Monday, November 12, 2012

Adventure 44-Nymph Fall Regional Park

Fish Ladder
Holy smokes did we ever get a quick burst of winter this weekend. We awoke to a dusting of snow on the ground around the house on Remembrance Day. Big shock to most to have snow this early in November, as we don't usually have any snow until December. Natalie was invited to participate in a choir performance in Courtenay for the Remembrance Day ceremony, so we bundled up in anticipation of standing out in the cold weather. And it was pretty chilly. Natalie did really well and sung in the choir, each experiencing the emotions of the day in our own ways. I was really feeling it, such pride with the knowledge that my grandfather and great grandfather served for Canada in the World Wars. The ceremony was really well done, and soon we were heading back to the vehicle. We discussed doing our adventure after-word that morning, but with already chilled bones, we opted out and re-scheduled for the next day.
Candid shot.
The choices for adventures are really starting to get tougher. With the ho-hum fall weather, and short days, motivation is waning. I am struggling to figure it out every weekend. Maybe I am over-thinking making the choice. We have so many parks around, and beaches that have yet to be experienced. We only have seven left to wind down this year long challenge, so the easier I make it, the better chance we won't skip any days and finish it up. Nymph Falls was on the original list, but it seemed almost too easy. Finally after all these weeks, it was time to explore this park off Forbidden Plateau road. First thing I realized upon leaving for our adventure was my camera battery was dead. I think Natalie was using it and left it turned on for too long, and I failed to check. Steve Harris's quote "Two is one, one is none" plays in my head, and having my iphone gave me redundancy and allowed me to still take pictures. If the quality isn't quite to par, that is the reason.
Nestled between Forbidden Plateau road and the Puntledge River, Nymph Falls envelopes pretty river vistas, large second growth Douglas fir and red cedar forest, hiking trails and mountain biking routes. We stuck to the hiking trails, that I would offer are wheelchair accessible. Wide and compacted gravel make for pushing a child buggy a snap. The park is for the most part a level landscape, with few moderate hills to get down to riverside. As the name suggests there is a pretty waterfall, actually more of a cascade than a true fall, a sculpted fish ladder to help salmon and trout to ascend the fall to the upriver spawning grounds. Trails criss-cross the park and connect with the B.C. Hydro lands to the west, and mountain bike rider built trails on Crown Land that continue under the Inland Island highway to the east. I have found some tricky stunts while out exploring these trails including a teeter totter that scared the heck out of me.
A certain bunny?

Natalie and I spent our time alternating between running races and looking for symbols in the rocks and stumps. We walked cross-country and along the main trails. We walked out on the rocks and looked for salmon in the pools. Many folks were out and about in the park, surprising considering the weather. While not really awful, it was pretty cold. The rain held off for the most part so our adventure was a dry one. Natalie tired of the cold pretty quickly so we cut the walk short and vacated back to the truck.
B-girl stance
I am looking forward to the time when Natalie is more sure on her bike and she can accompany me on these trails. This area is probably as close to beginner riding as we have in the Valley. While I don't usually frequent the typical places that the crowds do, Nymph Falls is a popular place for summer swimming too. Go Find Adventure in an area park, regardless of the season.

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