Vancouver Island’s West Coast Trail is a 75 km-long rugged coastal route through mud bogs, over slippery boulders, under huge fallen trees, up 70 ladders, across 130 bridges, and zipping over rivers inside 4 cable cars. I hiked the trail in May, when it’s especially wet and muddy.
Day 1 (May 29, 2013) Bamfield (Pachena Bay ranger station) to Tsocowis Creek Campground
Distance walked: 16 km
Wildlife seen: ravens, 2 black bears, hundreds of smelly seals
Hikers encountered (going opposite way as me): 7 (of these, 5 had just finished the trail)
Hikers encountered (going same way as me): 4
Lunch: fresh avocados with pork jerky, cashews, and chocolate
I wake up at 5:15am in my 6×10 foot hostel room. It’s a private room, but in a solitary-confinement sense. I eat half a dozen bananas then I’m out the door. It’s raining. Hard. I hide under the umbrella I plan to use on the trail. This 15 minute walk to the bus station is the only time I’ll use it for the entire trek, save 5 minutes under a big tree with pounding rain smashing through the upper leaves.