West Coast Trail pics from Keith Hind.
Day 2 took us from Cullite to Cribs Creek (km 58 to km 42). Avtar and Josh set out around 6:30 am with the rest of us planning to follow at about 8am, but we were a bit slow to pack up and didn’t leave until 8:45. This was fine, but it meant we’d never catch up to the two of them and therefore wouldn’t see them again until we reached the camp. This day had additional challenges, because it was the day we had a cable car break on us at Walbran Creek! Emily and I went across first, then when Keegan and Julie were crossing it sounded a bit weird and then stopped moving about 10ft from the platform. Keith and Claudia saw that the rope had jumped the wheel, so they watched as we tried to figure out a way to get the car to move those last 10ft. Thankfully Keegan is strong and with all of us using our full strength (and some adrenaline kicking in) we manages to get them safely to the platform, literally inch by inch. Keegan and Claudia had to then wade across the creek to join us so it definitely added time to our day. Not too long after though we reached Bonila Point where we stopped for lunch and I washed up at the waterfall :-). When we reached Cribs Creek Avtar was particularly excited to see us, and we were happy to have a fire to sit around and a great beach spot picked out for our tents.
Day 3 was Cribs Creek to Tsusiat Falls (km 42- km 25). This was a great camp area with a bathroom with a view and a waterfall/ swimming pool so we all had a chance to freshen up! We did a combination of inland and beach treks this day and broke off into a number of pairings and groupings. We met up at Nitinat Narrows where much of our group feasted on the fresh crab and fish ($25 plate). Josh, Claudia and I headed off first because my knee was getting quite sore so I knew I’d be slower. Thankfully when we hit the beach I was able to ramp things up! This was also where we go to go through the archway at Tsusiat Point. We were shocked that all 8 of us made the tides here, but it made for an extra memorable stretch for the last two to pass! We enjoyed some Tequila at Camp around the fire that night.
Day 4 was our day to finish the trek taking us from 25-0! We left at 6:30am and broke into pairs and groups. Josh and Keegan were injury free so they went at top speed and arrived at the end by 1:15. The girls stuck together, periodically also walking with Keith and Avtar, and made it to the end around 4pm, and then Keith and Avtar arrived just after 5 (they had stopped at the lighthouse to see the helicopter and sea lions). We walked down to the campground to find out that pizza was on its way thanks to Josh! We enjoyed two slices each on the beach and took a group picture to celebrate our trip.
In total I fell off 1 log ( early on Day 2, possibly where I first hurt my knee) and fell down on at least 3 plank boardwalks. Emily took the muddiest fall, Keith took the hardest fall (on an ocean boulder, landing on his tailbone) and Avtar may have escaped without any slips! The last morning I woke up with crazily puffy eyes, and the same thing happened to Claudia. A less extreme version happened to Julie and Emily as well so the campsite wasn’t quite so pretty our last day! Our bus wasn’t until 1pm so we all got to shower, and the boys left at 10:30 getting breakfast before taking a boat back to Port Renfrew. We took a very bumpy bus ride, stopping in Lake Cowichan to pee and buy devour a bunch of junk food, then arriving in Port Renfrew to rush to the ferry where all 8 of us managed to get on the 7 ferry. I happily ate a White Spot Burger and yam fries and some of the gang enjoyed wine from water bottles! I was dropped off at home around 12:40 am after a car ride filled mainly with music and laughter.
It was a really relaxing, peaceful, strenuous, fun, adventurous journey and I look forward to hanging out with all of the gang again soon.