My plans for an early morning hike up Mount Manuel Quimper changed somewhat — I did not get started as early as expected. Shirley opted to come along with Tucker and I as well, so the three of us set out up the old logging road towards the summit.
Naturally I didn’t pay as much attention to some of the trail reports as I should have so I ended up leading us up the longer route — instead of being a little more than 4km each way I managed to turn it into a trip of nearly 6km. The elevation gain wasn’t anything too serious, about 400m. The trail we followed was well marked, even after it turned off the old road and started up the mountain itself.
I did the last couple of kilometres without Shirley, as she reached “the Mrs. DanOCan Point” shortly after leaving the old road. The Mrs. DanOCan Point is that point in any hike where the fun goes out of it for her. You can usually tell when she has reached the Mrs. DanOCan Point because any comments you make about how wonderful the scenery is are met with silence.
The highlight of the hike is the old fire lookout at the top. Built in 1951, the lookout has been abandonded for a long time, but remains open as a shelter for hikers. It was great fun reading all the markings people have left inside over the years. The views from the top of the mountain are quite nice too, of course.
After the hike we went into Victoria for a late lunch. We ended up at Spinnakers Brewpub, based on the recommendation of a friend. It was worth the journey. I enjoyed a Scottish ale and an order of fish (salmon) and chips while Shirley had a shrimp melt. The food was great and we greatly enjoyed sitting on the patio watching the float planes take off and land in the harbour.
All in all it was a great day, a perfect combination of exercise and relaxation. Two more full days in this area and more exploration to take place. We feel we’ve been experiencing a good balance of activities and relaxation. All too often on vacation we feel the pressure to “go go go” all time time and miss the whole point of leaving the schedules behind.