Hiking Brown Ridge on Saturna Island

The August morning is overcast but looks like it will open up into a brilliant day. We park off to the side and pull out our day packs to hike Brown Ridge. A deer looks up from browsing.

The day is warm but not unreasonably hot. This grassy windswept ridge runs along the southwest of Saturna Island and offers a view of spectacular proportions. It has to be one of my favourite sky-walking trails.

Are you ready? Make sure you have your laces tied up and watch your step.

Ah, look where we have been?

Should we take a short break?

Part of the goat trail is in the trees.

And I do mean goat trail. There are about a hundred feral goats living on the ridge. We didn’t see any but we did smell them every once in awhile. Of course they may have sensed that my hiking partner was armed and kept their distance.

They did leave us a great trail to use though.

I like to look both ways when hiking. It is an old habit from when I was young and hiking in isolated areas. Things always look so different on the way back and if you don’t look as you go it is easier to get lost. However in this setting, the natural markers are so pronounced it is not really a consideration.

The day is calm but these trees must survive hurricane force winds during winter storms.

Some are not so lucky.

Others crouch low after having their tops knocked off.

Today the view hides these hardships.

At least almost… the lean of the staggered fir trees  are ever-present.

We have walked an hour and a half. The trail continues but we know that we have gone far enough for today. It is time for a snack and to make our way back. The return trip goes much quicker as we seldom stop to take photographs. Finally in the shade of the trees again, we take another break.

My hiking partner has not uttered one complaint. In fact, he has lead most of the hike while pointing out interesting discoveries as we go. But now I look over and realize he is one tuckered boy…

We sit a bit longer and I dig through our supplies for some fruit leather while encouraging us both to drink more water. Finally, revived we zip through the last 30 minutes and dig into a stash of chocolate that was left in the truck. Yes! A full 2.5 hours hiking on Brown Ridge. Amazing.

Well are you ready for a nap? Thanks for coming with us. It has been a pleasure to have you along.

Sprout question: What is your favourite sky-walking trail?

© 2011 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

FromMayne Island,British Columbia,Canada

Terrill Welch online Gallery at http://terrillwelchartist.com

27 thoughts on “Hiking Brown Ridge on Saturna Island

  1. My favorite sky-walking are along the Mediterranean Sea: The Cornador walk in the west of the island of Mallorca and the “Chemin de Cretes” near Marseille, France. Thank you for sharing this wonderful tour!

  2. That was a good workout Terrill. I’ve been thinking it’s time to get out and HIKE! I love the photos too, especially the deer. My favorite hiking trails are in the Jemez Mts of northern New Mexico. Did a lot of it back in the 80’s. There’s nothing quite like a day hike into the sacred nub of natural settings, and a soak in a hot springs. . . .especially in winter, well we cross country skiied in then. Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us. It was a refreshing break and much appreciated.

    • I hope you had your water bottle handy Alison. Good to keep hydrated 🙂 We see so many deer I forget that they are still a novelty to others. This one was particularly calm and quiet. The trails in the Jemez Mts of northern New Mexico sound like a perfect sky-walk. Hum, I am going to have to add them to my list of researching great places to hike. So glad you could join us and wishing you the best with the rest of your week!

  3. Terrill – Thank you so much for taking us along It was fun to see the journey through your eyes. And while we didn’t get pooped out like “one tuckered boy,” I can well imagine that you were both exhausted after your adventure.

    Sprout question: What is your favorite sky-walking trail?

    With nary a doubt, it’s the ridge that spans the entire length of Loch Ness.

    • Yes Laurie we were both happy to spend a bit of time reading our books in the cool quiet of our room that particular afternoon. I find when I am doing a photo shoot it is a little like yoga. I am stretched out in these odd positions hold, holding and then releasing. It also requires skilled breath work in order to keep the camera still when taking hand-held shots… which is what I mostly do. So a hike will have taken longer but I will have worked harder than if I just walked it. Funny how that is.

      The Loch Ness ridge hey? I think I am going to have to update this post and put in all these great suggestions with links so we can all go exploring. Thanks for giving us this one Laurie.

  4. Stunning scenery! I always appreciate a hilltop view of the water.
    I miss hills…hiking…My favorites are Caribbean hikes in the rainforests, and also in the Smokey Mountains.
    Where I live now, it’s flat and way too hot for man or beast out there! When cooler weather comes, we’ll be walking on the beach and at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.

    • Stephanie me too! Sky and water from hilltop or airplane get my undivided attention. I am sure you will be most appreciative of cooler weather. Thanks for offering us the Caribbean hikes and Smokey Mountains. I am ready to put on my shoes and head out just at that the thought.

  5. A deluge of start-of-school responsibilities both professionally and domestically have curtailed our plans to embark on a brief seaside vacation this year. Heck, September is now only a week away and soon it’ll be Halloween decorations, apple pies, leaves changing color and that delightful fall weather. Yet, even in its fleeting incarnation you have treated me here to what is just bout the maximum one can derive from scenic wonderments and outdoor beauty. When God created the world, he told his subordinates: “There’s a place, an island in the Pacific northwest that one day will be called by the English speaking settlers there, “Mayne Island,” and there I will offer to the human race the most beautiful display of nature on the planet.”

    God kept his word, and lo and behold the tour you gave me today is prood parcel. Sure some spring water would be nice, and an hour or so of relaxation. Previous to this, I well recall a mountain hike in teh Appalachians way back when in my early 20’s camping with friends.

    • Ah, a mountain hike in the Appalachians… sounds great Sam. Sorry to hear you had to forgo your seaside vacation. Glad I could offer a small tastes of what you long for Sam. Oh! One of God’s angels is whispering…. “psst! it is Saturna…. Saturna Island in these photographs.” I can see God shrugging and mumbling “let’s not confuse them. If they manage to Mayne Island, they will have no trouble sorting out what is where.” So glad you enjoyed the hike and thank you Sam for your imaginative story and kind words.

  6. Pingback: Hiking in the Islands of the Pacific Northwest | The Biking Architect

  7. Terrill,

    I must have gotten lost on the path, the view is so intoxicating! Thank you for sharing such a beautiful adventure. I love the second photograph, I see a painting in your future.

    At the moment this is no sky view trail… things here are fairly low…

  8. arrow had the best time! looks like you two had lots of fun and the weather was amazing! thanks so much for taking him on a great adventure. not everyone is so blessed to enjoy these things.

    • Tina, it reminded me of last summer when I went with all of you to the property. I had such a good time on both vacations. However, there is something extra nice about one-on-one time. Arrow is an excellent traveling companion and I would do it again in a minute! I’m glad he enjoyed the trip as well.

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