Friday, September 18, 2009

The West Coast Trail and Juan de Fuca Trail

It's official! I've booked a ride on the Victoria Clipper from Seattle to Victoria for 3:15 PM tomorrow afternoon. =) My plan is to find a place to spend the night in Victoria tomorrow night (so far, I don't actually have any reservations anywhere, but I have all my backpacking gear--I can stealth camp if I really have to! Ha!)

Then I'm off to Bamfield and the trailhead for the northern terminus of the West Coast Trail. I have to take an "orientation class" before they'll give me my permit--you know a trail is tough when you're required to take a class about the trail before they'll let you on it! Then I get to hike the next 50 miles through knee-deep mud, up and down 30 stories worth of ladders, cross two rivers on boats, and numerous serge channels on hand-drawn cable cars, all the while timing my hike on the beach to make sure that a high tide doesn't drown me. If the rain doesn't drown me first--this is a rain forest where precipitation is measured in feet rather inches. (Actually, being Canada, it's probably measured in meters rather than centimeters, but you get the point.) The area regularly gets more than ten FEET of rain per year. What's in it for me? It should be fun! And it's allegedly the most scenic trail in the entire North American continent. =)

Once I claw my way off the trail, I'll end up in the bustling little town of Port Renfrew. Rather than go home, I've decided to extend my hike by doing the Juan de Fuca Trail, another 30 miles along the Vancouver Island coast before getting a ride back to Victoria. The Juan de Fuca Trail conveniently starts right by Port Renfrew, so I don't even need a ride to that trailhead. It's also supposed to be a tough hike, and is allegedly the second-most scenic trail in the entire North American continent.

I'm not exactly sure when I'll finish, but I'll get a ride into Victoria once I finsh both trails. I'll stay in Victoria and play the tourist until October 1st when I'm booked to return to Seattle again on the Victoria Clipper. Hopefully that night I'll be online and post that I survived the hike. Until then, if you wonder what happened to me, that's it! =)

-- Ryan


Anonymous said...

Good luck Ryan! I can't wait to read about it.

Lucy Locket

ipsquibibble said...

Now THOSE look like interesting hikes! Have fun- I bet you get an entire calendar's worth of photos on this trip! Poodle Circus

Stacy Christian said...

80 miles? You should be done by Thursday at the latest then, right? Enjoy!

CLoveR said...

Yeah! I love your hiking stories! May safety be your companion!

Anonymous said...

wow I don't think I could ever do that... The longest hike I ever completed was about 5 miles. Good luck and be careful!

The 121 said...

...Sounds like great fun Ryan. I am looking forward to the photos and stories that will follow. May your steps be sound and your feet bring you round trip!

Anonymous said...

The West Coast Trail is my all time favourite long hike. The bestest of the west coast.
Keep us posted when/where you can.
IS Amanda going to hook up with you somewhere? At least at Bamfield or Tsusiat Falls.