I had just joined the VOC and this would be my first hike with the crew. My friend Shuvi had been begging me to join for years, and now that he was about to leave the city for a few years, I had finally agreed to join in order to meet new people and have some quality outdoor time with him.
This trip was awesome for a number of reasons:
1. First time hiking with a VOC crew
2. It was called a ” beginner friendly hike” which I soon found out was not that friendly
3. It was Anne’s birthday and we would celebrate at the camp ground,
4. I had the opportunity to contribute by bringing my car.
We started the adventure early Saturday morning and set the meeting time for 7am at Waterfront station downtown (of course me and Shuvi were late and we headed out at 7:15).
Simon, Rebecca and Tom were in my car, Anne, Ted, Erica, and Reyn were in the Shuvimobile. We were making good timing on the road and decided to make a pee stop at the sacred grounds of Tim Hortons in Squamish. This is what everyone referred to as the location where “ we usually meet before hikes”.
After grabbing more caffeine we headed back on the road towards Pemberton , finally arriving at a dirt road.
We actually had no idea that we would be driving on this road for about an hour and a bit after taking a few wrong turns, and have people getting out of my car mid-way when there were big inclines, and rocks [email protected]#)(#@!() up the bottom of my car.
Finally we had reached the destination. I put on our hiking boots and headed for the 3-4 hour hike (that ended up being about 5 hours). Myself, Shuvi and Erica were walking slowly in the back while the others had headed through the forest. Not only did I not have the right shoes for the hike, but also was not use to carrying a heavy over-night bag with me while hiking. At least the terrain was beautiful: There was forest, openings where we could see the surrounding mountains and get some sun, and a logging road to finish it off.
The hike was very very very challenging for me, but definitely an adventure. We reached the hot springs around 6 pm. And I basically rolled around on the ground, stretching, and then napping. The rest of the crew was chilling, and started to make some dinner. We all sat and made our grub, drank, laughed and pigged out. I was exhausted and ready for bed.
Reyn started a fire, and the crew was heading towards the hot springs, by this time it was very dark outside. With my last ounce of energy I decided to join everyone in the hot springs…. Basically the best decision I ever made in this trip. Some of us got naked and jumped in the springs, and the stars were sooOOoooO beautiful. Living in the city, you don’t really get to see them shine so bright, it basically made my night, and the trip.
After an hour or so I was really ready for bed…. Some of the crew stayed for a while and the rest retreated for their tents. I woke up early the next morning, and I was surrounded by the huge river, trees and forest and of course the hot springs were only a few meters away. I decided to go for a morning bath in the hot springs, and then the others started waking up and me and Erica made some coffee.
Me and Erica decided to head out before the others in order to get a head start, Ted and Anne also left early because they needed to stop at the hut and pick up some gear that was left behind. The way back was not as hard because I already knew what to expect. Logging road, open air mountains followed by shaded forest. Erica joined me and we both headed out, after about 5 hours we had reached the car first!! Ted and Anne were not far behind.
After about an hour Shuvi and Reyn reached the car, followed by Simon and Ben, who said they took a wrong turn and basically hiked in the wrong direction for an hour before realizing they had made a mistake. They also mentioned that Rebecca left before them and they were worried that she had also taken the wrong turn as she has not arrived. So we decided to play the waiting game, asking every person that came out of the trail if they had seen a blonde girl hiking around alone.
After about another hour (the time was 6pm already) Ted, Simon and Reyn decided to head back into the trail to try and find Rebecca. We speculated that she probably got lost, and we would need to call search and rescue. It was getting dark and I decided to get off of the dirt road before it gets completely dark and hard to see\drive and also to tell the Pemberton police about what had happened. Shuvi would stay with his car and wait for the rest of the people. As I packed up my car with the gear and the people, Ted ran out from the trail and said they had found her. Wow, that was a huge relief.
We headed out of the dirt road, stopped at McDonalds (disgusting- but it was the only thing open) then started driving back to Van. After dropping everyone home, I got home at about 12:30 am (which from what I was told is standard VOC arrival time). All in the entire hike, hot springs, people and the experience was all amazing. I had made great friends and connected with nature, and I can’t wait for this weekend’s Rock Party!!