As we huffed and puffed up the steep climb, we said to ourselves, “This had better be worth it!” It was only a 1.8 mile (2.9 km) hike – 3.6 miles roundtrip – but with 800+ feet (266m) elevation gain, and we hadn’t done any real hikes in a while. It was hot out, and we hadn’t brought enough water – from the San Juans we’d grown used to island hikes being short and easy.
Mt Norman is on South Pender Island, our first stop in Canada after crossing the border from Friday Harbor on Sunday. Our Nexus passes had made customs checkin a breeze – we called in, got our clearance number, and did a touch-and-go on the customs dock (if there are no customs agents, with a Nexus checkin you don’t have to stay).
As we rounded the last corner of the hike, we came to a viewing platform with a 180 degree view of the Gulf Islands stretching out before us. It was a beautiful day, and all I could think was wow, the hike was definitely worth it! The photos don’t really do it justice because unfortunately I can’t stitch together my panoramic photos since I forgot to download a panorama program before leaving Seattle, and don’t have Internet in the South Pender anchorage.