Three weeks ago, Nicole and I attempted the Baden Powell trail from Deep Cove to Lynn Canyon. I say attempted, because we never actually finished that section of the trail due mainly to limited physical capabilities (injuries), and weather concerns. The weather was a concern because the temperatures had started to drop that weekend and at certain elevation levels, there was now snow. And seeing as we would be in North Vancouver, there was a good chance of some sort of precipitation that would involve snow. So…some limitations were preset on this particular hike.
We decided we would hike in and then hike back out rather than complete the whole one-way section of the Baden Powell trail. We set a time limit of 4 hours. 2 in, 2 out. It didn’t matter where we would end up, at the two hour mark we would turn around and head back.
Luckily for us there was no rain or snow. But as we went further along the path, we could definitely feel the temperatures drop. However, we were smart and dressed in layers. Wool is my new best friend. We were also armed with our trusty walking sticks, Nicole with the one she got from our Jug Island Beach hike and me with a stick that my Sister P had picked up back in grade school and did some fancy carving into it. It was a good stick and will now become a part of my standard tools when I go traipsing around on any future trails. Canada, not New Zealand.
The first section of the hike was one that we had already done back in the summer months: Quarry Rock with our friend Barry. And this time, we ‘rocked’ it. We made it to Quarry Rock in 37 minutes. We were quite impressed with ourselves, one for the time and two for the ease of the hike. We definitely remember it being a little more strenuous the first time around. Of course when we got to Quarry Rock, we had to stop for a photo op. There actually were quite a few photo ops this time but the goal of the hike was to see how far in we could go, so stopping for photos was not high priority. I have to say that this time, with the wet weather, the Quarry Rock portion was much prettier. The waterfalls and creeks were full-on running pretty, unlike in the summer when the waterfalls and creeks were dried up trickles. It also appeared there were two new sections either repaired or just plain new for us to hike to Quarry Rock. Regardless it was a nice portion of the hike.
Well, out of all my photos at Quarry Rock, I have to say this was the best one. But only because the fog prevented us from seeing anything else from the Rock. There were little pocket views as the fog lifted for a bit and then returned, but we had a hike to proceed. It was time to move on. Still it was really neat to be up there and just see marshmallow fluff at the top of the rock. We couldn’t even see the little village down below. Eerie!
We continued along the path, heading uphill. Very quickly we made it to the top of the hill where the transmission poles were located. I remember when we hiked Quarry Rock, we wondered if we could actually make it to the transmission poles. We gave up too quickly at the time. Oh well. So we made it to the top of the hill and crossed a gravel road to continue along the BP trail. The maps and signs were very helpful. I was actually quite surprised to see so many people on the trail. I guess I thought the weather would be a deterrent for some, but then again, it didn’t deter us. As we continued along the trail, we came across quite a few runners. I have to admire their skill. It has to be a skill. I’m not a fan of running, but I will do it and I am now actually training to run a 10 k run in Wellington. I know, very last minute, but ultimately, it’s just to have fun. Anyways, I find running on the track or on the concrete side walks a bit difficult. And as I was hiking the trail I thought, I wouldn’t mind running on a dirt path, until I tripped on a root. And then when I stepped on a rock the wrong way that reminded me of my annoying sprained toe, I decided that running on a trail was not for me, no matter how soft the dirt path was. Of course a crack in the sidewalk could be just as bad or worse than a root. Oh well, perhaps I’ll have a change of mind when I return from New Zealand. Okay, got distracted here. Yes, runners on the trail. After crossing the gravel path, we continued along the trail for quite some time and then we started to hear cars. So we knew we were getting close to Indian River Drive. Now, when you get to the road, head left. You will pass a nice house that has the cutest little birdhouse in front of their driveway. When you see that, you will know you are headed in the right direction. Unfortunately there was no sign posted anywhere when we made it to the road. We probably should’ve asked the runners but silly us, we didn’t. We just picked a direction (luckily the right direction) and went. When we reached the cute little birdhouse, we decided to ask a runner that was headed in the opposite direction from us. Good thing we asked, because from the the little birdhouse (marker), you cannot see the reconnect to the Baden Powell trail. But keep going in that direction. We did, Thanks to the runner. But if you give up too quickly, you would miss out on the rest of the trail. Do be careful when walking on this road. There weren’t a lot of cars when we crossed the first time, but on our return, there were a lot more cars.
So we reconnected with the BP trail and continued along the way. There were even more people on this trail. And there were mountain bikers, so keep your eyes and ears peeled when you hike on this trail. As we continued we came to another road that we had to cross. Mt. Seymour parkway. If you need a potty break. Here is good stop. If not, keep going, but be careful when you cross the parkway to the other side. If you are lost, you can alway re-orient yourself via the map. When you get to the other side of the road, make sure you follow the proper posts for the BP Trail. On this side there are many more trails that if you don’t read the signs, you could get lost. Luckily for us, we did not get lost this time. However we definitely were feeling the temperature drop as we proceeded onwards. Ultimately we made it to the intersection of BP Trail and Mushroom Trail. We were getting close to our ‘turn-back’ time so we decided to veer off the BP Trail and check out Mushroom Trail. We managed to make it to the intersection of Mushroom Trail and Power Line Trail before we decided to turn back. In the end we managed to shave off 15 minutes on the return which still made us quite happy. I like this trail. And it would’ve been nice to continue onwards, but it was definitely getting cold and we both had to make sure we didn’t aggravate any of our injuries and we had set a time limit. When I return from New Zealand, I will tackle the BP trail again and next time I will finish it. In hindsight, looking at the map of the trail, we actually did quite well time-wise for this hike. I’m not sure how many kilometres we hiked but on the map it looks like we made it halfway through. Perhaps I’m optimistic but optimism is a good thing, I think. And the best part of this hike, we both celebrated the successful ending in a warm toasty car with dairy-free hot chocolate! Mint flavoured! Yum!