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Hiking Vancouver Island

Day 30: Pub-to-Pub Hike or Bust!

Distance Walked: 9.14 km
Walking Time: 2.5 hrs
Pubs: Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company and The Black Goose Inn
Route: Easy

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Richard and I had unanimously agreed that the final day of our #30hikesin30days Challenge should be the Oyster River Pub-to-Pub Hike near Courtney, BC. What a perfect way to walk and celebrate at the same time, right?! Errr, except for one small detail. We hadn’t realized that The Salmon Point Bar-Restaurant had been destroyed by fire over a year ago, and has not yet been rebuilt.

Not easily deterred, we decided to create our own, more local version of this hike. The Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company is near to us, has a great menu and socially-distanced outdoor seating. It is 2.9 km away from The Black Goose Inn, another of our favourite pubs, that also happens to have awesome food and outdoor seating with a view. Our basic route is shown above. Easy-peasy!

Making this final hike even more enjoyable, a few friends came out to join us. The feature photo shows our crew at Arrowsmith Brewery just before we set out. Kevin (green shirt), Kaylee (labradoodle), Richard and I walked from our homes, adding an extra 3.5 kilometres round trip. Sadly, this route was mostly roadside. But as you can see below, there was a bit of variety and constantly changing scenery.

With good friends and engaging conversation, it’s amazing just how quickly 2.9 kilometres slide by. Before we knew it, we were enjoying lunch and more drinks at our next pub. In another blink of an eye, our meal was finished, our return hike was completed, and our 30 hikes challenge was over (which was a very bittersweet feeling).

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Next week, I will do a wrap-up post mentioning some of the observations that Richard and I have made along the way. If you have any questions that you would like us to address, or if you have any of your own hiking anecdotes to share, please let us know in the comments below.

Walking in nature has been shown to reduce stress, better your mood, increase creativity, improve concentration, boost your immune system and quicken recovery from illness (amongst many other physical and mental health benefits). You can read more here, here and here…for starters. The research in this field is endless.

Our Total Distance Walked for this Challenge:
323.34 km (200.91 miles)
Total Walking Time (not including rests or stopping for photos): 81.5 hrs
Would we do it all over again? Absolutely!

A warm thank you to our friends who joined us today, and to all of you who have followed along. Your support has been invaluable.

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#Getoutandmove
#30hikesin30days

By Retirement Reflections

Prior to retirement, I lived and worked in Beijing China for fourteen years (Middle School Principal/Deputy Director at The Western Academy of Beijing). Leaving international life behind, my husband and I retired to Vancouver Island in June 2015. To document both this transition and our new adventures, ‘Retirement Reflections’ was born. I hope that you enjoy reading these reflections, and will be willing to share your own.

66 replies on “Day 30: Pub-to-Pub Hike or Bust!”

Congratulations on Day 30, Donna and Richard! Good friends and engaging conversation are always the best part of the day. The food and drinks look great and well-deserved. Thank you for taking me along on these hikes. I know there will be many more. 🙂

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Donna,
Hearty congratulations to you and Richard! We’ve been with you all the the way and you are a girl after our hearts since you capped off this journey with a pub crawl. Cheers! Now…take a day off and soak those tired feet. We’ll still be here when you’re ready for the recap. Joe

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What a great way to end your 30 day/hike challenge! I’m looking forward to your recap as I imagine that you and Richard have had a lot of interesting conversations along the way. When Paul and I walk together, I call them walkie-talkies because we are able to have in-depth conversations that we might not normally have when there are other distractions. Love, love that Beer Crossing sign!

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Hi, Janis “Walkie-Talkies” is a perfect phrase! You are so right about being able to have undisturbed conversations. That was a #1 benefit of our hikes (followed closely by breathtaking views, invigorating exercise and fascinating local knowledge). It was wonderful to have you join along!

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Congratulations, you two, on finishing and succeeding in the 30 hikes in 30 days challenge. What a wonderful challenge it was and it sure looks like you lucked out with the weather. What a wonderful way to end a month of hiking – healthy endeavors. And, you didn’t need to take a plane or pay for accommodation. 🙂 Another confirmation that Vancouver Island is a wonderful place to live. Enjoy some well-deserved rest now!

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Thanks, Liesbet – Once again, your observations are very wise. There are numerous 30-day challenges that we could have done, but many of them would have come with a hefty pricetag. (Can you imagine #30golfgamesin30days or #30anythingrequiringhotelstays?) As all but one of these hikes were completed within an hour’s drive of our house, it reminded us how fortunate with our to call Vancouver Island home!

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Thanks, Deb – I’m glad that I decided to add the blogging piece. It definitely helped to keep me accountable and to examine my environment more deeply so that I could describe it to others. It also gave me an excuse to write quickly without over-editing. That’s definitely my preferred style! 😀
Thanks so much for following.

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Congratulations Donna and Richard! A great final hike wtih friends and a celebratory drink. I’ve enjoyed taking the hikes with you virtually each day and have fallen in love again with Vancouver Island. You did so well to keep the daily blog posts going. Time to soak your feet and maybe splurge on a pedicure. xx

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Hi, Sue – I’ve greatly appreciated your support and friendship in following along. The serene and visually stunnng hikes, followed by fast-dash blog posts, made for very interesting days. I will take your advice regarding that foot soak…starting right now!

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Thanks, Jill – Your kind words and positive comments have been greatly appreciated. It is incredible how easy it is to clock up kilometres by merely putting one foot in front of the other. At times, I couldn’t believe how quickly the distances added up. And the scenery was best of all!

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Congrats congrats! I so enjoyed “going” on the hikes with you and look forward to the wrap-up. Did your energy ever flag? Did you have to push yourself to go on any of the hikes. Or, were you always all fired up and ready to go?

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Hi, Laurie – These are all great questions. Like walking the Camino, we never once needed to push ourselves to go out for our morning hike. We also didn’t do a hike that we regretted, or thought was just so-so. Our energy usually remained fairly high, but there were days that one or both of us were more tired than others. I didn’t get a great night’s sleep before our Protection Island hike, so although that Island is fascinating, a did drag a little. On several days, Richard hiked 10 km, and then turned around and golfed 18 holes, while carrying his golf-bag. So sometimes, the next day, he was a little slow in the beginning (especially for our Moorecroft hike)…but I had brought coffee with me, so he recovered quickly! Oh, and our absolute favourite hike was the one that we were on that day. Thank you so much for following and for your kind words.

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Great post! thanks for the invite and also for the “Beer Starter”. Please thank Richard for me. Kath

Sent from my iPad

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Wow! Congratulations! I LOVE your determination to do something so healthy and good for yourselves…AND to have fun along the way. And yes, you finished well too. Now that you’ve detailed all these hikes the rest of us have a guide to what we want to do next time we visit. Can’t wait to read your recap! ~Kathy

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Hi, Kathy -Thank you for your positive feedback. It’s been a bit strange for me this evening, not planning a hike for tomorrow morning. Then, when I asked Richard what he wanted to do tomorrow, he said in all honesty, ‘let’s go to Horne Lake.’ That’s a hike that we had planned to do but never did. So, that may be the plan — hiking…but not writing about it! 😀

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Well done on a fabulous 30 days of scenic meandering. Thanks for sharing some of your beautiful island paradise with us – and I love how you finished it all off with food and friends. A great achievement and not a bad consolation prize for not doing another Camino xx

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Congratulations, Donna and Richard, on completing your 30 hikes in 30 days and blogging about them, too. I’ve enjoyed following along. Look forward to your wrap-up post. Have a wonderful weekend!

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I have been so inspired by your 30 hikes, Donna, and how fun to end with a pub crawl! We did a pup crawl (yes, with dogs, sponsored by the SPCA) two years in a row in December, talk about getting your 10k steps in. Did you calculate how many steps a day you averaged and how many you walked over the 30 days? I’m sure it’s a massive amount! And how do you feel after this? Anyway, congrats on finishing and I imagine you will be taking a bit of a break yourself soon.

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Hi, Terri – Thank you for this very kind feedback. Your SPCA-sponsored pubcrawl sounds awesome. In the past 31 days, I have walked 501,713 steps which is an average of 16,184 steps per day.
Richard and I did another hike this morning — but I spared you all and didn’t blog about it. #hikersgottahike.
Enjoy your break. I miss you already!

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Wow, Donna, that is a lot of steps! 16k steps a day? Holy cow! You have a gorgeous area in which to hike and explore. I hope to join you there some day soon! Egads, I have a lot to do on my break, but I’ll be hovering around.

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Hi, Terri – On our shortest walk day, I did 10,307 steps. On our highest, I did 28342. Of course with hiking, some of the smaller distances are the most challenging.
I am glad to hear that you will be ‘hovering around’. I’m even more delighted that you plan to be out in this area one day. Your room is ready!

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Thanks, John and Susan – Richard and I are extremely grateful that we have been able to enjoy long walks and hikes every single day during COVID shutdowns. In almost all cases, we have been alone on the trail, or a good distance away from any other hikers.
I hope that all is well with the two of you. Warm (virtual) hugs!

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Well Donna, I was with you on your first day and now on your last day, but I don’t know where I was on those in-between days ?? Yikes. Ha ha, I must have been on a walk-about myself 😉 I love your creativity in cobbling together this special day. It is right up my alley – walking and pubs! (yes, the Irish love pubs if you hadn’t heard). Even though some of the route was on roadways, you still managed to create an unforgettable day, and one which I sincerely enjoyed reading about.

I also love and appreciate your scientific backed wisdom that walking is good for us on so many levels. I look forward to a wrap up. I guess my question is, how did you find the energy to not only plan all these hikes but write about them everyday too? You are amazing!

Your Sun city Friend,

Susan Grace

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Hi, Susan – Thank you for your kind words. There is an almost endless amount of hikes on Vancouver Island. We barely scratched the surface of walks available to us. That, along with Richard’s extreme flexibility, made the planning easy. I usually chose our hike the night before…and sometimes I switched to a new hike in the morning. As we are avid walkers, there was not one trail that we didn’t enjoy. The blogging helped keep me accountable and provided a great record of our endeavour. It also encouraged me to examine our hikes more deeply so that I could better describe them to others. This challenge was truly a win-win for us. It was a good COVID solution for us (instead of longing for the Camino). 😀
Thank you for commenting. I hope that all is well with you.

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Gorgeous photos, food and friends for the finale Donna well done to you and Richard for finishing off in such grand style! I’ll be going back to some that I’ve missed, they’ve always been so enjoyable. Have a great week and stay safe and keep on truckin’ ..

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Hi Donna – congratulations on showing us so many great hikes and walks over and around Vancouver Island (and one over the water) … you finished on a high note … makes sense to meet up with locals. The Island has wonderful areas to explore, see and learn about … delightful times to share with you both: thank you. Hilary

You’ll be lost today?! Enjoy it though … cheers Hilary

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Hi, Hilary – You remembered the walk on water? You are a very careful reader! You last line was also incredibly insightful. Richard and I did Hike #31 today (Horne Lake and Spider Lake). I didn’t blog about it, but I did show a quick snap on Instagram. There are so many amazing hikes on Vancouver Island, we have barely scratched the surface.
I greatly appreciated you following along, Hilary. I always looked forward to your comments. They contain great wisdom and are a value-add!

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Thank you for your kind words, Ally. I liked using my ‘Sheltering in Place’ time to do significant projects and get some things off my bucket lists. We began by fostering a Great Dane for the first six weeks. Our son, who lives in the UK, stayed with us for four weeks, so there was extra cooking, as well as puzzle doing and enjoyable family time. I became part of two different weekly zoom chats (and one monthly one) that are continuing. I also read the remainder of my 22 books for my bookclubs. I then did a massive clean up and organization of the photos on my computer. Our COVID-Camino was wonderful icing on the cake. Richard and I have a few more ideas for August, but I promise not to blog about them daily (insert sigh of relief here). 😀

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Congratulations! Wonderful reporting and pics. Thanks for sharing. With staycations your information will be most helpful. See you Wednesday. Brenda

On Sat, Jul 25, 2020 at 5:34 PM Retirement Reflections wrote:

> Retirement Reflections posted: “Distance Walked: 9.14 km Walking Time: 2.5 > hrs Pubs: Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company and The Black Goose Inn Route: > Easy Richard and I had unanimously agreed that the final day of our > #30hikesin30days Challenge should be the Oyster River Pub-to-Pub H” >

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Congratulations Donna on completing the 30 hikes in 30 days! This sounds like the perfect way to finish up the challenge.

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First of all a huge congrats on your 30 hike in 30 days Donna. I’m still catching up but have enjoyed joining you and seeing more of your lovely countryside. That’s a huge total of kilometres and hours of walking and I’m not surprised that you’d do it all again. I think you finished the perfect way with friends over lunch and a beer. Somehow I don’t think this is the end of your hiking though!

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Thanks, Deb – I wasn’t much of an Instagram user before. But it is an easy way to keep track of my hikes, and to share them at the same time! The best thing is that I can do it in the car on the way home. Easy peasy!

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Pub to pub — what a great way to end your 30-day challenge! I appreciate your description of the thirty different hikes. I know I will be referring back to your descriptions next time I’m looking for a new hike to try.

Jude

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