Baden-Powell’s name is almost a household word, as he founded the Scout Association in 1910. With his sister, he also founded the Girl Guide Movement. His influence worldwide through the scouting movement can scarcely be overestimated.
Less well known is that he had a long military career before turning his attention to scouting. He joined the 13th Hussars in India in 1876 and did not retire from the British Army until 1910. He served in many different countries, including South Africa during the Boer War. He was in charge of the British Garrison during the siege of Mafeking which lasted 217 days. 8,000 Boers surrounded the town, and before the siege was relieved by the British, Baden-Powell’s soldiers had to eat some of their horses.
I don’t know if Baden-Powell was ever in British Columbia, but in 1971 a trail was built to celebrate the 100th anniversary of British Columbia's entry into Canada as a province, and it was named after him. This seems appropriate, as the project was initiated by the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides organizations of B.C. and much of the work of building it was done by their young members.
On May 25, 2023, we hiked the trail from Deep Cove to Lynn Valley. We started at scenic Deep Cove, and, along with throngs of other hikers, and walked a few Km to Quarry Rock which gave us a magnificent view of Deep Cove. As we went on, we left the crowds, and saw almost no one for many kilometres. Above is an image of Deep Cove from Quarry Rock.
The forest was magnificent, with unbelievably tall trees. Nevertheless, impressive though it was, the forest was only a mere shadow of its former self. Huge stumps dotted the forest here and there and bore mute testimony to the grandeur of the original old-growth forest that had been hacked out of existence by the lumbermen of yore. Some even showed indentations where the springboards had been placed to support the axe men who took down these magnificent trees.
Springboards allowed loggers to more easily fell trees with a flared base, such as firs. Notches were cut into the tree above the base and loggers then wedged in the springboard. The springboards had a steel tip which provided a good grip on the tree, and the boards had a level, springy surface on which the loggers stood. They wore hobnailed boots to prevent slipping. Below is an image of the old loggers from BC history from a tourist placard.
We walked through the forest solitude for several hours, although occasionally we crossed paved roads which led to some facilities further north. Then we descended to the Seymour River and went through some small suburbs. Further on, we came to dramatic Lynn Canyon with its suspension bridge before we reached the parking lot where we had left one of our cars.
It had been a great hike.
I have described my first three rafting trips in the book Rafting the Great Northern Rivers: The Nahanni, Firth, and Tatshenshini.