The West Coast Trail is touted as one of the top hikes in the world! Here is a more indepth description of this trail for some background information on what we travelled.
Arriving in Edmonton the evening prior the alarm went off at 5:30 am to awake us for the last shower before heading into a week of hiking and creek baths. Boarding went smooth onto a half full plane when we touched down in Victoria at 8:34 am (one hour time change). A smiling face greeted us and it was wonderful to have someone pick us up that we knew at the airport.
A quick stop over at another house to pickup our bearspray and stove fuel (you can't fly with explosives? imagine), I previously sent these by courier since we arrived too early in the day to buy supplies at any stores with this type of merchandise. After a few U-turns and a quick fuel stop for both the vehicle and ourselves we headed out on the windy roads toward Port Renfrew.
There is great debate over whether to start from one end or the other but logistically we wanted to have a shorter day when we got off the plane since we were going to attempt to start the trail on standby. Each day there are a limited amount of spots to hike the trail from each end that are reservable, after that you can show up at the trailhead and ask to get onto the trail when there is an opening. Every day there is 5 standby spots from either end that open up, we were hoping to get on the trail by Monday at the latest, we landed on Sunday.
Once we arrived in Port Renfrew at exactly noon we walked into the office secretly hoping to get on that day and get started...voila we did! Just like that. She asked us to return at 1 pm to go through orientation and then catch the ferry ride at 2:30 across the bay to begin our journey!
Wow, did not expect that even though I wished for it.
Careful what you wish for...we knew the first 5 km was really hard but you can't imagine it until you start walking it. Immediately off the bat we started hiking up and up and down steep rocks, roots and everything between. Ladders, logs and sometimes no path in which you had to look and find an arrow pointing up a rock face where there really was no path. My wow's were either an exclamation of how are we going to get through this or the beauty surrounding us you just never knew which one it was.
The soothing part about it being so hard is we knew it couldn't get worse later on, within 3 km we came upon a massive donkey engine that was hauled up there somehow by people much tougher than us!
Not being from the island all the landscape was magical to us whether it was a weed or a beautiful plant we were in awe of the diversity here. I read later there was over 100 types of ferns and 300 kinds of moss on the trail. You couldn't look up from the trail very often to look at it but when we stopped for a rest we drank it all in drunk on the magnificent land our Earth offers to those who are willing to receive. Finally, near the intersection we saw people, they were camped alongside a creek at a non-campground. We asked why there were there and they said they didn't want to do the climb down into Thrasher's Cove they were being lazy? I thought hmm is it really that bad? Yes, yes it was.
Find the hiker on the ladder in the trees in this above picture...good luck!
Once we reached the intersection we headed to Thrashers and basically you drop 55 stories in 1 km of trail, already on tired legs we went down the kilometer of hell so happy to see camp we could have cried. Instead we set up camp, got water and had supper! Our tent was about 10 feet away from the high tide line since the campsite is very small and getting there late means you don't have much to pick from. I was awake all night waiting for the water to come in our tent since I was paranoid about the ocean being a drylander I don't have much experience or trust in the water and how it behaves.
Room with a view! Yes, that is the ocean and our driftwood wave break in front of us.
Since we arrived at camp 4 hours after leaving the trailhead it was now 6:40 pm or 7:40 pm Alberta time and we had be flying and travelling since 5:30 am! We were spent. To bed as soon as we had all of our stuff in order, we had a shorter day ahead so we planned to sleep in, not that I slept much worrying about the impending wave I thought would take us out!
What would we see tomorrow? How would we feel? What would the trail be like? So many thoughts about what lie ahead anticipation and excitment about it all!
I Live Life Now,