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Bamfield to Michigan Creek: 12km

We wake to the sound of rain. After lying in bed and contemplating the thought of starting our week-long adventure by getting completely soaked, we decide to hold off on getting up for as long as possible in hopes of the rain easing.


Thankfully, at about 9:00am it does, so we get up and eat. I decide to have one last ďgourmetĒ meal, cooking up some sausage, eggs, and whatever else I donít want to carry onto the trail in my overloaded pack. Weíre ready to head out by noon and apparently Iíve been elected to be the first to carry the heavy, rain-soaked tent. Thatís funny, I donít remember getting to vote! Oh well, Iím up to the challenge. It should be a good test, since my pack is at its heaviest with a full week of supplies.

Some final packing before stepping onto the trailhead.

We head out but, to our distress, in an open field mere steps from the trailhead, what I would describe as a West Coast Monsoon hits. Our rain gear comes on and we take our first steps onto the trail. Itís not so bad in the cover of the forest and our attention is quickly captivated by the surreal look of the low-hanging fog licking out in fingers through the branches of the huge, mighty trees.


A few hours in, I take a fall off of a downward sloping boardwalk, made slick from pouring rain. I land hard, right on myÖ sleeping bag! Whew!  Itís true: this trail can be unforgiving and bring your trip to an end in seconds if you arenít careful.

Left: Mike and Erica on the first few km's of the trail.

Right: Marlin, soaked but happily trudging through the foggy forest.

Hidden somewhere in the fog is Erica

Later we explore a densely vegetated side-trail that innocently peels off from the main one.  Travis goes on ahead and soon comes back saying that he can hear some loud, but unidentifiable, animal sounds coming from the direction of the ocean.  Taking off our packs and fighting through the bush brings us to a dead end on the top of a high ocean cliff that plunges straight down into the raging waters.  Out about 50 meters from the base of the cliff is a small rock island with some enormous sea lions just hanging out and making lots of noise!


Back on the main trail once again, we soon begin to hear a faint blasting that must be coming from the horn at the Pachena Lighthouse, which is still quite far away.  When we get there, weíre soaked to the bone from a mix of rain and sweat.  To give our spirits a lift, Mike buys everyone a chunk of Pachena Point Fudge from the friendly light keeper. 

The bases of the ancient trees have enormous diameter.


After a rest, we trudge on to our first camp at Michigan Creek, which marks our 12th km for the day.  We set up camp, trying to avoid contact with the monstrous, slimy slugs that look to be about 6 inches long when stretched out on the nearby logs.  Then we rush some dinner and head to bed with the steady pounding of rain on the tentsÖ

Mike amidst the errie, tangled forest limbs, looking like a hunch-back with his pack-cover on.


On the beach, our first camp at the end of day one.

Join one man's journey into

           the heart of Asia

with nothing but a backpack...


"The hardest thing is explaining to your co-workers that

               you're grouchy

because you were up until 1am reading..."

Ada Litvinov

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

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