Today was mostly overcast so not a good day for long views. I decided that we would do a waterfalls hike. I have a library ebook called Popular Day Hikes On Vancouver Island that recommended the loop trail that goes up Holland Creek in the nearby town of Ladysmith. On the way back we back a short stop in the town of Chemainus to check out some of the murals for which it is famous (at least its brochures say it is).
We did the yellow trail in the clockwise direction and most of the brown trail at the bottom, which was supposed to go to a good viewpoint but was a bit of a dud. Altogether the GPS said we did about 7 km.
Someone had carved up one of the boulders in the parking lot.
The part of the trail until we got to the falls was mainly a walk in the ferns and tall trees.
Most of the time we were a long way above the creek.
We wondered why this creature was there.
Lots of ups and downs as we followed the terrain of the side of the valley.
I am not sure if the clear drops on this fungus are sap or water. It is pretty dry around here.
Some of the steeper dropoffs had ropes.
After a steep climb we got to the official viewpoint of Crystal Falls. It was underwhelming.
Just by chance, at the bottom of the climb by the falls, we had seen two girls take their dogs off the trail into the creek. At the time I just thought they were playing. Up at the viewpoint we heard them and looked down to see them at the falls base. Back down the hill we went.
This is where you had to know to go, to get to the falls.
Working our way up the creek.
That’s more like it.
There were some kids fishing in the pool as well (off to the left, below).
Time for a photosphere. As I was perched on a rock trying to take it, one of the girls figured that this was a great time to wade out into the pool. I waited a while for her to move but finally gave up and took the required shots.
Look for Jennie’s disembodied hand, as she moved during the shots.
Out and back up the hill.
Looking down the zigzags.
The rest of the bottom part of the loop looked like an old (steep) road.
We thought that we would have lunch at the viewpoint at the top of the side trail. The trail just ran up a hydro right of way.
We took a few pauses as it was steep, with loose gravel.
Found some even redder ones.
About 2/3 of the way up I decided that I would go on ahead and see if it was really worth it. It was not. It was billed as a view of the ocean but the entire foreground was taken up by the houses of Ladysmith. We headed back down.
It looked like even this area was soon to be condos.
Back on the main trail we found a bench across from one of the dams, for lunch.
This side of the loop was flat and smooth. This part was even billed as wheel chair accessible.
But you couldn’t see anything. The creek was at least 100 feet below us, mostly hidden by the trees.
Then we had to walk behind some houses.
For the very last section we took a lot of steps back down to the creek.
I guess this was an old bridge.
And soon we were back to the car and off to Chemainus.
We stopped at Waterwheel Park to check out the visitors center.
Strangely, it was closed on Sundays. The museum next door had a few brochures, and some interesting roof beams.
After the hike, I had thought that we would just drive around to check out the murals but since most of them were in a small area of downtown we decided to walk.
Lots of big ones.
Lots of interesting buildings as well.
Some very small ones.
An alley way led to the “Secret Garden”.
The yellow footsteps led you to all the murals.
Back out on the streets.
This one seemed to have a place of honour on main street with a garden in front.
There were a lot more but that is enough for now.
We resisted having ice cream in Chemainus for about $5 a pop. Instead we went back to the RV and had some of our own that was about that much for a whole box.