Sunshine Coast Trail Part#1
~ My address? I don’t think I have one right now…
– So you are living here for now, on the Sunshine Coast Trail?
~ Weeeell ya, I think so…
While working seasonal jobs can be tough, there is one big advantage: the big gap between the summer and winter jobs.
Every time this gap comes up I try to get all my things together, move out and go explore. Being a gypsy wasn’t always easy for me. No space to call my own, no door to close when I want to be alone and all my stuff needs to be stored somewhere.
But it can also be the total opposite, just make it happen! Pack all your essentials in one backpack, find good friends who are willing to store the rest of your stuff in their apartment, and then take off on another adventure!
Recently, this happened to me once again. Thanks to some very awesome friends in Squamish who took care of my belongings, I used a rainy weekend in Squamish to prepare for a solo hike down the Sunshine Coast Trail.
Then I started walking.
I began the journey by leaving my friend’s trailer in Squamish. After walking to the highway, I hitched myself a ride to the ferry… and then more rides and more ferries all the way up north to the Sunshine Coast aka the “End of the Road”, or Mile 0 as it is known by some people. It’s the beginning of Highway 101, part of the longest highway system in the world: the Pacific Coastal Highway. It starts in Lund, Sunshine Coast, Canada and ends 15,202 km further south in Quellon, Chile.
The Sunshine Coast Trail starts north of Lund at Sarah Point, the most northern point of the upper Sunshine Coast peninsula, and meanders 180 km down south around Powell River. It comes out at Saltary Bay, the southern tip of that Upper Peninsula, to the ferry terminal to Earl’s Cove. You can camp in your tent on one of the very well chosen camp spots along the trail or power through and hike from hut to hut. You cannot reserve the huts, so first come, first sleep. It doesn’t matter if you sleep in your tent or in one of these awesome huts—it’s going to be amazing! The original builders chose the spots for the huts very well; you will be amazed every time you come to the next hut. On top of mountains, sitting on big cliffs, huge bluffs, tucked into the thick rainforest or right next to pretty lakes.
Check out their website to find more information about the trail!
It took me a day to get to Lund where I met some awesome people. John from Sechelt took the “scenic” route, showed me at least 5 beaches between Gibsons and Sechelt, and invited me to go diving and stay for a bit to check out the area. Janice and her dog Franky came from the mainland to check out Powell River because they want to move there. Amanda gave me a ride from Powell River to Lund with 2 other local, native people from the Tla’amin Nation whose Treaty had recently been brought into force only couple days before and told me about how stoked they were to finally be under self-governance.
Amanda dropped me off in Lund, and from there it’s still another 12km to Sarah Point where the trailhead is. Not many people live up there, so I set up camp in Lund and enjoyed the beautiful sunset over this tiny hippie town nestled in the bay. Camping on the logging road felt a bit creepy, especially for my first night, and the campground was closed. I set up my tent on the patio of the kayak shop, overlooking the whole Lund bay. It was a pretty prime spot that felt all right for my first night! Sleeping there is probably not allowed, but nobody was there and I was in nobody’s way. Plus, there was no “No Camping” sign, so it must be allowed then, right?!
The next morning I checked the water taxi for a lift to the trailhead at Sarah Point. But as it was only myself it would have cost $200…Ehm – no thanks. I then tried to catch a boat ride with the workers in the marina, but they were all headed the other way, so no dice. I started walking the logging road: No traffic, dusty and warm, with 27 kg on my back…. YAY! Adventure Time! Meh.
After five minutes of attempting to manifest cars, I was lucky enough to get picked up by two boys on their way to Bliss Landing. The look they gave me when they lifted my heavy pack into the back of the truck (because I couldn’t lift it that high up) was pretty funny.
“Are you going to carry this or will your boyfriend join and carry it on his back?!”
“Nope, no boyfriend. I have strong legs from the winter, I can do that.”
From Bliss Landing I had to walk; no more people, no more cars. After two or three hours I finally made it to the tip: Sarah Point, End of Land. Hello Desolation Sound!
Sarah Point is nothing more than rainforest, pretty shoreline and a nice camping spot. The only luxury is an outhouse and some platforms to set up your tent off the rocky ground. All with first row ocean view—no Five Star hotel comes close to this, I’m sure!
I had a very restful first night out in the wilderness by myself at the End Of Land. Adventure time! Going to start the Trail tomorrow, excited!