We have been working our way along the Juan de Fuca Trail with Toni on this trip as well (hiked some of it last year). It’s a lovely trail in the very beautiful British Columbia on Vancouver Island. Last year we saw China, Mystic and Sombrio. On this day, we hiked our way through Parkinson Creek Trail to the beach with monster sized drift wood and Payzant Creek with little waterfalls.
Last year marked my first time on rugged ‘real’ hikes and trails. As a person I have a lot of fears and phobias and the past few years I’ve tried hard to work on them. There were times this trip I felt quite uncomfortable but it wasn’t as bad as last year. I did enjoy the challenge of the terrain.
Located 37.6 km in on the Juan de Fuca, Parkinson Creek Trailhead will take you through the woods. This was the first time I used trekking poles and it helped a lot, the forest floor is full of roots and enormous earthen steps (especially if you are short like me).
The beach was fun to explore; the rocks are big and extra grippy on our hike shoes. A doggie and his human were our beach mates for a bit, other than that, it was only us.
The day before I was telling Toni about Vic’s first time jumping in a hammock in Aruba, he rolled over and fell on his face and all the flamingos came to stare at him. There’s a point in the trail where you have to climb over a big fallen log. I swung my leg over and I felt myself start to roll over (the log is slippery with moss); that was a hilarious moment. Karma, man, never laugh at people but you can’t help it because these are funny moments – all the birds came over and gawked at him with their heads cocked and as soon as my leg went over the log, my whole body started to move that way fast. But I caught myself.
It’s hard to take in the scenery because you are always watching your feet. So remember to pause and look around you, we didn’t do that enough.
Shit…spoke to soon earlier about feeling more comfy on the trails.
The first three bridges and stairs without rails were okay but then there was more! I don’t know how many, I just couldn’t think anymore. My fear tolerance (fear of heights) reached it’s limit, my brain wouldn’t think anymore except for ‘stay calm’. Then there’s a bridge that consisted of two planks of wood. It’s wood so there’s some give when someone steps on it, it’s flexible but not going to break.
And finally, we arrived at the water fall and camping platforms. We rested here and ate. You have the option to climb down to the waterfall but it’s very steep and probably some upper body strength involved because you have a rope to help pull you up. I wasn’t going near that edge just needed to eat my BBQ chips. So glad I had them, needed that comfort food bad, licked the BBQ spices off my fingers too.
We were so hopeful when our guide thought she saw bear claw marks on a tree, they weren’t 😦 We were hoping to see the resident bear of the area. Be mindful and keep a safe distance with wildlife, our guide walks us through the wildlife safety steps before we set off.
To my horror we had to head back! This is the part I was dreading, going back through the areas without all the rails. Sometimes along the trail it’s easier to use your butt to get to the next step. It’s so much easier for me to get muddy in BC because there are less bugs than in the Hudson Valley.
But first, we made a side trip to all the little waterfalls. Vic and I were pretty beat and I was so thirsty (remember to pack a decent amount of water).
There was hand holding, quite a bit of hand holding. My weak pleas for ‘hand’ gave way to just ‘help’ at the very end.
The Verdict: Glad I went in blind and didn’t know this is a moderate-difficult hike, if I knew I would have refused. I’m happy I got through it, not sure if I can do it again; I go back and forth. It’s really muddy (it’s the rain forest) and I’m unbalanced as a person, literally so wobbly by nature. If it is less muddy maybe I can try it again with hand holding. I’m realizing I may always need some hand holding to get through something like this but I’m happy knowing I’m getting out of my comfort zone.
I kinda ran back to the car in the parking lot so I could drink water, was so thirsty (pack enough water, this was a real work out hike).
Just for laughs: After dinner in the parking lot I almost fell while getting into the minivan. After that damn hike that terrified me where I didn’t fall, I almost fall in the parking lot! We were all laughing at me, it was hilarious.