I’ve been blogging about a lot of neat places lately!

We went on this really easy close-to-home hike this morning. It’s so very cool because it boasts a BIG earthquake crack in the rock that is this mountain. We saw a lot of really cool things along the way and even met a friend out for a run with his dog. I love it when that happens.

To get to the Abyss/Extension Ridge, you drive down Howard Avenue in Harewood and turn up Seventh Street. From here you drive along, past Colliery Dam Park on your right and under the overpass of the highway. A few minutes more and there is ample room to park on both sides of the road and the trails are on the left. The trails aren’t marked at the road but once you’re down the powerline access road a ways you’ll see the first sign.

Notice the bike tire tracks along the way. This happens to be an excellent place to come for a mountain bike ride as you can see from some elevated mountain bike stunts. But it’s not all about these man made bridges. The trail is bifurcated in several spots offering a choice between easy passage or a bit more steep.

The rock found here is a gravely sandstone made of river gravel being compressed and lithifying (turning into rock).  It’s been heavily (and in fact poorly) logged in the past and with only approximately 30 cm of soil covering the rock in most places, the forest is having a hard time regenerating.

Look at Lily enjoying a climb on a fallen bird tree. This dead tree was a perfect place for woodpeckers to find insects. Dead fall is an important part of the forest’s life cycle being rich in nutrients for all parts of a future growing forest. 

Arbutus trees are so stunning with their flaking bark revealing a smooth green cambium layer. 

This “crack” is touted as an earthquake fissure but it seems very localised and leaves one to wonder if it’s perhaps just a structural failure in the massif. It appears to be quite deep, maybe 15-20 meters and wide enough to fall in in some places.


Did you know that moss doesn’t grow on (live) pine trees but loves to grow on maple trees? You can hear the red breasted nuthatch in the background of this video. We could also hear a Cassin’s Vireo (I think) as well but I don’t think it ended up being caught here. (I love my Guide to BC Birds CD)


View of downtown Nanaimo from where we ate lunch. You can also see Protection Island (right) and the edge of Newcastle Island (left) just off of downtown.

Time to make some sweet potato lentil curry…. Hope you all had a great weekend as well!

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4 Responses to The Abyss

  1. lisa says:

    Oh, this kills me….we would get along SO WELL! What a beautiful place you live……that crack is the coolest!

  2. Annie says:

    I totally know, Lisa. I’ve thought that same thing reading your blog. Maybe you need a great BC adventure one of these days… after we move….

  3. kristen says:

    So cool. My kids would fall in!!

  4. Justine says:

    Bifurcated. Nice word.

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