Retreads hike into 2016 with a great turnout and great fun

In the spirit of Retreads and a brand new year, 28 people turned out for the New Years day hike

Members of the Retreads hiking group take a civilized break on their hike to Cottonwood Creek to celebrate a member’s birthday with hot mulled wine and spiced cranberry.

Members of the Retreads hiking group take a civilized break on their hike to Cottonwood Creek to celebrate a member’s birthday with hot mulled wine and spiced cranberry.

In the spirit of Retreads and a brand new year, 28 people turned out for the New Years day hike which took us along Beaver Creek trail and around Beaver Lake. A week later found us hiking up a lightly snow covered trail along the west side of Cottonwood Creek.

One cynic asked, “How many people turned out for the New Years Hike?” They were a bit astounded to be told, “Just 28.” This hike started at the entrance to the South Shore Motel and followed the Beaver Creek Trail up to Fair Service Main. Then a small jog across the highway down into the valley and back onto the trail that leads to Beaver Lake Resort. Of course we were following the tracks of the former logging railroad walking on the remains of cross ties much of the way.

The fresh, crisp air was invigorating and people were dressed for winter weather so the frost and snow on parts of the path did not deter anyone. The section of the trail north of the highway borders a lovely wetland area that connects to Beaver Lake but there were none of the usual waterbirds in sight because of a sheen of ice on the surface of the water. Along the way we enjoyed some beautiful views of the snow-topped mountains which looked particularly impressive against the blue sky.

After a brief break we continued around the west end of the lake and followed a zig-zagging trail through the bush along the north side of the lake. This was the more challenging part of the hike, but through pleasant scenery with many views of the lake.

We crossed the highway and headed back along Beaver Creek to the motel. A great way to kick off 2016 together with Retread friends! Everyone was delighted to be back out hiking the trails after a brief hiatus during the holiday season.

On a sunny Retreads Wednesday 23 of us motored out through Youbou, admired the new logging truck wash setup and parked opposite the gate leading up the west side of Cottonwood Creek. Crossing the gate led your reporter to fall and suffer minor dents and bruises. But not a problem because on this day we had four very competent nurses to take care of me.

Soon after the start, we deviated down a short trail to the edge of quite spectacular small waterfalls. We were close to the river on the rest of this hike. We followed the logging road with a gradual incline most of the way and a slightly steeper section before we reached a neat spot near the river for a lunch break. This being approximately the day when our hiking club leader, Willa, celebrates her birthday we had some hot mulled wine and hot spice cranberry which was expertly served by Willa’s husband Cliff.

Back down the hill rather cautiously on the steep section because you could never be sure if you would happen onto a patch of slippery ice. Beside the road were some spectacular ice stalactite-like formations where water trickled down over rock walls and continually increased the length of the spear-like pieces.

Back to the cars after about 8.5 kilometers with a 160 metre change in elevation. Then on to member Jean Atkinson’s place for an outdoor wiener roast and a delicious birthday cake. We never did hear which birthday Willa was celebrating, but another year has rolled by.

We have our schedule for the next three months and welcome people who wish to come out and try this means of keeping fit and meeting new people while learning about the fascinating geography of our region.