Saturday, July 2, 2016

Juan de Fuca trail, Vancouver Island

Taking advantage of a work trip to Victoria, BC, I met up with a fellow trekker, Jordan, to do an overnight hike on the Juan de Fuca trail on the last weekend in June. The challenges were a Saturday afternoon start for the drive out, only one car to manage a point-to-point hike and catching a red eye flight to Ottawa the next evening. 
Success would require steady movement and a bit of luck: from dropping the car at our end point at Sombrio Beach and hitchhiking back to the trail head at China Beach, to making it to Bear Beach for our overnight, and an early start for the most challenging part of the hike. In total we would hike about 29 km with considerable cumulative elevation gain as the trail meanders along the coast from sea level up to 231 m and is hardly ever actually flat.

We managed it all with ease. The sweltering heat was kept at bay by the trail running through coastal forest and therefore endless shade. The timing issues with night fall and an early rise were handled deftly - such is the nature of necessity. We fueled well and made sure we stayed hydrated. We also got to take a look at our respective gear - from my inReach and ultra light 3 person tent, to Jordan's awesome cooking set up and creek crossing foot wear. Between the two of us, we seem to be in the right gear kind of shape for a long, unsupported remote traverse.

This trip was an exploratory excursion to see whether my new hiking pal and I would enjoy a 10-day remote back country trek in Northern BC this August. It appears we are the kind of compatible you'd want to be for an excursion like that. Now, there is just one final logistical item to iron out and we'll make a final decision about whether this trek is a go next month sometime next week.

Meanwhile where are a few impressions from Juan de Fuca. (Click on images to see them larger in slide show mode)
Morning fog from our camp side hideaway on Bear Beach.

Morning fog burns off.

Bear Beach views

For some a sign is reassurance. Then again, there is only one trail.

View from the trail.

Lots of creeks giving opportunity to experiment with camera settings.

Sombrio Beach was our end point this time. Heading up to the car
 and back to Victoria with enough time for a shower
before going to the airport ;)

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