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Klanawa River to Dare Point: 14.5km

Travis does dishes... only his dishes.

We wake up to fog that quickly burns off to reveal a beautiful blue sky! The first entertainment of today is Travis cleaning his clear plastic dishes using his tongue. Another reminder that entertainment is not always pretty. We are ready to go by 10:00am , as we have a big day ahead with a goal of doing 20km. There is a large stretch of trail ahead with no water that we want to make it through, as well as a ferry crossing at the Nitinat Narrows which must be made by 5:00pm .

Mike looks confident as he and I load into the first car.

The cable car is a blast! We have to climb up onto a small tower that suspends the cable car 50 feet in the air over the river. Then, one person holds the car while two others get in, stuffing their packs in the space on the floor between them. Have you ever seen those little cans of oysters and noticed how they pack those babies in there? Well, this is very similar and, come to think of it, most of us even smell a little bit like oysters after our day of hard work yesterday! Anyhow, when the car is all packed up and ready to go, the spotter lets go of the cable. The weight and steadily building momentum of the packed car sends us soaring about three-quarters of the way across the water, leaving us hanging in the air over the river! We break into a little sweat pulling ourselves across the remainder of the way.

Mike and I enjoy the ride!

After that we take an inland trail, encountering our first significant ladders, and then the spectacular Tsusiat Falls - Tsusiat is a Nitinat word for ďwater pouring down.Ē The beauty of the falls cannot be put to words. You must just look at the pictures or, preferably, see them for yourself!

 

Tsusiat Falls.

Hole in the Wall.

The tides are below 9 feet, so we push on from there along the beach. We pass Tsusiat Point through ďHole in the Wall,Ē a natural rock arch that has been etched by the never-ending pounding of the ocean against it. Itís hot out, but after only a short break we push onward at a good pace in order to make the ferry.

We end up arriving in plenty of time at 3:30pm , but are dead tired. We donít take off our packs gently like normal; we drop them like rocks and plop down on the ground in a heap! After about twenty minutes, Carl Edgar Jr. arrives to ferry us across the Narrows and we take the opportunity to buy his last two chocolate bars with a round of Coke - heís got quite a business going on the side! We decide to break for our long overdue lunch right on the dock, even though itís already 4:30pm and weíve still got 10km to go to reach our campsite - not to mention fresh water.

 

 

Negotiating with Carl Edgar Jr.

 

Unloading after our successul crossing.

 

Endless boardwalks...

Continuing on, we encounter some huge sections of boardwalk. The entire trail is full of these, but there are more than usual here and, despite them being rickety and slick, we cautiously make some good time. Arriving at the Cheewhat River , or ď River of Urine ,Ē it becomes overly obvious why the water in this section is no good. Hopefully itís mostly because of the color and not the taste! Not surprisingly, no one volunteers to find out.

With still another 5km of trail to go, we are exhausted. We decide to make camp around Dare Point which is only a few minutes away; we think we have enough water to last the night.

 

Mike has proven his determination through this day. We could tell his knee was still hurting, but with the help of a walking stick he kept up through a gruelling pace. I am glad and now hopeful that he will be able to go on. The entire team is important, but it was years ago that he and I started this whole thing together -Iíd be absolutely crushed if we didnít cross the finish line together.

 

I donít know how Sean managed to carry the heavy load of the tent through this, our longest day yet, but he did a heck of a job! Although we havenít talked about it, I think many of us have made the completion of this trail more than just a trip: itís a personal challenge, for our own reasons. I think that Sean is on his way to a great victory.

Camp, Day 3.

  Rice Crust from the Bottom of the Pot: A Journey Across South East Asia  

 

If you've been there, this book will bring back some vivid memories.

 

If you're planning to go, it will give you a flavor for what is to come.

 

If you're one that is content to sit back in a chair and just read about it, 

this book will take you there.

Although in creating this site I have tried to make the information as accurate as possible, it is not meant to be a guide, and I accept no responsibility for any loss, injury, or inconvenience sustained by anyone using the information.

 Backpacking the West Coast Trail

 © 2005 Parry Loeffler