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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

Obstacle course....NOT a Trail!

A picture is worth a thousand words isn’t it? The muddy boots say it all. So does Richard and me both lying on our individual couches after today’s hike. It certainly was a test of our endurance on the moderately rated trail! We felt the trail was more like an obstacle course than a trail. Who rates these trails anyway?

Before we headed out for our hike today Richard called the Fanny Bay Oysters Seafood shop this morning to check if the Dungeness crab had come in, as we wanted to stop by Buckley Bay to pick it up.. Mitch at the seafood shop said “No. Last night’s delivery did not come in. You will be lucky to get them by Tuesday, knowing these fisherman we deal with. Sometimes the fisherman will tell us their boat was broken or all they caught were female crabs or an octopus ate all the catch.”. I could hear Richard belly laughing on the phone during this conversation, but I was only hearing Richard’s side of the conversation. Anyway, it looks like we will have to wait for the crab feast as Mitch did say the crabs they had were small, some missing claws and they were bottom of the tank quality! Not the first crab experience we want to have!

We didn’t feel like venturing too far today on our hike since yesterday’s hike and workout were very strenuous. I had seen that the Nile Creek trail (west) was only about 10 minutes from the RV park, and thought it looked nice and close. All Trails rated the trail as Moderate, an out and back trail, at 3.9km. The trail immediately started out as fairly intense and within a few minutes of being on the trail I stepped down off a log and ended up like this:

My left foot got stuck in the mud and I was quickly sinking as if I was in quicksand. I had to yell for Richard to turn around and give me something to lean against to get my foot out of the mud. OMG!

We ended up not sure where the trail was because there were two different colours of ribbons tied to the trees. An orange ribbon and a blue ribbon. Richard headed up one trail which was taking us away from the river and I said “We need to turn around. We need to be following the river and not trying to go up a hill!” We finally found our way back to the river trail and it got pretty intense after that.

Here are some pictures I took while I still had my camera around my neck.

Well laid out trail

You want me to cross that?!

There is nothing to grab onto. You just have to balance across the slippery log.

Whoever maintains this trail needs a medal.

Now its getting intense.

More intensity

We did not cross this tree trunk We took a detour down through the forest, as we didn’t have anything to hold onto.

Following the blue trail.

We probably saw more mushrooms in this forest than on any other trail we have been on.

All different varieties of mushrooms.

At this point I was still smiling. it was very warm in the forest and I had to take my hat off and wished I could lose the jacket too, since I was sweating and it was +7C today.

We could hear the water from the river, but we were still no where close to the Falls. Another couple that had passed us when we first started our hike, were on their way back out on the same trail we were on. We asked them how much further to the Falls and they said ”Twenty more minutes and the trail gets a lot more intense by the Falls, where you have to go straight up hill”. We didn’t want to be defeated and not see the Falls, but there comes a point when “enough is enough”. At that point we turned around and started back out, down the same trail. I counted 30 tree log bridges that we had to cross over, from the point we stopped, ‘til we made it back to Jerry. OMG! I am so glad we stopped. We got back to Jerry and we realized we had been hiking for almost 3 hours. I had to put my camera away on this hike, because I needed my wits about me, so I wouldn’t fall. Richard was apparently doing the hiker’s prayer which goes like this “Let me get Ruth out of here safely God!”

And just to add insult to injury, getting up to the car was a pretty hilly incline. My face says it all. I was very pooped after this hike! That was two intense days of hiking back to back!

After our intense hike it was close to 2pm and we were really hungry. We thought we would find the noodle/curry hut that we had seen on the Coastal Hwy, but we when we arrived down in Qualicum Bay, we weren’t sure whether to turn right or left on the Coastal Hwy.

We turned right. We should have turned left. Both of us kept thinking that if we just went around the next curve in the road, we would find the little food stand we had driven by so many times.

When we arrived in Qualicum Beach, we realized we were not going to find the food truck. That’s when I asked Richard to drive down to these houses we could see that were directly on the water, since we had never driven that part of Qualicum Beach before.

The road ended at a vey nice, fairly deserted park. Richard stayed in the car to rest his legs, while I got out to take some photos. I frankly was having a hard time making my legs go, but I wanted to see what the view was like for the people that lived there.

View to the left towards Fanny Bay.

View to the right towards Qualicum Beach.

Texada Island across the Strait of Georgia/Salish Sea. Texada island with an area of 300.45 km is the largest of the Gulf Islands and is named after Felix de Tejada, a Spanish rear admiral To get to Texada Island, we would have to take a ferry from Comox to Powell River, on the B.C. mainland, and then cross from Powell River, to Texada Island. We won’t be doing this!

Funky house on the beach. The side of the house is entirely decorated with painted nautical images.

I would prefer the house on the left. Jerry sitting in the parking lot at the end of the street.

We were really hungry by now and decided we should have turned left and driven back towards Fanny Bay on the Coastal Hwy, after our hike. As we arrived at the noodle/curry truck we saw that it was closed for the day!

Darn! We were really looking forward to checking this place out. We will come again another day, now that we know its in Lighthouse Country, and not far from Fanny Bay.

After an exhausting day we went home for grilled cheese sandwiches instead! Richard thoroughly washed the boots and brought them in to dry in Newman. We also had to do another load in our washer/dryer combo because we were filthy! It’s the first time since we’ve been hiking out here on the Island that we were really full of mud everywhere!

Tomorrow Richard has to wait around for the propane delivery, while I head into Courtenay for my strength training. I think my trainer is going to be very impressed with how much stronger my leg has gotten with all of this crazy intense hiking!

And some more good news! We found a place to stay in Tofino that will have us! Because we have been on the island for over a month, I guess we are now considered “locals” as opposed to being “tourists”. We found a beautiful “photographers paradise” VRBO in downtown Tofino that I am going to book for us in March. Whale watching starts in March in Tofino and we want to be able to do that while we are there. I also have a big huge milestone birthday in March, so I think that would be a nice way to spend my birthday! To get to Tofino right now is extremely difficult. There was a rock slide across the only highway and the main road closes every day from 11am-3pm; and 4pm-5pm. On Saturdays the road only opens to “flush” the cars through in each direction, at the top of the hour. So if we want to go to Tofino in the very near future, we would have to be on the road by 7am and then come back on a Sunday. The other issue about getting to Tofino is going through the mountain passes. It is supposed to get colder next week with below zero temperatures in the evening. Since the mountains are typically colder, it is hard to judge whether there would be snow in the mountains or not and Jerry does not have snow tires. I think going to Tofino in March makes more sense and we can also visit Ucluelet at the same time and stay for a few extra days to take in both spots

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