Sunshine Coast Trail Part#2
DAY ONE ~ The Ocean likes her pasta WAY too salty.
The next morning I started my hike on the Sunshine Coast Trail! Kilometre 1 of 180, yaaaay… My pack still not much lighter and I faced a 16km stretch to make it to the first hut at Manzanita Bluffs. I also had no water because there is no fresh water at Sarah Point, and there would be none for the next 5km from the trailhead. That was ok, but starting a walk in the morning without coffee is NOT ok. I also learned to never try to boil pasta with salty ocean water. I know, confused people like me would think “Well, I put salt in my pasta water anyway…” but the ocean likes her pasta WAY too salty. No good.
Being on the trail after all the preparations and anticipation is so good though! All I need to do now is keep on walking and soak it all in. The first part was thick rainforest. You see a lot of trail markers but kind of have to guess where the path between all the ferns actually is. There were no other people, just me in the middle of nature-nothing. Joy! I quickly forgot about (no) coffee, salty pasta and heavy packs.
Of course, my bag was full of tasty snacks, snacking all day, best thing about hiking 🙂
I like to bring food for as many days as I can to be independent on the trail and not have to worry about where to get off next to go back into town to buy more things. It’s worth it to carry a heavy pack.
I found water after the first 5km and made my way up to Wednesday Lake for a late lunch. I filled up all my water containers (as there is also no water up at Manzanita Hut) and did the last push up to the bluffs. I got to the first hut and couldn’t believe it! Such a pretty spot with some amazing views of the Upper Sunshine Coast, Texada Island, Vancouver Island and all the islands in between. Another bonus was the very well designed and functional half open hut with a loft to sleep in.
I made some dinner, read, wrote, chilled and enjoyed the place to the maximum. I finished the day with an awesome sunset and then went to bed with the light disappearing. Quite an early bed time, but it feels so nice to live with the rhythm of the sunlight. Go to bed when it’s dark, get up when it’s bright out. Simple life.
The best part was that I had the whole place to myself. I was wondering how I would manage my first couple nights all by myself in the wilderness. This is a fear I’ve had for as long as I can remember. As a kid I was always afraid being home alone at night, being outside when it was dark, and being in the woods. I don’t know what happened between then and now, but I was totally all right. The first few nights I woke up to a couple noises and had a hard time trying to not focus on them and fall asleep again. I had to force my mind not to make up any horror stories and just appreciate that I am able to have these awesome spots to myself. It got better every night and in the end I really enjoyed it and had the best sleeps ever.
DAY TWO/THREE ~ “Take our canoe, paddle over to that private island and camp there.”
Day two on the trail was another 16km hike to make it to the next hut at Rieveley’s Pond. I did not really believe in making another 16km on only the second day, but somehow I made it. Hungry and tired I arrived at the hut, which while nothing special, I was very excited about the tuna I was going to have for dinner. Eat the heavy stuff first to get a lighter pack. Good somebody showed me how to open a can with my Swiss Army knife, but too bad my brain totally forgot how that works. Some blood was involved, but in the end, I got my tuna dinner.
The next morning I got up and met two ladies outside name Lora and Janice, locals from Powell River who were on a walk with their dogs. “If you want you can come home with me, have a shower and lunch…” they offered. “Yes please! It’s been already 4 or 5 days since my last shower and lots of sweating,” I replied.
Always take shower opportunities on long hikes; you never know when the next chance will come up and it’s not nice to crawl into your sleeping bag all sticky and stinky. Lora took me back to her house on the oceanfront at the Indian reserve where I met the native locals during one of my hitched rides. I had a nice shower, she made me a delicious lunch and we walked the dogs on the pretty beach. She then gave me a ride back to the where we left the trail. Sometimes I just cannot believe how many good people I met. Thanks Lora! In a couple of days I would reach Tin Hat Mountain, and as the two gals had never been up there we agreed upon meeting up there on Monday morning.
Back on the trail I figured I’d have to hurry up to catch up with the day. The next hut was pretty far away and while some people plan a night in Powell River to get some real food, a shower and a real bed, I was planning on camping in my tent somewhere nice to avoid going into town. Catching up with the day didn’t really happen… Two hours after Lora dropped me on the trail I passed a lake and met a family hanging out there. They invited me for hotdogs and we started chatting. Ten minutes later I found myself in a canoe, paddling towards a tiny island in the middle of the lake. My pack strapped onto the seat and pushing it hard to be faster than the leak in the canoe under my ass… The generous couple stood at the shore, waving me goodbye yelling “You are awesome! We love you, see you on the other side!”
They had told me that this little island (20 x 20 metres) had a perfect camping spot with a fire pit right in the middle and that I should take their canoe and camp there. Evelyn said that it is her favourite place in the world.
And she was right. It was so perfect.