Wonderful sceneries, bird shit and a carcass – let’s continue the WCT story!
“These are quotes from the original journal from the trail.”
West Coast Trail Field Diary
Day 2 The Rain Cover (Cribs Creek to Walbran Bay)
I woke up even before the alarm clock rang at 5.52 am. We had slept for 11 hours straight.
Packing our stuff quietly in the dry area, we were glad about the tarp. It is such a useful item.
Before leaving camp at 8.30, we had some breakfast: oatmeal with (Swiss) chocolate.
The trail followed the coast. Along the shoreline, we saw many beautiful tidal pools filled with many species of fish, coral and crabs. They were like small aquariums.
Then, we came to some ladders that brought us to the lighthouse. There is a couple living there year-round, who looks after it. They receive food and fuel twice a year and collect all their garbage. There is also a heliport for emergencies. Furthermore, there are many whale bones put in place and arranged like a living animal.
From here, the trail continued in the forest for a short while, before we were down by the coast again. As we left the cover of the forest, we realized it was raining. Hence, we made a stop to put on our rain gear.
It was at that point that Phil realized he had left the rain cover for his backpack at the last camp at Cribs Creek drying at a tree. It was too far to go back. So, we improvised a rain cover with the tarp (you see it on the first picture on the left hand side).
Did I mention that it is such a useful item?
We continued along the beach and came across the desolate hut of Monique. This hut had served many hikers with much needed motivation. The hut is situated at about the middle point of the full trek. It was sad to see that the hut was closed and as we later found out it was because their boat sunk and there was a fatality of a close relative.
“Few k’s later, we saw some blue skies in the distance but before we reached it, we hiked another 20 min through dense mist, which made the scenery even more enchanted than it was. The sun was great. The sand is hard to hike on.”
Too many birds
Along the shoreline, we oftentimes came across huge flocks of birds. In particular seagulls were numerous, but also other birds such as swallows were there. At first it was fun to chase the flocks away and taking slow motion videos, but eventually we did not appreciate them anymore. For example, when they were constantly pooping in the only freshwater source available at Walbran Bay. I was joking that all birds of the entire WCT clean their ass in this pond and we had to drink it – after filtering.
I am not a very sensitive person in regard to dirt and living off the grid outdoors, but birds seem to resound with me in a particular way. Hence, after seeing hundreds of birds shitting and cleaning in the lake that we had to drink from and having no way of reaching running water, I was shocked to see how Phil washed our filter in this cesspit. This led to an unresolved argument about what amount of water it needs to transfer sicknesses.
“At camp Walbran there are all birds of the entire WCT cleaning their asses.
We drank it.”
Our argument was disrupted by two participants of the group of seven jumping into the sewage lake and swimming across. They had chosen the inland route, which used a cable car to get to the Camp at Walbran bay. However, the cable car was stuck on our side. So, the two of the group of seven swam across to fix it. However, they needed help to get the steel cable back on the wheel and with joined forces, we made it.
After fixing the cable, the youngest member of the group of seven named Eli, asked whether we missed a rain cover.* This was a huge relief for Philippe, because it is one of the more crucial items on the Wet Coast Trail.
* you see the rain cover in the first image on the left hand side hanging from the tree.
Moments of joy
Apart from the sewage lake, Walbran Bay was one of my favorite camps. It was nested between lush green rainforest with gnarly roots, sandy places to put up the tent and a beach with small pebbles. Furthermore, there was heaps of huge pieces of driftwood that were arranged for a luxurious camping experience. When arriving from the north along the coast line (which is only possible if the Walbran river is not in flood!), you will come around a quite impressive cliff, and gaze all of a sudden at this wonderful place.
This evening, we cooked 500g gnocchi for dinner, but it was not enough, so we ate more snacks (Muesli/chocolate, bars, nuts, tuna, sausages, crispbread, chocolate, sweets, bruschetta, Blueberry’s etc.). We had put up the tarp and had a wonderful camping spot. There was a fire pit next to our place that we prepared to light up as soon as it got chilly. Furthermore, we just enjoyed the sun and were lying around.
This was a moment of simplicity and happiness that I miss a lot nowadays.
Let the evening unfold
At sunset, we walked around the corner of the cliff where we had come from earlier and met two girls from Winnipeg, who did the entire trail – kudos!
From now on, we would frequently meet them on the trail.
The sunset on this evening was spectacular to say the least. Apart from the fact that there was a dead seal carcass lying around – everything was perfect.
It became chilly quite quickly, so we hurried back to the fire pit and let the evening unfold.
Shortly after – taking a leak to be truthful– I gazed upwards and saw it was an amazingly starry night.
I could see the milky way like never before.