Backpacking 75K on the West Coast Trail - Vancouver Island, BC


DAY 2- August 23, 2016

Given our four-day plan to through-hike the WCT, our second day was a push to cover 28K to camp at Cribs Creek. Many boardwalks and ladders are what you came away remembering about the WCT. Times we were hiking in the temperate coastal forest were punctuated by boardwalks in various conditions of disrepair or new construction. The steps climbed and descended throughout our venture numbered in the thousands as we negotiated steep terrain up and down endless drainage gullies. There were also regular mud pits to step around. More of the hiking on day 2 was spent walking on the beaches and tidal flats that were exposed with the outgoing tides. Walking in the sand was often arduous, so we welcomed walking away from the beach whenever we could find tidal shelves exposed by the tides. Throughout our hike we would cross several rivers. While there were five cable cars along the route to enable crossing during high water, we did not need to use any of them as we were able to cross all rivers without walking through the water.

The trail passes through several First Nation reservations, including the ferry crossing of the Narrows at Nitinat where there was a native store and restaurant that sold us some soft drinks. The final 10K after the ferry crossing stretched each of us a bit before reaching our camp at Cribs Creek. While many obvious campsites could be seen along the beach most were closed due to an abundance of wildlife activity. Sea lions were about the only sea life we were able to see and hear along the route.

Vancouver Island actually consists of over 40,000 islands along the British Columbia coast. Much more opportunity for adventure lay in waiting.

Always a loo on stilts with a view.

Why do they call it a "loo"? In a time when people flung their potty waste out of the window to the gutters in the streets below, they would shout “Gardez l’eau”, French for “watch out for the water”. We probably get the word “loo” from this expression, although some people think it comes from its likeness to “Room 100” because the toilet was commonly located in Room 100 of buildings. Regardless, the jury is somewhat still out on the true etymology of the word “loo”

While we saw none of the 7000 bears, 1000 cougars, and 200 wolves that live on Vancouver Island during our hike, there were tracks on the beach where they often dined on fresh seafood.

While it rains an average of 12.5 feet on 220 days a year we were blessed with pure sunshine during our entire sojourn.