Saturday, September 3, 2011

More on Old Sicamous Road / Cross Country Ski Trail Walk

Our goal? To find samples of moss.
Tonia had never walked Old Sicamous Road Trail.

Friday morning seemed like the last chance to do so with her before she returned back to Manitoba.

Along the way are some incredible lake shots to be had.

The day before, she had been out capturing pictures of light on moss at Skunk Cabbage Reach of Campbell Stream.

I know that along the Sicamous Road walk are some pristine examples of moss on rocks growing there for at least fifty years or so -- large expanses of it
False Soloman's Seal

Joaquim and I joined her on the walk – later than we wanted to get away, but early considering that we had played bridge until well past 1 a.m.

The Old Sicamous Road / Cross Country Ski Trail begins by walking up Old Pillings Road to the Trans-Canada and then clipping along the highway until the passing lane ends.

Ten yards before the cement abutment ends are two carefully placed boulders, marking the place that hikers should hop the barrier and begin the Old Sicamous Road portion of the trail.

Baby Landon has done the walk twice – so if a stroller with good shocks can do the trip, so can a senior and two first-timers (Tonia and Joaquim). When two out of three people have cameras, there are multiple long stops.
I just saw that woodpecker a minute ago!
Tonia kept positioning herself for just the right angle.

She was leaning at a forty-five degree angle while sitting on a log, down on two knees and finally right down on her stomach, and noting that she still couldn’t get the camera to get an image that was right up the bell of the tiny blue flower she had spotted on the ground.

She had  better luck with the woodpecker she is catching here.

"However did you see that?", I asked.

"I heard it first," she answered.  "That tap, tap, tap, incessantly tapping."

Joaquim spotted a tree down on the power line, just as we were 50 yards or so from getting to the bottom of the Ski Trail – a place where the CPR has a marker with 489, a signal box and two propane tanks. We scouted out the position of the tree in relation to that spot and then determined to phone BC Hydro when we got home. I didn’t think about it again until just before leaving to the festival when I thought to myself, “I wonder which of us was going to make that phone call.”

“Can you describe the location,” the man asked on the phone.

At this point, I began to sound truly Sicamousian – you know, with phrases like, “ it is just before the tunnels”, “look half way between the ramp and Johnson’s point”, “a short way past the 49 sign”, or “just at the bottom of the ski trail”, segments of directions that are clear to me, but that wouldn’t mean much to the person on the other end of the phone who was saying, “Can you tell me where abouts this would be in relation to Pilings road”.

“Pillings”, I said, correcting him twice in the conversation and in that split second, also wondering, why is it important to me that he get the name of the road right, when all he is trying to do is get the exact location for his crew to come in and take care of the tree.
"Looks like the beginning of nature's teepee poles," said Joaquim
Wyona reported that the crew did come, and knocked on her door since I had explained to him that everyone else on the property would be at the Roots and Blues Festival.

The crew reported to her that they had enough information to get there from the information on the form they had been given, and judging by the length of the time it took the truck to leave the property, it took them some time to take care of the job. Nicely done, BC hydro, since the fear of fire was high given that in the last lightening storm, over 2000 strikes of lightening hit the ground between Sicamous and Salmon Arm – so someone reported.

And, speaking of Roots and Blues ...“How was the roots and blues?”, Joaquim asked this morning.

If a person didn’t have a ticket to go in, just a drive-by to see the art installation at the gate would not be a waste of gas. A lovely proscenium arch onto which had been hammer old trumpets, saxophones, trombones, flutes, guitars – it was all there.

But more about Roots and Blues later ....


  1. This walk was so beautiful and I really loved seeing the forest take back it space after 50 years, while leaving us room to walk and enjoy. Who will join us next year?!?

  2. This year's list of participants are Glen Pilling, Landon and and Laynie Hicks, Morgan and Patrick Carter, Joaquim Camps, and Tonia Bates. One of the best parts of the trip is getting to the end and writing in the comment book that the trails people have set up. I am going to think of a more original text next year. All I could think to say this years was "Oh Canada / our home and native land...".