Hey folks. Once again, the wife and I have emerged from our walking tour of the Sunshine Coast Trail alive and unscathed and we are pretty pleased to be back in civilization. This is the second time we’ve hiked the trail, and after last year’s abortive but adventurous attempt, we were determined to make a go of it this year.
Last time around, we began our march into the wilderness from Sarah Point, the northernmost tip of the trail that sits at the edge of a peninsula. That required scaling a kelp-covered rock face since the tide was low, and that was quite the adventure in itself! Several followed, as we hiked across high, rocky hills and dealt with a shortage of water since it was a particularly hot summer!
This year, we did things a little differently, beginning our march from the town of Powell River and proceeding inland along the rocky bluffs that overlook Powell Lake. We also were sure to bring a tent, and not trust in the cabins that are spaced at intervals throughout the wilderness. We also chose our route based on the fact that there were several lakes, so we wouldn’t be subject to water shortages… again!
And let me tell you, it was quite the adventure. After a weekend spent at a friend’s wedding and all the travel it takes to get from our home down south to Comox and then the mainland, we were already feeling a little over-sunned and quite restless. And despite the presence of bear poop and low rumbles behind us along the trail, we managed to get to our first destination unscathed.
Our destination on the first night was a lovely campsite tucked in at Haywire Bay which is part of Powell Lake. We swam, ate, and slept out under the stars in our new and ultra-light tent. We got some odd looks, since the majority of people in this park had driven in and were sleeping in their motorhomes and mobile campers. Somehow, hikers who carry all their gear are in the minority in these parks. Go figure!
The next day, we hiked farther into the interior and made our way through clearcut patches and more forests to Inland Lake. Here, we camped out on a small island on the lake called Anthony Island, which was another adventure of its own. Ravens ate our dinner sausage, which nearly made us vegetarians on the last two nights. And for a good hour before dusk, we lay in our tents and heard strange noises that sounded like wild animals.
Lucky for us, no animals were in our campground. And whatever the noise was, it seemed to dissipate around 10 pm and we were able to get some sleep. But of course, I kept my knife handy and we kept making loud noises every time we suspected something big and furry was in the vicinity.
The next day, we were outta there! We hiked back to the Inland Lake campground 4km away and set up our tent there. We wanted to walk farther into the interior still, to a place called Confederation Lake. However, we knew that Inland had a gravel road that ran all the way back to Powell River, close to the one we used to get into the wilderness in the first place. This was our exit strategy, so we decided instead to spend day three hiking around the lake and sticking close to this road.
And then, just yesterday, we packed up all our gear, hiked the 10 km of logging roads and back streets to get back into Powell River. Once there, we visited the Townsite Brewery, drank some samples, and picked up some bottles to bring home. Half are intended for our neighbors who watched over our cat, Jasper, while we were gone.
We were then fortunate enough to get a ride back into the town proper, which was another five km away along sun parched roads. After hiking about 40 km through the wilderness and along logging roads, we weren’t too eager to walk along a sun-parched highway. We already did that to get out of town at the beginning, and that was no picnic!
Then came a restful lunch at a nice restaurant, cold beer, and a ferry ride back to Comox where we spent the night at my folks place. Hot showers and a soft bed are a luxury few can appreciate unless they go without for days on end. And sure, we’re burnt and sore, but we feel really good. This year’s trip felt like an accomplishment whereas last years felt like a failure.
The rest we plan to enjoy for the remainder of our vacay which will now be spent at home relaxing! So expect to hear more from me in the next few days. But not during the peak hours of say 10 to 4. I imagine the wife and I will be hiking at home since we’re full of piss and vinegar still and want to chase that feeling.
Hope this summer is finding all of you happy, healthy and full of piss and vinegar too!