Nature Vancouver Summer Camp 2014 - E.C. Manning Provincial Park
July 13-20 and July 20-27
The 2014 summer camp was held at E.C. Manning Provincial Park. We're accepting stories for this page and for publication in Discovery, and photos for Photo Gallery - please send contributions to Bill Kinkaid
Week One campers - photo by Nigel
Nature Vancouver Summer Camp, Week 1, Entertainment
by Daryl Sturdy
In week one, we had a rich entertainment program, thanks to the many people who stepped forward to stop the flow of awful puns by yours truly. It was very rewarding to see the range of talents hiding under bushels. In no particular order – Elena Klein sounding like she'd been there herself, gave a very humorous rendition of Les Barker's Amnesia. Gordon Squire and Rob Leeson reached way back to the early days of Johnny Carson and Jack Webb, to delight us with the alliterative, Copper Clapper Caper. Elly surprised me and, I imagine, others with her solo ukelele piece,Spanish Melody. One can only imagine what musical heights she will have reached by next year. Lorraine Jarvis mesmerized us with a moving flute solo, showing us the effect of the space on the our hearing, as she started off in the distance and slowly moved closer. Boudie van Oldenborgh brought out his polished, Dog and Pony Show, regaling us with harmonica music and jokes, all with a straight face. Len Beatty, Judy Radke, Lorraine Jarvis and Kathy Booth organized a very well attended and spirited song circle, accompanied by Lorraine on flute and Len on ukelele. Paul Vasicek had his arm twisted and was finally persuaded to tell us a very funny story featuring an academically challenged Boris. If you're ever at a loss for an answer, try 21. Adding to the bounteous supply of humour were Fred Wickens and the aforementioned Len Beatty.
by Viveka Ohman, Week Two
On Friday July 25th a friend and I decided to hike to Poland Lake as part of the scheduled hikes for Nature Vancouver’s Summer Camp at Manning Park. It was an overcast day with a bit of drizzle but being generally familiar with the weather of the coastal mountains I knew there was a good possibility that the clouds would lift so we could enjoy some nice views of the mountains. It was a long and steep hike, some 17 km return so, a full day. After hiking in to Poland Lake, enjoying the views and of course our lunch we decided to hike slowly back and I stress slowly so we wouldn’t miss any birds or animals. That I would have an encounter with the big burly kind never entered my mind.
As we climbed towards the ski hill coming around on the service road from behind the tows we saw a small Black bear and her chestnut coloured cub so small he could fit into your kitchen sink. She left as soon as she sniffed my presence with the little guy tottering off behind her sometimes running to keep up – so adorable. That would be my sighting for the day or so I thought. I was ahead of my friend but only by a minute or so. Finally we were on our way down, the clouds lifted as predicted and we were able to soak in the magnificent views . Ambling on we delighted in seeing flowers and butterflies on the side of the trail, such as the paintbrush, lupines, daisies and cinquefoil, sulphurs, whites and fritillaries accompanied by Gray jays. We loved it.
By now I was almost a minute ahead of my friend approaching the last bend in the trail, prior to dropping down about 2 km from Starwberry Flats and, knowing the creek would be there decided this is where we could enjoy a water break before finishing. Now that would not happen! As I came around the bend there appeared to be a big dark boulder about 20’to 30’ away that was not there when we came up. Before I could process what I was seeing it turned around and I was face to face with a 400 lbto 450Lb or so boar Black bear with muscels rippling across his shoulders and upper arms that made me freeze in my tracks. Oh d...sh... plus other explitatives which I cannot include in this article for fear of offending the reader, however the underlying message in my brain was a repeated be calm sensing the panic rising up in me. He stood there and stared at me with absolutely no fear. This was his turf and I was the intruder! It all registered so fast in my brain as to what I should and should not do . It would make a good picture but forget that, and then how do I get out of here? At first I made myself out to be as big as I could and yelled at him where upon he ambled up the hill only to return. Again I yelled at him. He slowly retreated but stayed close by in the bushes. Looking to my right I knew that I could slide down the 30’ to 40’ embankment onto a paved road paralleling the trail and hike back the remaining few km to Strawberry Flats. I slid part way down and waited for what seemed to be a very long time but only a minute or so for my friend to appear who said upon seeing me. “What are you doing down there?” I replied “there is a bear in the shrubbery not far from you and he is big so let’s slide down here and leave him alone. She looked at me then down at the embankment and said “Really you are kidding!” To which I responded a big No! It is the safest way because he isn’t scared and I don’t want to take a chance with him” “Well if you think so but I still don’t see him” she says to which I replied ” I know but he is watching us”. That was enough and we both carefully slid down the bank leaving seat prints along the way that are still there as far as I know. We then walked back about a mile on the road relieved to see our cars, with Sandy asking again “How big?”
I don’t know the answer to how one should respond in a situation like this but I would not have played dead – make noise, make yourself appear big, don’t show any fear and back away facing the animal. Hopefully things will work out as they did for us. This was my first and hopefully last encounter with the big burly kind, though I’ve seen many bears on hikes before but never this close and never as a surprise and never as big . I had let me guard down after seeing the sow and cub and thought that was it for the day. We were free of any more sightings and was I wrong! When you are both surprised this is where problems may arise with the outcome being so very different than what we thankfully experienced. Yelling at the animal may or may not work as it can also instill fear and aggression. I’ve read that talking to them may also work as will bear bangers and peppar spray if attacked. Still after all these years of hiking one never knows what one may meet just around the bend on the trail so it is wise to be as prepared as possible as I will never forget this encounter.
(page updated 26 October 2014)
|Manning Park Camp Application Form||148.32 KB|
|List of recommended equipment||46.77 KB|
|PLAN OF LONE DUCK CAMPGROUND||356.26 KB|
|FACILITIES AT MANNING PARK (pdf format)||53.14 KB|
|TRIPS AT MANNING PARK (pdf format)||88.94 KB|
|EASIER TRAILS IN MANNING PARK||20.5 KB|
|TRIPS BY DIFFICULTY.pdf||40.81 KB|
|Plant list from Nature Vancouver weekend trip July 2006 (Excel file)||50 KB|