This will be my last post about hiking trails for 2013. Winter is upon us and as I’ve said before, I am a fair weather hiker. But in the last few hikes, I have discovered that I also enjoy hiking in not-so-fair weather. Crystal Falls in Coquitlam, I think can be categorized as fair but cold weather hiking. This hike actually took place on the last weekend of November. Once again Nicole and I made sure we were layered up like crazy. Hat? Check! Gloves? Check! Multiple layers? Check! Hiking bag? Check! Dairy free Hot Chocolate? Double Check! And off we went into the ‘burbs! It was a brisk morning! The sun was out but the temperatures were low. We found the start of the trail quite easily. The directions given on vancouvertrails.com were very helpful. And thanks to Google Maps, we are there in no time. The trail was quite muddy in certain spots, but it was still enjoyable. It was a relatively flat trail heading in to the falls, until we got lost. Yes, as with all our hiking ‘expeditions’, we got lost. And this time we were very lost. Looking back on it now, we both knew that the trail was not familiar and it should’ve been even more obvious when we veered away from the river, but silly us, as we were both thinking this, we both did not say anything to each other until we started heading up a hill and then reached a dead end. Yup. A dead end. Honestly, how does a trail have a dead end? Other than the fact that there were enough people getting lost on the exact same trail, there is no other reason for a ‘dead-end’ trail (unless you’re a psycho murderer but since the dead end was behind someone’s house, I’d say that’s not likely). Anyway, dead end was reached and now it was time to turn back. As we headed back down the hill, we came upon a couple who were also headed the towards the dead end. We ended up following them back down the trail and then as they turned off down a path, we followed them. And again we were thinking to ourselves that this did not look familiar. And in my head, I was also thinking that it was the normal looking people who turn out to be psycho murderers, but since they were within earshot, it didn’t seem wise to voice my concerns aloud. We followed them for a bit and then left them in the dust as we continued along the trail, still thinking that it wasn’t familiar. The only good thing was, we had found the river and we were just following it in the opposite direction of the falls. It wasn’t until we came upon the old abandoned pickup truck that we could say that we were back on the original trail. We took a little detour here to explore the ruins before heading back on to the trail.
I would say that this as an enjoyable hike. Even with us getting lost, we still managed to complete the hike in 2 hours. This was classified as an easy hike with a 2 hour completion time. I would have to agree that this was an easy hike. And had we not gotten lost, we probably would’ve finished this in an hour and a half. Oh well, we got to enjoy nature for an extra 30 minutes. The next day as we were reviewing our weekend hike, Nicole mentioned that her mother had gotten lost on the exact same trail many years ago. So the lesson learned here? Pay attention to your surroundings. We still don’t know where we went astray. If you hike on an unmarked trail, perhaps bring your own marking tape and tape off some trees or invest in a GPS tracker. And talk to your hiking partner (if you have one). The moment something doesn’t seem familiar, stop and reassess. However, keep in mind that being lost doesn’t necessarily have a to a be a bad thing. We did get to see a little bit more of the area. Just don’t panic. And if you are hiking alone, make sure you have a cell phone with you that works. And always end your hike with hot chocolate!