June 12, 2016

Cape Roger Shore Walk

Saturday was mostly rain, so when the clouds opened up Sunday morning, it paved the way for a morning hike at Cape Roger Shore Walk, also called the Roger Curtis Sea Walk, on the southwest corner of Bowen Island – about a 15 minute drive from Snug Cove – where the ferry berths.

It was actually my first hike for the summer where I was wearing a pair of Tevas.  It did pay later to take a windbreaker cause any beach can be chillingly windy no matter how sunny, especially in Canadian latitudes.

How to get there if you don’t have your own wheels.  Once you land in Bowen Island (a mere 20 minutes sail from Horseshoe Bay Ferry terminal in West Vancouver), take the bus to Bluewater (call 604-947-0229 for schedule information).  The bus always wait for the BC Ferry no matter how late.  Your Compass bus pass will work.

Get off at Whitesails Drive and Reef Street , walk south on Whitesails till you hit Cape Drive – veer right – then turn right on Collingwood Lane.  Keep on walking till you see the water and the end of the road - a small parking lot.  The start of the trail is at your left.  There is an unofficial short trail on the right side which affords good views of Keats Island and a mossy knoll perfect for a relaxing stream of thoughts.

Back to the left - it is an easy hike with footbridges breaking off to a winding earth path - always hugging the shore.  Towards Cape Roger Curtis Lighthouse, at a leisurely pace, it will take you 30 minutes – at a regular stroll perhaps 15 minutes.  Midway there is the pebbly Pebbly Beach, officially named Roger Curtis Beach, which even at the height of summer has refrigerator cold water.

One can spot deers, and if you are lucky a slithering garter snake making a dash across the trail, or simply nonchalantly sunbathing.  Don’t worry, they are not venomous.  But they can strike and bite if you get too friendly.  They prefer to be ignored.  Snotty sort ...

Finally, after 10 minutes, land’s end with a white tower – ette ? ?

The lighthouse does not appear to be one.  In fact it looks like a 15 foot white gas propane tank standing upright at the end of a 20 meter narrow rocky strip.  

There is a makeshift bench good for a cozy two, quite comfortable actually, at the start of the strip, next to a tree (leftmost in above image).

 A bit disappointing

The best thing about the Cape Roger Shore Walk is it is still quiet – not much foot or dog traffic.  It is scenic in spite of the meh meh lighthouse and the occasional jarring aluminum boat gangways.  And one can plan on a day trip to and from Vancouver.  Just bring your own food and drinks.

There are those pesky bee-like yellow wasps that rudely hangs around your food - so beware - they can sting.  Best way to avoid these gatecrashers - set up their own meal a few feet away - but  a few can't be fooled.  

Alternatively, used sliced cucumbers, which has an acidity that repels those wasps.  Also avoid wearing bright colors like yellow or the wasps will think you are a flower. See Keep Yellow Jackets Away 

For a map of Bowen Island Trails, see http://bowentrails.ca/

For everything Bowen, including Bus and Ferry schedules, see https://www.tourismbowenisland.com/

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