Highs   Leave a comment

People like to get high.  This has multiple meanings, some more pejorative than others.  Well, depending on your point of view.  The Pender Islands start at sea level and for every inch of increase in elevation above low tide there is something, somewhere to behold.  To get really high on Pender there are a couple of options.  My new personal favorite is the trail up to the top of Mt. Norman. It is said that it is the journey, not the destination that is paramount.   Nahhh!  That may be true some of the time but in this case it IS the destination.  The trail up is interesting with a wide variety of plants, insects and birds, flat and steep sections of trail climbing about 800 feet above the waters below.

Starting up the trail to Mt. Norman.

The sun rising through the trees.

Getting high in the Penders, or anywhere in the Southern Gulf Islands or the San Juan Islands has its benefits.  The views from above might as well be from an airplane.  The land falls away quickly to the waters below, sounds, passages and bays.  From the top of Pender the observer can spy mountains running across the top of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington almost to the Pacific.  The entire southern edge of Vancouver Island is visible over the islands, such as Salt Spring, in between.  Directly below are bays, anchorages, homes along the shores and resort areas.  Sailboats, ferries, merchant ships, powerboats and kayakers run through these silvery blue passages.  Interestingly, many locals are upset that tankers are carrying petroleum through these passages, more than they might, since the U.S. leaderships has stifled the Keystone pipeline for supposed ecological reasons.  As a result, more of the oil from the interior of Canada will go to China instead increasing the risk of an ecological disaster in an area that is far more sensitive to a spill than anywhere along the Keystone pipeline route.  Spills along that route would be much more accessible than along the shores of these islands.  Just look at the beauty below.  In the gallery you can see two tankers moving along the designated passage close to the Penders.

North Pender viewed looking west from Mt. Norman on South Pender to its east. Confused?!

Salt Spring Island with Vancouver Island behind with North Pender in the foreground. One of the large ferries plies to waters to Schwartz Bay on Vancouver Island.

Daryn, Robin, Little Nora, Papa and Nana. Oh, and by the way, Megan!

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Posted June 27, 2012 by papaandnana in Roadtrip

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