My Bucket List is not grandiose – just a couple of small things that I feel I must do before I kick the proverbial fatal vessel. Last Sunday, 13 Sept 2015, I managed to tick off one on my list. My first attempt to reach Cheam Peak in June 2011 had been abandoned when my Honda CRV got stuck on some rather large stones which got jammed under the side rails (to my mind these side rails serve only a cosmetic purpose as the vehicle is not really so much off the ground!). It took me more than a year to get rid of the side rails, thus giving the vehicle more ground clearance. On my next drive, I arrived at the start of the trail just as the sun was setting, so I took a few desultory photos and headed back down, pleased to know that my Honda could now tackle the 15 km of rough 4WD terrain. Though it was the thirteenth day of the month last Sunday, my luck held and I got really lucky this third time around. The weather was perfect and I could complete the 9.5 km round trip with a 600 m height gain comfortably. Leaving the car at 2:40 pm, I arrived at the summit rocks at 5:20 pm after stopping often to take pictures and to photograph a black bear grazing in a meadow off the trail. A very stiff wind chilled my bones at the top but the views down to the Fraser Valley were awesome. A kestrel entertained me as I made my way down and a family of blue grouse let me approach them quite close as I neared the parking lot in the semi dark at 7:30 pm. The autumn like colours on the slopes had been gorgeous all afternoon and I felt blessed as I drove back down the dirt road in the dark, the last one off Cheam Peak.
Link to video of the grouse that I saw: