Snakes & Ladders...

Posted in i live life now blog

Best sleep ever we both exclaimed with delight as we woke up! Maybe it was being clean? Maybe it was the ocean and waterfalls lulling us into a deeper sleep or maybe we were just tired from lots of hiking over five days? Whatever the reason it was fabulous to wake up rested.

Day 6 had arrived and 14 km of easier hiking with it. Although everyone said it was an easier day there were some spots that I felt we should have been able to traverse easier than they were it wasn't as easy as the final 12 km ahead of us that's for sure.

Heading out of Tsusiat Falls in the morning with marvelous weather on our side again we were in the groove of packing up, hiking out and keeping a steady but enjoyable pace to still stop and see anything we wanted to.

There was a wicked section of ladders to exit out of this camp, I mean a set that tired you out and made your legs shake for a bit after but the highlight at the top was a smiling buoy greeting us:

Kinda looks like Homer Simpson to me...

Buoys were carved out everywhere along the way it was neat to read all of them. Buoys were your lifeline on the trail, they showed you where beach access was, where the campsite were and where it was safe to enter the trails. A neat system to keep everyone on the safe track.

Now expert whale watchers we saw whales while hiking, before leaving camp, in camp and everywhere!

This day for me was a bit of a trial to see how long it would take us to get out on the final day and it was frustrating to realize this "easy" section still took us 6 hours to do 14 km and I was a little worried that we were not making the 1 pm shuttle out without leaving at 5 am from camp in the morning. Along the way we saw some fresh bear scat which made us a little more aware in the deep brush to be noisier than usual. Our final destination for the day was Michigan Creek campground and our last overnighter on the trail.

These boots were made for hiking and we had 12 km left of our 75 km journey and amazingly enough my feet never had a sore spot, blister or issue the whole way! Buy good boots!! Don't think you have to break them in, they should fit great the minute you try them on as mine did, your body will thank you for it. One group hiking around us spent too much time on the beach and burnt their feet...OUCH! I can't imagine how it felt to hke with sunburnt feet.

We descended one of the final ladders before camp this day and just as I was coming down nearly to the bottom I grabbed the ladder rung but instead it squished under my hand; I screamed like a little girl! It was a slug on the ladder stretched out the same way as the rung....ewwwww! It made for a good laugh at my screaming though!

Our final 2 km was spent walking on the rock shelves as the tide was coming in, this created a phenomenon as the cold ocean wind was blowing and the hot sun was heating the rock shelf creating a tidal "sauna" effect of steam that we walked through. It was our ocean hiking spa treatment or so we told ourselves over the final stretch. We had a few other hikers within beach viewing distance from us but there really wasn't many at all at this time.

We were plugging away looking for the best path to travel over the rock shelves and not become stranded on a rock island with too much water around it when suddenly we looked up and saw buoys, we were here! It was 1:30 pm on a glorious hot day and we were one of the first to camp again. Getting to camp early was a pleasure because as enjoyable as the trail was it was a lot of the same roots, trees, mud, ladder repeat whereas you could lay on the beach while watching whales and tan. Who doesn't enjoy that?

We plunked down our packs and didn't set up anything, after enjoying a midday lunch we dozed on and off in the sunshine with literally hundreds of whales spouting in front of our camp.

Nearly half asleep I felt something touch my leg without thinking too much about it I thought it was just a piece of seaweed flapping in the wind. Just then my hiking partner says: "That's a snake!". A little garter snake decide to join our tanning party needless to say though I didn't fall asleep. Soon more hikers began arriving and we eventually set up our tent as the day wore on. We really just soaked in as much of this wonderful relaxing amazing atmosphere as possible.

As the sunset and the evening wore on I looked out onto the rock shelf directly in front of our camp and went for an evening walk around the tidal pools. Tidal pools exist with small sea life that are dependent on the water coming in and out from the ocean tides. This evening was a stellar example of so much life around our world.

Three starfish all different colours stranded together on the rock shelf made for a really unique picture. This may be one of my most favorite pictures of the trail it was just so neat to see maybe because there was always three in my family growing up. As the sunset lowered behind the trees there was a hint of sadness that our adventure was ending tomorrow but at the same time I was ready to go home unless my family magically appeared in camp and we stayed for a while longer!

This last night was a night of reflection and it brought a tear to my eyes knowing this would end, it makes you very aware that most happiness in life comes from the journey not the destination. All memories are derived from the steps between each goal or point in life. You remember where you got to briefly but most times ponder on the microgoals and victories between them the most!

Last day tomorrow, wow a week went so fast!

I Live Life Now,

Lisa Stocking

CSEP-CPT

 

 

 

 

 

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