The CBC runs an incredible Food Bank drive every year in an effort to raise funds for local foodbanks throughout BC. In addition to my monetary contribution to the foodbank, I have donated a guided walk in the Merritt Grasslands for a group of up to four naturalists/photographers or folks that just want to get out in nature for a day. People will be able to bid on this by calling into the North by Northwest Radio program on Saturday morning. You’ll need to be listening to CBC Radio one by 7:00 a.m. to get the particulars.

The first thing to note: The hike will take place on the unceded and traditional territory of the Nlaka’pamux and Syilx peoples and we shall treat the land with the respect she deserves.

We’ll pick a day and a season that works for you and, after initial discussions, I’ll organize a walk that will be of an appropriate duration, difficulty and interest. You should have good sturdy hiking boots (not running shoes), a walking stick, long sleeved pants and shirts (mosquitos and brambles may be encountered), some bug spray, sun screen, a hat, a day pack with lunch, water, rain jacket. You might wish to bring binoculars and a camera if you are so inclined.

We can go out from two to eight hours, it all depends on what you want to see and do.

During my hikes I like to point out the different plants and animals that make up the local ecosystem and I can tailor the hike for your specific interest – whether it be birding, bugging, or just hiking long distances in the wilds. Be forewarned that walking with a naturalist means that you seldom go more than ten meters before they are pointing out something of interest that has caught their eye.

Some other things to note:

  1. Part of our hiking will be on trails, part will be off-piste, it won’t be tough but it won’t be Stanley Park.
  2. We can rendezvous at a local (Merritt) bakery before heading out so one can collect coffee and treats which makes the morning that much more fun.
  3. Mornings are usually the best time to start the hike as the wildlife is moving then, the heat isn’t quite as punishing, and the bugs have yet to waken. If you are coming from a distance it might make sense to overnight in Merritt. I can provide some links to local rentals or give you a short list of motels to consider. But it is your hike and we can leave at a time that suits you.
  4. You can bring up to three hiking companions, or your family.
  5. As much as I love dogs, these hikes are best done dog-less.
  6. We will be in the wilds and therefore all manner of catastrophe may befall us – everything from bear attacks to mosquito bites. Participants in these hikes accept all responsibility for their own well being.

I really do enjoy meeting new people and sharing the land with them and I look forward to seeing on the hike.

If you came here looking for a possible gift for someone, might I suggest checking out the page, Frank’s Friends, or my book page.