We planned to leave our house at 6:30am but I felt so bad that I decided to do a Covid 19 rapid test and that took 15 minutes so Carla started driving the Neurotic Jeep at 6:45. Roads were empty, Lions Gate was empty, and it was drizzling very slightly. We arrived at the Roe Bridge at 8:45 just as we predicted. Drive was uneventful except Jeep falsely claimed, as usual, that one of its tires was a bit flat.
We could not drive across the Roe bridge because of various barriers, the same ones we saw last year. I cannot understand why they would take out a usable bridge, put in a replacement bridge, then severely deactivate the road so nobody could drive it.
At around 1 km from the bridge we saw a large deer. Mrs Venison was very close to us, maybe 4 meters away. Carla thought it might attack us but we had our pointy ski poles to defend ourselves and I know that deer are mostly vegetarians, though they do enjoy a tasty mouse from time to time. We figured that she had babies just back in the bush and they do tend to defend their kids.
We walked some more and after 4.6 km with average walking speed 2.6 km/hr we were at the trail head where we could have driven three years ago. Here we met four people coming down from the hut. They said that they had very much enjoyed the time up there and that there was still firewood and an abandoned sleeping bag.
At this point it got snowy and we went slower. We got lost briefly around Dragonfly Lake due to the lack of trail markers and because we were following the tracks of the gang of four who also got lost there. We decided it was time to have a leisurely lunch. We had traveled 1.7 km since the trail head averaging only 0.8 km/hr. The snow slowed us a bit but trying to find the trail slowed us the most. We should put up a few dozen more trail markers this summer.
We decided that at the rate we were going we would reach the hut in three hours but then we would be too tired to go home, so we would end up sharing the abandoned sleeping bag and using up lots of firewood. It would be fun but only type two fun. So we turned around. Back at the jeep we found a group of five people with ice axes and snowshoes who had just come back from climbing Cypress the Mountain. We also met somebody up there on a motorcycle who had no trouble getting to the Cypress turnoff, crossing numerous cross ditches.
What did we accomplish? We got some exercise. We figured out that the trail needs more trail markers and a bit of devils club pruning. The road could be improved by a few people with avalanche shovels. We heard that there is still firewood but I hope VOC gets our act together to find some more this summer before forest fire season. We didn’t get to test the solar lighting or the outhouses or empty the money box. Carla wants to go back, tent at the trailhead, after the show has melted more. And we won’t forget the camera.
If my passengers were paying for gas, the Jeep used $64, which would have been $16 per passenger.