Twelve of us ventured forth Nov. 2 on Charlotte Sellers’ “mystery” field trip, which proved to be just that, as we were enveloped in fog the moment we began hiking from China Creek Road. Char knew her way, of course, and en route we encountered a nicely fossilized leaf, a concealed geocache, a few crossbills, fresh bear scat, several bear claw markings on trees, as well as the ubiquitous Lactarius deliciosus mushrooms.
As we hiked ever higher the fog was replaced by rain, then sleet, and finally snow! Toques and hoods at the ready, we enjoyed this first taste of winter as we approached our destination point, a small, picturesque and iced-over pond. Three other less hardy but much appreciated Vermilion Forks Field Naturalists had already arrived by road and had a welcoming campfire started.
By the time we hikers had taken twenty minutes to explore the perimeter of the pond, the fire was blazing, ready to warm us and cook our respective lunches. We used fallen logs for benches and enjoyed the luxury of a few lawn chairs, while we heated smoky tea in a large tin can in the embers of the fire.
We lingered awhile, reluctant to leave our cozy circle, but eventually pushed forward in the (still) snowy conditions to make our way back down to our vehicles. This was a most enjoyable trek and we hope to repeat it, perhaps in the spring, when we are more likely to appreciate the great views that Charlotte assures us are visible on clearer days!
The next meeting of the Vermilion Forks Naturalists, will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m., at the Riverside Centre.
We will host a special guest for the evening ~ a mine engineer from Copper Mountain will talk about the mining operation. Please join us for an educational evening!
The next scheduled field trip will be up a hike up Stemwinder Mountain. On Nov. 16, we will embark upon a moderate two to three hour hike. Bring a lunch and we’ll have a fire after the hike. Meet at Billy’s Restaurant at 10 a.m. to carpool.
Please call Janis at 295-7560 for more information or to confirm attendance. Non-members welcome!