Trip report by site editor Rick McCharles.
A last minute change in my transportation itinerary required that I finish the West Coast Trail a day ahead of the rest of my group.
That meant I’d need to finish the last 2 days by 4pm TODAY, in time for the last ferry across the Gordon River.
I packed up in the morning gloom.
Alone and at low tide, however, I made very good time.
It was just me and these … smelly guys.
Sea stacks are the iconic image of the West Coast Trail.
I did linger to take some photos at Owen Point.
In my opinion, the most dangerous section of the West Coast Trail is not Adrenaline Surge, rather the boulder section between Owen and Thrasher.
These are hikers coming the other direction. In wet conditions, the footing is treacherous.
Walk balanced atop beached logs instead, at every opportunity.
I stopped for brunch at Thrasher, pleased with my time getting there. A brazen mink was making the trip from the safety of the forest to the shore right beside hikers.
It was trying to tear off chunks of a dead octopus, washed up on the rocks.
Twice a bald eagle swooped in. First time we assumed it was defending the dead octopus. After the second, we realized it was trying to take the mink, instead.
Ahead of me lay the “toughest” day. Supposedly.
In 1999 this short section to the Gordon River had taken us 10hrs.
I’m not sure what’s changed. But it seemed very easy. Very scenic. The footing excellent.
The only real challenge was wasps.
A scrawled paper warned of wasps. I ignored it. And was stung once.
Many others that day and the next were stung, as well. (Some were stung near Chez Monique’s, as well.)
But I had no time to lick my wounds. Here I am happy to have reached the Donkey Engine.
km 75. We made it in time for the 3pm Ferry.
Happy. But dirty and tired. Some injured.
Myself. I felt great. Especially while cooling my feet in the chill Gordon.
If you miss the 4pm boat, there’s a chance you’ll be spending the night here.
On the civilization side you can immediately get a hot shower at the campground.
Transportation clicked. I caught the 5pm WCT shuttle to the downtown Victoria bus station. I was at my parent’s home in Parksville by 10pm.
more photos from this day