It was dark, really, really dark at 6am on Friday Feb 4. Frank Cameron
and MJ blasted over the radio, promising a day fit for a hike - sunny with
cloudy periods with winds of 20-30kms. I dragged mysel f from my warm bed,
cursing the gang who greet each day with enthusiasm even before the sun gets
up. However, I had promised myself that I would go on this hike if the
weather was good. I trusted Frank, I got dressed.
Viking, Sun God, Helga, Chelsea, Printer and Louis the Licker arrived at
Timmy's shortly after 7am. There waiting, hands clasped around a steaming
cup of java was Elemer - Elmer Fudd to be exact - looking somewhat lost
at the table all alone. Then they began to come - Dipper, one K to go
##@! off and John Doe. But where in the heck was Greg Vail? Was he a..a
Spurred on by our morning fix, we set out in two cars. Viking leading and
Joh Doe tailgaiting. The hour+ drive thorough lobotamy land (Musquodoboit
Harbour) and down the old #7 brought Helga to a new realization - that
red glow in the morning filtering through the sky, just on the horizon, did
not mean bad weather...it, it was ...the SUN coming up! What a beautiful
The road into Taylor's Head Park/Beach was reached just as Chelsea stopped
hyperventilating. From here we had to walk to the trailhead as the
park was closed. Louis took the lead and the rest of the crew followed
along, chattering among themselves, wondering where Greg could be.
(Unfortunately, it takes just under an hour to reach the trail - and it
is a boring hour.) We stopped
for the post coffee elimination/watering and regulation photo op. Bruce
set up his trusty camera, ran to join the gang as Louis ran around, the
flash went off and so did we.
The trail was wonderful. With the ocean on
our right, the wind at our back. Louis forged ahead, ridding the area of
its rodents, CheLsea stayed at Helga's heels, Printer jocked for
position among the gang consisting of Sun God, Dipper, Elmer Fudd, John Doe
one K to go and Viking. Has anyone seen Greg Vail?
The first section of the hike was through a woodsy area, terrain unlevel
but nothing noteworthy to mention. Every once and awhile we glimsped the
ocean in all its splendour. The water was very, very aquamarineish in
colour - sometimes it looked like the Carribean - if you disregarded the
ice on the rocks. We settled down for our morning snack
of sundry goodies in a sheltered spot. The sunlight poured down upon this
cheery group as we shared pepperoni, cookies, fruit cake, tea, etc etc.
Now we were really concerned about Greg, so satisfying our need to test
the cell phone in this remote area, who better to try to contact but our
missing hiker. His secretary informed us that he was taking a vacation day -
doing some hike - and he was, obiviously not in the office. She also
added that he was going to some event Saturday night -something about rum
runners and pot luck. Like, this woman sure knew his itinerary! Now we
were really worried about our lost hiker...however, no one offered to go
back and for him. This uncaring group set off again.
For the next hour we enjoyed a very pleasant walk along the oceanside. We
were now coming to the point, Taylor's Head and the view was wonderful.
The sun was very warm and although the wind cool, not enough so to make
the journey uncomfortable. There was a fair amount of walking over loose
rocks which Louis obiviously loved, skipping over and around, sniffing
under and generally making the rest of us look like uncoordinated
mortals. Printer, the oldest hound, gingerly made his away over the
tricky terrain and Chelsea, the spoiled litle lady that she is, settled her
little, fluffy body into the crook of Helga's arm. Sun God, most
effectively maneourved his walking poles throughout the entire hike, John
Doe was totally in his element, one K to go hardly tripped at all
Elmer Fud, his feet nestled in hia ladies boots, set quite the pace, Dipper
was thanking Munroe for his contribution to Dal and hence the holiday,
and Viking continued to silently count down the days, hours, minutes and
seconds til his retirement. Still, no sign of Greg.
At lunch , Dipper laid a cozy fire for the full of fat, dripping with
juices hot dogs provided by Sun God. One k to go successfully managed to
break a 7-8 foot piece of driftwood up into sections without castrating
himself as he fashioned a kind of fulcrum with the branch and a rather
large rock. Really was very impressed with the grace and balance that he
presented on this day.
After lunch the walk continued along the water, the landscape very
similar to the Duncan's Cove hike. We could now see the mainland ahead of
us, the ocean on our left and land to our right. Once we left the water
and turned inland, it was a shortish juant through woods again and back
to the trailhead and Taylor's Head beach. We tooked o short walk down the
beach, availed ourselves of the facilities (the was even toilet paper),
and watched the grey jays. Louis has bonked and Sun God is leading! The
trip to the #7 seemed long now as we were tired.
We met a local on the way out. I don't think he had seen people since
back in the 70's seeminly perfectly happy to chew the fat with us for the
rest of the afternoon. We did learn of a short cut into the park and also
an alternative route which could add to the already lovely hike.
Alas, we spied the cars, packed our tired bodies into the seats and
headed home. Louis cuddled in the back between Sun God and Elmer Fudd,
never lifting his head for the entire trip. Chelsea and Printer actually
seemed somewhat more spirited than the young pup, but did have a much
more settled ride home.
This hike was really a lovely walk. I highly recommend it. Once the park
opens for the season, and you can drive in the trailhead, eliminating the
hour walk in and out which really does not add to the hike in any way. This
ia a very doable hike for most folks. It is not difficult and the scenery is
worth the walk. We spied many birds so bring your birding books and
binoculars. Unfortunately there were no seals playing in the water -
perhaps it's not the best time of the year but I understand they were
spotted last year. The landscape is changeable - from woods, to
water, to woods again and back to water. Over boardwalks beside
marshes which hold the promise of many birds yet to return for the
summer. A really lovely piece of NS. Mark thisdate in your book for next year
- 1st Friday in Feb - it's worth it!
And - has anyone seen GREG?