Well this is our last day on the beach. It has been a hike that met all our expectations
As usual we are early risers, so we had logan bread and bannock for breakfast, with peanut butter, nutella, jam or honey as well as our tea and coffee.
We only have 12 kms to go today and it is apparently easier than the rest of the trail. I expect easy is a relative term when talking about the WCT. No way there will be no mud, ladders or other such things.
So we head out in the pre-dawn. There seemed to be enough light at the campsite but we are now in the forested part so it is darker. Have our headlamps with us just in case. There is no beachwalking today unless we get to Pachena Bay while the tide is out, then the last bit can be walked across the beach.
There are a couple of good viewing spots along the trail, and we meet a few hikers / joggers / dog walkers as we get closer to the trail head.
The walking is superb, and we make good time.
Just as we get close to KM 1, we find the last ladder – and it is a big one – so the trail is going to make sure we remember I guess. We walk across the beach, through the last part of the trail and find ourselves at the North Trailhead.
No bands, no cheering crowds, just a couple of rangers in the building waiting for hikers to leave or arrive. We sign off the trail, buy a T-shirt and a few other things and head to the parking lot. It is about 10 am. There is a person there who has a taxi service that charges $10 each to go the 5 kms to Bamfield, but hell, we just walked 75 kms – we may as well walk the last five too.
As we walk along, the road continues on an uphill climb pretty much all the way to Bamfield. By the time we get there, we figure maybe $10 wasn’t such a bad price.
We have some time yet till the shuttle gets here to take us back to the South Trailhead, so we have breakfast in the local restaurant, buy a few snacks and wait outside for the shuttle.
There are a number of other hikers we have seen on various campsites that arrive through the morning until the shuttle arrives. Once we are all loaded in, there are no vacant seats (or room for gear either).
It is a rather long ride back (read hours), but the scenery is good in a number of spots and we pass through some small towns. The road though is quite dusty, and it would be no fun to be following anyone. Some on the bus talked all the way back, others slept and some listened to music. The hikers that just finished the trail were pleased with what they were able to do, and those who were taking the shuttle to the south end to start their hike were looking forward to their adventure.
All in all this was a fabulous hike, and likely the best trail we have been on – it was worth the wait and all the planning. I for sure, will do this one again. Maybe won’t have to take as many pictures though. I have about 1300 and together the 3 of us have close to 3000 – so that will keep us busy during the winter months in Manitoba.
That’s it for the WCT series of blogs, hoped you enjoyed them and found them entertaining and informational. Stay safe on your hikes and if you have this one on your list – I would strongly suggest working at planning your hike and taking it off your list.