Monday, May 7, 2012

Adventure 18- Bevan Trail

Too cool for school
The trend continues. This the third cycling adventure in a row. It may be short in text and long in photos. I am feeling pretty run down today. Waking at 3 am, then not sleeping very well after, springing up as my alarm sounded at 4 am, then driving to Victoria and doing the school thing, it takes it's toll. The first day is always the hardest, and I am excited for exploring down here and getting out running and cycling on some of the islands finest trails.
She is getting braver

Still brainstorming more and more ideas, I am wanting to take Natalie on as many double track trails as we can find to practice riding her new wheels. As her confidence builds we can move on to progressively more challenging areas, and more adventures. The Bevan trail is a wonderful place for these kinds of opportunities. Kind of like the little sister to the more popular River trail/Bear Bait section on the west side of the upper Puntledge river, the Bevan trails and the River trail east are just as beautiful and for the most part forgotten about by many outdoor seekers. The Bevan is less "mountain bikey" than Bear Bait, with less elevation change and technical rooty sections. Nary a log pile or tight quick turns, just a fun double track that meanders about 4 kilometers to the Puntledge river diversion dam.
Mining history
Dusty comes everywhere. This bear was born to bike:)
This area at the turn of the century was home to the Number 7 coal mine and the complimenting village. I wish I had done more homework of the history of Bevan. It was at one time a stand alone community with its own store, church, and school. Present day Bevan includes a small cluster of rural homes and a hostel. Very little remains of the once busy mine site, aside from many concrete structures still standing. I am unsure of what these were utilized for, there are possibly dozens of such structures around the Comox Valley, either from coal mining, energy creation or sawmills. The Bevan trail appears to my novice historical eye to follow either an old rail bed or road, most likely the former. The grade is very pleasant, with a couple of climbs and descents, nothing to challenging. Natalie had to do some walking, and I got to do some climbing. Marshall came along for the ride, and was very happy to go for a swim at Palm Beach, a small sandy cove on the Puntledge. We were out for about three hours on a gorgeous Sunday, and we encountered two horseback riders and two walkers. Incredible. How many folks were at Walmart..... Just saying. I spied a few mushrooms along the way. I have not exactly decided the species, I believe it to be a type of false morel.
False Morel?
Puffball when immature
Natalie continued her habit of riding through all sorts of puddles, and some were very sticky, thick with a viscous black ooze. Remnants of the mining days. We explored the concrete structures. It is really amazing that trees probably 40 years old were growing in amongst these long forgotten relics. The entire area was once completely cleared of timber, and now the second growth is probably close to 80 years old, healthy and strong. Amazing how fast the good Mother will change a once scarred area and make it beautiful again. I love these biking adventures with my best friend. She is gaining so much confidence in herself from the cycling, and it really shows, on the trail and at home. She is more sure of herself, the way she talks and acts. She is more prone to helping out, less asking to watch t.v. Next weekend I am sure we will find ourself venturing out to find adventure on two wheels. Go find some for yourself.
The Crew having a break. 

3 comments:

  1. So glad to see you took time to share. Thanks B!

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  2. Great write up! Bevan is an interesting area, I just recently walked to the 2 old cement structures on the bevan trail, I would imagine these structures were at the main hoist/dump area of the mine head or close to it at least. I think parts of the bevan trail and other trails around the cement structures were like you said, rail grade and roads, there is a map someone made of the rail lines around the area.

    If you take the trail from the map sign that heads back to the road that comes out right by the bevan bed and breakfast there is a small cement foundation on the right, keep your eyes out for it on the trail :) Also, once you hit the cement road, go left and down there a little ways on the left is the foundation for the old bevan school. (there is a photo of it on flikr under the cumberland muesem account). If you go right once you hit the road, and round the corner to the left, there is a sign for the old bevan fire hall on the right and on the other side of the road is another set of foundations for who knows what, the sign stating what it is has been broken! I like going to bevan, i hope to make it out there again this week if all goes well. There must be more to see! The no 8 mine closer to the inland highway is another neat place, some people call it drac's castle. There are a couple cement pads and one is covering a HUGE underground room that is open, would need rope to get in, and just behind the main cement area that you can see from the road, if you walk the trail for a few seconds is some resonably extensive foundations for what I think was the place of the power house for the mine! Have fun

    chris@250explorer.com

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  3. Thanks Chris. I have been to Dracs before, but not many one the others you describe. I will have to do some more looking around! Fun stuff. Blayne.

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