Where do I even begin? How do I explain hiking off the grid, so remotely? Maybe I should first say, it wasn’t near as remote and isolated as I thought. It was as far away as we could get, but still there were boats, helicopters and guns. There were still plenty of people and even burgers in a shack in the middle of nowhere. We met people we loved talking to, sat around a roaring campfire every night, showered in waterfalls, peed below the tideline, ate oatmeal for breakfast every morning and hiked kilometre after kilometre every day. It was incredible.
A few times every day I would stop and listen closely to what I heard. Sometimes nothing, absolutely nothing. Usually the waves of the ocean, birds chirping, wind in the trees, sea lions barking, but never cars, engine breaks or planes. It was so wonderful. We saw deer and a fawn, river otters, minks, cougar tracks (we named the cougar Jackie), eagles abound, sea lions, seals, whales (which we named Manny, Wally and Barry), starfish, anemones, plenty of crabs and a bear we named Oresen. It was an eventful week.
We spent seven nights hiking the West Coast Trail, something Shane and I have both wanted to do for a long time. It’s even on our bucket lists! We spent ages getting ready for it, buying all the gear and packing up. Natasha was working right along with us, until she hurt her foot a few days before we were set to leave. In a last minute (very appropriate) decision, she decided she couldn’t come. I was incredibly upset for an entire day, crying and moping, but as soon as we started the trail I could see it was for the better.
We had the best ever weather. I mean, when has it ever not rained for seven days in June?! We were fully expecting to get wet, to be cold and probably miserable, but the rain held off the entire time. We counted that as a blessing every single day. Out trip was relatively easy, we know, because we never got wet or ridiculously cold. The mug bogs (of which there were many) were much drier than they could have been and the boardwalks (which made up the other half of the trail) would have been so slick. We fully comprehend how lucky we were. I even got a massive sunburn on my face!How do I explain how good it feels to be so far away? To not look at a cell phone or computer for over a week? To live from the things on my back, to make fire from nothing? It’s humbling and inspiring to see the old shipwrecks on the beach, the ancient machines left in the forest. To see hundreds of crabs scuttle around our feet and watch whales feed and play. To be reminded that the world isn’t ours. To watch a bear come out of the forest and amble along eating berries while we sit in panic. To see the fog come in so thick you can feel it on your skin. To hear the tide come up so close you’re sure you’ll float out to sea while you sleep. To see views so beautiful you are sure it must be a movie. To step in mud up to your knees.
I was reminded that I’m thankful to be alive. Thankful to have this body that operates well. Thankful to be in control of my own life.
I was in love with this trip.
I wasn’t in love with my camera. It broke on the second day. It wouldn’t (and still wont) let me use any manual settings. It is essentially a really big and heavy point and shoot camera. So that is great.
(CLICK ON THE PICTURES)
I know someone, sometime will ask what route we took, and I’ll soon forget so here: Thrasher – Camper – Walbran – Bonilla – Cribs – Tsusiat – Michegan