Sunshine Coast Trail Part#4
DAY 6 – Lost (girl)boyfriends, herbs & chicken pasta.
Upon my arrival I met two guys at the hut who were a little bit baffled as they had lost their girlfriends. The next stretch is an 8km hike with over 1000 metres elevation gain, all the way up to Tin Hat Mountain summit. The girls took an early start, as they knew the boys were much stronger and faster. So the boys took it easy, had lunch at the cabin and partook in some herbal infusion… Now being in exploration mode they took off and thought “Hm, why take the trail up to the summit, we can do that bushwhacking,” and off they went into the bush. A couple hours later they figured out that they were kind of lost and were grateful to get a ride back to the cabin from a bearhunter they met in the woods. That’s when I met them, and they were quite worried about their girls out there on their own. We all went to bed early and then started the trek up to the summit together in the morning. I don’t know why but the boys decided to turn around after a while and wait for the girls at the cabin. Only a couple hundred metres further I ran into the missing girlfriends. They were glad to hear from me the boys were all right as they were very worried as well. With them were Dawn and Geoff, a couple from Powell River. They wanted to go up to the summit but the steep trail wasn’t what they expected and were on their way down to the car to drive up the logging road instead. I soldiered on and finally made it to the summit after four hours, almost crawling in the end. SO MUCH WORK, holy sh**!!
The grueling climb was so worth it! I had seen a picture of Tin Hat Hut in a magazine, and that was what inspired me to do the Sunshine Coast Trail. Picture the cutest hut ever on top of a mountain, with a breathtaking view over ocean and island and woods. I wish the hut would be my house.
It was even better than the pictures promised. When I got to the summit I saw Dawn and Geoff chilling outside and they yelled “Yeah girl, you made it!”. I went into the hut to get out of the sun and found a table with bananas, oranges and a note from Lora and Janice, aaaaawwwwww! I had missed them during my little private island adventure and it was awesome to find they really made it up, yay! Unfortunately I wasn’t there to meet them, as they had left a couple hours before I got there. That was sad; I really wanted to see them again. They left me a note because they were concerned if I was all right, and they left me the fruit—best banana in the world after that slog up the hill! They had also brought me some lunch, but didn’t want to leave it to the critters because they didn’t know when I would make it up there, so they took it back down with them. Good thing I met Dawn&Geoff in the morning because they had run into Lora and Janice on the logging road, told them they met me and that I was in good health and on my way up.
Aaaand they gave Dawn the lunch to bring it up for me. SCORE!!!
Pasta with chicken, olives, dried tomatoes and feta cheese was waiting for me under the pan. I had quite a big smile on my face when I arrived at Tin Hat Hut. Sometimes I just cannot believe how awesome people are and that I am so lucky to always meet some of them on my journeys.
THANKS ladies; sending much love to the Sunshine Coast <3
DAY 7 – It’s raining coffee.
After a chill night and plenty of staring at this unbelievable awesome cabin for hours, trying to beat myself in solitaire and convincing to stretch my gluts with some yoga I had a very restful sleep with the hut all to myself.
The next morning I woke up to a totally different world. No longer was I greeted with the gorgeous view, rather, it was misty, cloudy, wet and cold. With this being the only day with rain I had on my whole trip, and the fact that I was staying in the most awesome place in the world, I figured “ok, rest day!”. I filled the time with lots of reading, thinking, writing, playing cards, naps and trying to remember what I did as a kid when there was nothing to do. Without phone, Internet, and a book I had finished, I did more yoga, made more coffee every time I collected enough rainwater (as there is no water at the hut), cleaned the hut, took more naps and tried to appreciate doing nothing.
It worked out well.
DAY 8 – Welcome to heaven!
I woke up to a new world once again—this time above the clouds! How adequate for this spot…welcome to Heaven!
I slowly got ready as I waited for the valley cloud to disappear because the next stretch was going DOWN; all the way, and then up again. I already figured on day one that the founder of this trail enjoyed going up and over every hill that came his way…
As I walked down a logging road for the first section I was keeping a much faster pace than normal and lost track of time…and missed the trailhead. I noticed this when I figured I should be up on the ridge right next to me and not passing it at sea level on the stupid logging road. When I pulled out the GPS my friend from Squamish gave me it was already too late. I walked good 7-10km too far. It sounds crazy, but I guess I was so relaxed and not used to that pace that I just went with the flow. So, here I was, backtracking a dusty logging road with the sun burning down on my head and tired from that fast pace. I considered bushwhacking up to the ridge, but then I remembered the boys and thought, “better not”. Luck was on my side yet again, because after a couple km two road workers picked me up. This time I can call myself really lucky as they were blasting in a new road that day and had to close the trail for a stretch of 5km. Had I tried to find a detour I would have been lost SO badly. They drove me into the bush, jumped some logs with me and brought me safe and sound right to the trail where it continued after the closed section.
I would have missed the whole Smith Range part of the trail if things went differently that day. That would have been a big bummer as the hut where I stayed (Elk Lake hut) was—of course—as amazing as all the others. It was pretty much a cabin with a private lake as it is so far out.