August 31, 2016

West Coast Trail 2016 Beginnings

It has been a week since I have gotten off trail and had time to reflect on an amazing but very difficult 8 day hike on the West Coast Trail. I gifted this experience to myself for my 60th birthday and yes, there were days when perhaps a nice purse would of been a good choice but definitely not as rewarding. The West Coast Trail, known as the Graveyard of the Pacific , is sited as the Best Hike in North America but also has a difficulty rating of high - 63 evacuated already in 2016. I was about to see why!!

My trailmates and I set out on Aug 17 from Anacortes on the ferry to Victoria to meet up the next day with Sea To Sky Expeditions and meet the rest of our group. Nina, Kay and I were anxiously excited to begin our adventure. Spending a day picking up last minute items and spending time with Diane - one of our many trail angels-(more about them later.) A last night sleep in a bed and a great cup of coffee in the morning and we were off.

Day One
We meet up with Mark and Tessa, our amazingly patient and knowledgeable guides and 5 other hikers that we were going to get to know, laugh, cry and share with for the next 8 days. We made our way to Port Renfrew with 5 minutes to spare to attend a mandatory 2 pm Orientation by Parks Canada. This ensured we could start the hike first thing in morning. Permits and information was invaluable for a safe hike.
We were camping out our first night, repacking and getting rid of excess weight in packs.
The campground was on First Nations Land , as is the entire trail - This particular stretch of the trail was run by the Pacheedaht First Nations. We have decided that the weather will be good and so we ditch our tents and just take our tent poles, footprint and rain fly. Open air camping is a first- How will the critters stay out?

 Morning came early - first breakfast of oatmeal, not my favorite but I'd get used to it and coffee. Tents packed, new friends made and it is time to begin out journey. Off to Parks Canada to weigh our packs and get a ride across the Gordon River Inlet from Butch.
How did my pack get so heavy - I started the hike with 37 lbs on my back - How was this going to work?
 We are hiking South to North getting the hardest parts out of the way in the first 3 days, according to me - they were all hard but this is the best way. I could not imagine doing it the other way.

To be Continued 


  1. You are AMAZING my friend!! I am sooo inspired by you!!

  2. What what an amazing first day!