After only four days in Vancouver – White Rock to be exact (although in my mind, the entire lower mainland is just one big built up area) – I was going rapidly crazy. Leaving Doug to sort through the mountains of stuff his parents have accumulated, I took off for a couple of hikes.
I drove out Highway 1 – what a nightmare – to the Skagit Range where I found a little bit of peace in the midst of the metropolis. I hiked up the Elk Mountain trail and carried on to Mount Thurston, surprising a black bear chewing on berries along the ridge top. The trail is steep to the top of Elk Mountain, then an easy ramble along a ridge line to Mount Thurston. After coming back and checking Bivouac, I realized that you could carry on and also hike up Mount Mercer. With some kind of car shuttle the three peaks would make a nice easy traverse.
After hiking down, I enjoyed big city anonymity and had a hamburger for dinner at a fast food place along Vedder Avenue – another wildly built up busy street, then drove out to Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park where I camped for the night.
Next morning, I was on the trail to Flora Lake, my original intention being to hike up Flora Peak from Flora Pass. Another typically steep trail which gains almost 4,000 feet in about 4 km. At Flora Pass, Flora Peak looked disappointingly bushy so, instead of turning left for Flora Peak, I went right and followed a beaten in trail to a 6,100 foot highpoint. Stunning views from this highpoint. I only had the segment of map I was on, so couldn't even hazard a guess as to all the peaks around me, but, they were beautiful, it was a peaceful and wild place and I was happy. Perhaps that's all you can hope for in life. In any case, that's enough for me.
Mount Baker From Elk Mountain