July 1, 2016
Darling River ⇒ Tsusiat Falls (14 km)
After our nice early morning wake-up call courtesy of the birds, we ate breakfast and packed up camp (as would become routine over the next week). Fortunately the campsite we’d chosen gave us a bit of protection from the rain.
As I was taking the dishes down to the ocean to wash, while brushing my teeth, I wiped out completely on the slimy ocean rocks. Luckily only a few people up at camp noticed. I was rewarded with a slightly wet pair of pants to start the day.
We headed off around 8:15 with our raincoats and pack covers on as the rain was gently coming down.
As we cut up from the beach to get on the inland path again, we noticed a large Canada flag. Which was super fitting as it was Canada Day!
First ladder of the day always gets your heart pumping!
We also stumbled upon the uber-Canadian Parks 150th Anniversary chairs. Taking a centered selfie was beyond us though. Where’s our selfie stick when we need it?
We passed the infamous donkey engine. Still not going anywhere.
The path was in questionable condition, but #westcoasttrail. The rain forest is constantly trying to take back the path.
We cut back to the beach for some beach walking and saw the big anchor that I’d had my picture taken with back in 2010.
You’ll notice lots of rocks in the picture above. Dana is fast at walking on them, but I am painfully slow. I’m too cautious for my own good.
As the tide was just starting to go out, we hopped on the exposed shelf areas to “make a mile”. Unfortunately it was still quite wet, and as we rushed along, my feet came out from under me and I fell forward stopping the fall with my hands first, and then my forehead. Dana threw off his pack and raced back to me, in turn also slipping on the rocks and kicking me while I was still laying on the ground. All was well though, except for a slight bump on my forehead and a bruise on my pinky. Could have been much worse!
We headed back inland after, and took our first cable car trip over Klanawa River. Dana loaded us up, and we raced across until 3/4 ways across. Then we (meaning Dana) had to pull ourselves in. Turns out that car is intended for single riders only.
The last couple of kilometers were muddier than we’d experienced so far, but was to be expected due to the rain. All in all, the day seemed much kinder than the first.
We scaled the three ladders down to Tsusiat Falls around 1 PM and set-up camp. The falls were blowing a mist through the campground, plus it was still raining so we wrangled the tarp up for some protection (and sanity). That tarp was a fabulous $4 Victoria last-minute buy!
We both took a quick dip in the glacial falls, which after your body numbed weren’t so bad. “Surprisingly not horrible,” I quipped as I passed another group camped out on the beach and they laughed, saying it was the theme of the day.
That group had elected to stay an extra night at Tsusiat, but had no tarp so they were pretty darn wet from the rainy day.
Dana and I scavenged some dry-ish wood under the large driftwood logs and got a pretty solid fire going. We ate dinner then our friends Nate, Heather, and Sara joined us. Our new friend, Greg, also came to enjoy the fire. The poor guy forgot his raincoat while packing so was wearing a garbage bag instead. We quickly nicknamed him “Garbage Bag Greg” or GBG for short.
We had many laughs as the trio made dinner, an elaborate three hour process involving Costco freeze-dried hashbrowns, which made me both thankful for my freeze-dried meals and crave hashbrowns.
Since it was Canada Day, they were outfitted in all sorts of Canada gear and everyone had a few drinks they’d packed in. Kayla, from the bus on day one, also came by for a visit.
After a somewhat sketchy trip to the outhouses (which are inconveniently located behind a bunch of driftwood and up a rope) in the dark, we headed to bed. Of course, not before soaking our feet a second time in the high tides Oh, inland kids…
Dana and I were a little paranoid we’d get wet in the night, as the tide was pretty high when we went to sleep. Fortunately, it didn’t surge up to our tent, and we kept dry.
Other than a 4 AM pee break, I had a decent sleep, and we both woke up excited to start day three and hike past our previous 2010 quitting point of Nitinat Narrows.