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Sunshine Coast Trail Part#3

DAY 4 – Robinson Crusoe likes boat rides on hot summer days.

After a perfect morning on my private little island I (quickly) paddled back to the trail and started walking again. I wanted to make it into the town of Powell River in the AM, have a sandwich at the pub and then take right off again to go up North on the shore of Powell Lake towards Inland Lake to hit the next hut.

While I was sitting in the pub, having a yummy chicken-bacon-avocado-chipotle-sandwich, I watched all these people rush into the marina to get their boats ready for a weekend on Powell Lake. When it’s hot outside, boat rides are really the best thing… Way better than walking with a heavy pack in the intense sun. Dreaming of boats I quickly checked on my map and discovered that there was a portage from the Powell Lake shore over into Inland Lake. How easy would it be to skip 10km of walking the trail by going up to that portage on a boat…

I walked to the dock and talked to a couple people, hoping the luck was on my side this time with finding a ride. Dave and his 2 daughters thought that was an awesome idea, as I stood with them at the dock, explaining my plan and asking him for a ride in his boat. He was about to go that direction anyway to spend the weekend in his cabin up there. Luck was on my side again; he knew whereabouts on the shore he had to drop me off to ensure I hit that portage trail, as I would have not been able to tell from the water with only my shitty map to guide me. As there was only a beach and no dock, we had one chance to get me on land. We managed to get the boat as close as possible to the shore, then I jumped off, and he threw me my pack (as much as you can throw & catch ~27kg). He then backed up the boat as fast as possible to avoid hitting the ground. Yes, it played out exactly as sketchy as it sounds. I’ve never felt so much like Robinson Crusoe before! Me and my pack stranded on a sandy beach, the boat slowly disappearing with nothing but rainforest behind me and only a clue of where I was. “Exciting”, I told my scared mind. As soon as I turned around I saw a path in the forest. I bushwhacked for a while, trusting my gut to point me in the right direction and eventually came out directly on the wheelchair accessible trail at Inland Lake. Only another hour to walk to the next hut! That plan worked out pretty well, and boat rides really are the best on hot summer days 🙂

DAY 5 – Always bring your bikini for a skinny dip.

That morning I woke up to a beautiful calm Inland Lake on one of those days where the water perfectly mirrors the sky above.

When doing hikes like this, you have to sieze any opportunity to take a shower. I jumped into the water for a little morning skinny-dip—you don’t want to carry a wet bikini and I was, as always, by myself. The water was so nice that I kept swimming for a bit. “Safety first”, as I promised my mum, so I stayed close to shore, just in case. After a few minutes I noticed I had some company… but watersnakes are really the last company I was looking for. Aaaaaahhhh! I jumped out of the water faster than I thought possible. There was no way I’d go back into that lake. So the skinny dip turned into a skinny walk back to camp… I wasn’t too concerned about being nude as I had only met four people on the trail in five days, and it was early Sunday morning and far away from town. What are the chances that—of course— mother and her two kids were on their Sunday morning bike tour and bumped into me right after I began my walk of shame. Try to explain that. Oh man. The kids totally understood—they wouldn’t want to swim in a lake with snakes either. And bathing suits, well, sometimes they swim naked as well. However, I could tell mum wasn’t that easy to convince. I bet she was really concerned about what crazy drugs I was on and that I was going to die if they’d leave me here.

Getting back into camp I had breakfast and then started walking the 6-hour trek to the Fiddlehead Landing Hut. Straight up the hill to cross the ridge on a shoulder over into the next valley. It was beautiful spot with a cozy cabin. Back in the day a big hippie commune called this place home. They had a hostel, a big orchard with fruit trees, a meditation house and a wood fired sauna. Everybody was welcome to join for helping with some chores. The farm got destroyed in 2002, and a huge logging road went through the middle of the farm and the garden. I wished it was still there.

Mel • June 18, 2016


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