The forecast was calling for another sunny weekend and we were both itching to get out of the city and do something outdoors. A good friend invited us for a picnic on Sunday afternoon on the beach and we really wanted to go, so whatever we were doing, we had to be back quite early on Sunday. At first we were thinking of doing something around Mt. Baker across the border. Luckily we came to our senses at around 10:30am on Saturday when we realized that the drive would take us about 3 hours + we’d need to cross the border and the hike wasn’t as short as we thought. So back to searching mode and it was getting late. I was ready to give up and just stay home for the weekend, which was a shame because we had already packed our bags and arranged a car. Then Gili suggested Brandywine Meadows.
Memory can be deceiving. When Gili suggested this hike my first reaction was saying “no way”. What I remembered was our previous hike in that area that was about 9 years ago and included our car getting over heated on the logging road, two long days of hiking and scrambling, and to top it all – a crazy bushwhack and river fording. It turned out that just going to the meadows is a different story. First of all we managed to drive almost all the way up, and just had to walk a little bit on the logging road. This section was actually amazing since the views were open and we could see Mt. Fee and other familiar peaks in the area. Neil had lots of fun running down and up the water bars and he also hiked some of the trail itself.
From the trailhead to the meadows it was pleasant hiking on a well maintained trail. When we reached the meadows we saw a few tents already set up. We took a snack break and contemplated pitching our tent there, but the bugs decided for us. Last year when we were hiking with a few families with kids to Ilal Meadows some of the kids had bug shirts on that kept the mosquitoes away. We got one for Neil and this was the first trip we brought it along. Neil happily agreed to put it on which was awesome. Alas, the short romance with this shirt only lasted five minutes in which he had lots of fun with it. Then he suddenly freaked out and demanded that we’d take it off immediately and wouldn’t hear about it afterwards.
Since it was very buggy in the meadows we decided to continue hiking further up the valley. We still had plenty of time. We started hiking at around 3pm and even though Neil walked part of the way and we took our time getting there, it was still not even 5pm. It is a short hike indeed. After hiking up a bit more we found the perfect spot for our tent. We had great views of Garibaldi and the surrounding peaks, of the route leading to Brandywine Mountain, and of a nice waterfall too.
We set up camp and Neil and Gili went to explore before it was time to cook dinner. They spent the time climbing boulders and tossing snowballs and chunks of ice into the nearby creek. While we were eating dinner, two skiers showed up to get their July turns of ‘Turns All Year’. They only went up once and the skiing didn’t look spectacular at all and very rocky too.
The night was pleasant and uneventful and we woke up to a beautiful morning. We had a leisurely breakfast before we packed up to go. All the tents in the meadows were still there, I guess they were taking their sweet time too. Neil was very interested in walking, especially with the hiking poles. He walked almost all the way to the logging road which was quite impressive. Then Gili put him in the carrier and ran most of the logging road with him in order to keep him awake. We had a quick lunch and were on our way at 1pm. Neil fell asleep in no time, and slept all the way to the Lion’s Gate Bridge.
It was a relaxing weekend in a spectacular area. We weren’t in a rush and Neil had plenty of time to hike, explore and smell the roses, or the Indian Paintbrush. We beat the traffic since we came home early and even managed to make some chocolate chip cookies before biking to our friends’ picnic on the beach.