HANNA PETERSEN PHOTO A set of stairs on the Tex Lyon Trail.

Hanna’s North Island Adventures: Hiking the Tex Lyon

“By the time we returned my arms and legs turned to Jell-O.”

I’ve gone hiking many times before but all my past experiences have more closely resembled a walk in the park.

The Tex Lyon Trail was a different story. I hiked the trail for the first time two weeks ago and still have bruises from the many times I found myself tripping and stumbling through the trail.

I never felt like I couldn’t do it, but it definitely challenged me in ways I wasn’t expecting.

Basically, it made me realize I am not 100 per cent comfortable with heights. When we started the hike the tide was in so I had to walk across fallen logs over the water in order to get to the trail.

I felt like a tight rope walker (even though the log was big enough to walk across quite easily). I became startled when one of our dogs ran up quickly behind me. I was afraid I was going to lose my balance when the dog passed me by, so to avoid falling I just sat down.

By then I had lost my confidence and wasn’t about to stand up – I felt like I could fall again, so I decided to scoot across the log like a baby.

It was truly a graceful beginning to what turned out to be a four-hour long hike.

It was a beautiful day and the ocean views as I hiked along the trail were incredible.

At the start of the journey I loved using the helpful ropes along the trail to climb up and down the steep cliffs like Tarzan or Indiana Jones.

A few hours in, my arms became increasingly more tired and the novelty started to wear off. We hiked as far as we could go, even passing Dillion point into the “unmaintained trail hike at your own risk” area, but had to turn around because it would take us a few hours to get back and it was already getting late.

We even spotted the tall ships sailing by on their way up from Victoria, and I saw a something strange in the bushes which turned out to be a dead eagle that looked like it had only recently died.

By the time we returned to the vehicle, my arms and legs had turned to Jell-O.

I would definitely do the hike again, but next time I’ll be better prepared. I will bring more food, more water, and a swim suit so when I’m covered in sweat and dirt I can jump into the cool, refreshing water.

I’m grateful to be living in a place that has offers so much adventure and beautiful places to explore.