In the past I have often recounted the glorious hikes we have through the forests and mountain slopes that surround Paradise.

I belong to a hiking group with a couple of leaders that challenge us with hikes that might lead us along narrow steep trails to see three waterfalls, or on a cliff where we can have a vision over Comox lake with the Glacier to the left and views of the mainland mountains on the right.  Great hikes.

Admittedly this year has not been the greatest hiking season in the early summer in Paradise.  A lot of cool and wet days after May.  Very unusual.  Granted the rain is what keeps our forests, lawns and fields green and lush, but there is no question that we would like Sunshine occasionally.

Last week I signed up with Tim, our hike leader ( and a good friend) for an excursion this Wednesday.  The weather forecast was for drizzle so only a few signed on.

As it turns out, this morning was gorgeous.  Brilliant sunshine, blue skies and a comfortable 20°C.  Apparently Summer had finally arrived.

So our small group set off on an easy hike through the regional Wildwood Forest park.

Unlike many of our hikes that Tim takes us on that might challenge a goat, this is an easy 10 km on well maintained trails through a mature rain forest of Douglas Fir and Cedars.

Now, Tim likes to keep up a good pace, but we had to keep calling him back stop and look around at openings in the trees at the beauty of the sun shining down through a dense rain forest environment.  We also had to stop to taste the many berries (Salmon berries, black berries, alder berries etc)  that could be plucked along the trail.    Fortunately Tim’s wife Jill, who was on the hike, knows so many of the plants and could point out all the dozens of plants we saw.

Now many of you, who do not live here, would think that this hike would be infested with swarms of mosquitos, but for some reason, I expect the cool evenings, there are no biting bugs and lots of birds to take care of those that do exist.

Anyway… I am getting to the point of this particular blog.   It is not uncommon when we are hiking through our forest and mountain trails to come across abandoned cars,  forestry machines and old mining equipment overgrown by the forest.  Today Tim took us to the edge of the park to show us this abandoned fishing boat that is miles from the ocean.  It is beside a narrow road and not hidden in the forest.  How it got there no one knows.

Despite the cool and wet summer we have been experiencing, this is still Paradise.