Now when Meagan set up this site for me it allowed me to philosophize about life here in Comox Valley.  It did not really matter if you read my blog through or not, I just enjoyed the opportunity to express myself.  Unfortunately I do not have the writing chops that Meagan has (which took her into a journalistic career)  but I try.  Anyway… enough, already.  It was a Paradise day today.

When we came to the Valley, we soon joined Probus, a club which had a hiking group which I signed up for.  Over the years I have followed this guy, who turned into a good friend, on many hikes up and down the Island.  Tim is a tall guy who strode out and had to stop many times for the rest of us to keep up.  I prided myself that I was one of the guys who could keep up with him.

Tim’s wife is a wonderful lady who keeps slowing down the pace of the hike because she wants to take photos of the fabulous scenery that we almost take for granted on our trails.  Tim always complained that Jill was slowing down the group (a mix of seniors from our club).  Nevertheless, he always sourced out trails that took us to awesome sights, such as a Comox lake viewpoint or an ancient Cedar tree 2 meters in diameter.

Our club does 2 hikes a month (except in the really snowy winter)  and Tim would always test the route a few days before by himself to make sure that there was no issues with it.

This winter Tim was diagnosed with cancer…..  it happens.   So another guy and I agreed to try and take over leading the club hikes.  Problem is that all the hikes I would take with him I just followed him and chatted with the friends.  Not necessarily paying strict attention, or charting the trails and the turns.

A couple of years ago, Tim gave me a Garmin trail GPS unit (he is a retired banker and could never figure out how to use it).  So I have been recording hikes led by members who knew routes, so that I could follow them in the future.  Imagine me in the future walking along a forest trail with a GPS unit in front of my face, tripping over roots.

Last week I decided to lead the group next week on what should be an easy trail, following Rosewall Creek.  This an 8 km trail through the shaded woods that culminates with a waterfall view.  Actually a complicated trail with roots and scrambling over downed trees, but not a lot of vertical.  I decided to do what Tim would always do and test the hike today.  We were at a golf function last night and I asked Tim if he would like to join me today, as he seemed to be feeling great after his round of golf.

Beautiful day today, and the trail was a little more difficult than I remembered, but not that bad.  Tim and I were making good time but I realized that he was struggling a bit.  Now he is not yet taking chemo or radiation but it was obvious that he was not the guy I have known for the last 7 years.  So we just enjoyed a hike through a rain forest where you could easily pause just to enjoy the gorgeous view of a river and the trees.    Granted, even I had a problem scrambling over the rocks and limbs at the end of the hike to view the falls which he insisted we try.

I will be leading maybe a dozen members next week on the same hike but I think today was the best.