trail. By this time, the mist had rolled in, so the forest was quite “spooky dark” as Big Sister Z and Little Brother Z would say. Continuing on the trail it will eventually lead to the Twin Falls. From the Twin Falls, we headed up the stairs to the Ecology Centre. And in less than ten minutes we were at the suspension bridge (the one that’s free). Now, when you cross the suspension bridge and reconnect with the trail, follow the sign for Rice Lake. This last part is a gradual climb. Once we reached the top, it was all relatively flat and within 15 minutes, maybe 20, we were back in the car. In total we completed the hike in two hours and thirty minutes. Other than the switchbacks and the set of stairs from Twin Falls to the Ecology centre, I thought it was a relatively easy hike. I would not call this an intermediate hike. I don’t know what it was like on the section of Fisherman’s Trail that was closed off, but it was not as challenging as I had hoped. Still it was a good day out since I had good company, even in the rain. We definitely got some fresh mountain air. And hiking in the rain was not as bad as I thought. However I discovered that my waterproof jacket was definitely not waterproof, more like water resistant. GRRRRR! But I am pleased to say that my Icebreaker hoody was so warm, that I didn’t even realize I was wet from the rain. Thank goodness for layers. The hoodie took the brunt of the wet rain and my base layer was only mildly damp. On the other hand, my waterproof-breathable pants from MEC were great. Since they were waterproof-breathable, I was still slightly damp underneath, but nothing at all like my sad, soggy hoody!