This past weekend, John and I went on an awesome hike in Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park. After parking our car at the trailhead, we hiked 5.5 kilometers and about 250 vertical meters to Greendrop Lake. We encountered many different types of terrain and many different kinds of hikers. Here are our observations about what we recommend as a pretty darn fantastic overnight camping experience:
John & Michelle’s Favourite Things About the Hike
1. Diverse Terrain. The trail literally had it all. From typical Pacific Northwest muddy rainforest to rockslides that we had to scamper across to raging creeks that washed out the trail to a harrowing rocky pathway to Mordor or wherever the Gunslinger is headed, the trail really ran the gamut of sensation. It was listed as an intermediate hike, and you never knew what to expect.
2. Path-Plotting Creativity. As mentioned above, much of the trail – especially the half-hour before arriving at Greendrop Lake – was washed out by an overflowing and raging Post Creek. This inspired some pretty creative trail navigation, which invariably involved scurrying across logs acting as makeshift bridges, leaping across rapids and, one time, going about 300 meters in the wrong direction before serendipitously finding the path back to the lake.
3. The Destination (See Photos). Clearly, John and I had a really, really awesome campsite. It was secluded (until a really nice couple and their dogs arrived nextdoor), was a meter away from the icy blue lake, and had a gorgeous view of a cascading waterfall that fed the lake from the top of the mountain. In spite of our tent being pitched on an angle – which made sleeping fairly hilarious – it was the perfect campsite.
John and Michelle’s Observations of the Hiking Community
Garbarge-Throwing Partyers. John and I picked up our fair-share of litter along the trail. Shame on you, “hikers” – and we use the term loosely because camping and hiking should involve an instinctual love for and appreciation of nature, which you just don’t seem to have. Judging by the cans and wrappers that we saw along the way, what you do have is a love of beer and candy.
Danger Family Nature Awesome! Should an eight-year-old boy be balancing three feet above raging water on a wobbly and slippery log? According to some families (and, for the record, John’s dad would’ve been on this list back in the day), absolutely! For this is a fantastic way to build character and an appreciative respect for Mother Nature (or absolute fear)…either way, no one in this group is littering!
Team Hardcore. Maybe you walk across boulders in barefoot running shoes. Or perhaps you bushwhack your way past the end of the trail with hopes of finding “Hicks Service Road.” Or perhaps you get a bit lost, but intuitively know that a creek comes from a lake, so you just walk in waist-deep water up the creek until you arrive at your destination. And maybe you arrive at your destination, only to realize that all the camping spots are taken, so you eat your dinner and then hike all the way back to the first lake, Lindeman, only to return the next day so that you can find some fish in Greendrop. #hardcoreawesome
Friendly Folk. Most people we met fit into this category quite nicely. Nearly everyone said “hello” as we past, sure. But it’s the Friendly Folk who stopped to chat a bit. During the big incline at the beginning of the trail, a young lad encouraged us with a nice “you’re almost there!” Very friendly.
Jeans in the Wilderness. You read on the Internets that the first leg of the hike – to Lindeman Lake – is a “day hike” with a few camping spots. This informs your wardrobe choice as well as your decision to hike sans-eau. Also, when juxtaposed to people hiking in gear to Greendrop Lake (The Bornks!), it makes the latter folk seem so much more hardcore.
What John and Michelle Learned About Each Other
John: Michelle Bornk! is a good camper with a ton of spirit and mettle. What I learned about her is that she cannot yet read my mind during camping experiences. There were a few times when, for example, I would be holding the tarp or tent fly and then would look at her. She would smile and say, “Hi!” What I was thinking about and hoping for, though, was for a silent acknowledgement that it was time to shake out and fold up our campsite. These little nuances will take care of themselves following future forays into the wilderness. Exciting!
Michelle: John is an experienced camper, whom I can learn a lot from. He also has a lot of hilarious stories from childhood camping expeditions, which give me a hilarious glimpse into his past, his family, and who he is today. I also learned that John Horn is a man on a mission. There would be numerous times when I would have to ‘remind’ John that I was not directly behind him (usually by yelling or throwing things), as he would be so focused on making it to our destination. Perhaps, at the end of the day, I have learned that I should bring a whistle!