Friday, August 05, 2016

At the bottom of the summit

The highways and roads crossing the north end of Vancouver Island wind along the bottom of deep valleys, dodging and zig-zagging around steep mountains, searching always for the lowest possible passage, the least likely to be covered in ice for half of the year. Water shows the way. The road follows twisty streams down in the V between hills. Driving, we get our shoulder exercise, left, right, left, left, right ... There are no straight stretches.

As the crow flies, from Campbell River to Tahsis, it's 100 km; by road, it's over 150.

I was surprised, driving back towards Gold River, by a summit sign, down there in the valley.

Bull Lake Summit, Elevation 586 m., 1922 feet.

And the hills loom far above the "summit". The mountains nearby, the Tlupana group, run around 1500 to 1600 metres, a good 1000 above this little lake.

I looked it up: this is the highest point on the road from Tahsis to Gold River. It's high enough to get snow in May.

We parked and climbed down to the shore, pushing through salmonberry canes and dodging mud patches. And the lake shore rewarded us:

Water lilies.

Buckbean, Menyanthes trifoliata, in the shallows. We were too late to see the beautiful, feathery flowers.

Another water-lover: gentian, probably King gentian, Gentiana sceptrum

These were growing right at the edge of the water, with their roots in soggy mud.

Another of the ex-mystery mushrooms, Turbinellus floccosus.

Floppy edged mushroom, with pretty fly. (On the left.) And, I think, a slime mold; the reddish ball on the right.

White gilled mushroom with assorted bugs.

Just a plain white mushroom, but I liked the face on the fly.

There was more to be seen; twinflowers, blue huckleberries, probably more mushrooms, but we had to hurry on. Suppertime, and we had forgotten to eat lunch. Gold River, 16 km away, called to us. But next time I'm by, I'll plan on getting my feet muddy. And even my knees.

Where we were this time.


1 comment:

  1. The fly on the white mushroom has a very cute face and pose. :-)

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