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Dare Point to Walbran Creek: 16km

Camp, Day 4. Sean hated doing dishes, but never enough to let Travis do them.


You know, I just can’t seem to sleep past 6:00am and the sunrise on this trip! So, as has become the norm, I get up at 7:00am , and relax with some time alone for an hour. When everyone else gets up, Mike starts off the day by showing us a strange, unknown skin condition that has developed on his hip. I quickly diagnose it as a “pack hickey”, which has likely been caused by the hours of constant rubbing of his backpacks hip belt against his waist - at least I hope that is what it’s from.


Moving further into the world of the unknown, I decide to attempt my first “inter-tidal flush”; I was a little nervous about the whole thing but it goes well. This delicate procedure may or may not need explanation, but feel free to ask me about it if you’re curious.


There’s a guy who lives here in a little shack with a tarp-covered outdoor kitchen. He calls the place “Club 37” – it’s at the km 37 mark of the trail - and serves up pancake breakfasts and hamburgers to starving hikers. Everyone enthusiastically digs in except for me; I’ve decided not to indulge and to just stick with the Cream of Wheat that I packed in for this morning as one of my goals is to complete the trip by being self-sufficient.


We begin our day with a short stint inland and then hit the beach, walking along some unique rock shelves called the Cribs, which offer some spectacular scenery. I lag behind the others a little, but catch up at a section of the beach that is populated with groups of hundreds of seagulls that calmly part down the middle as I approach, revealing a clear path for me to travel.  I fondly recall a comic I once read, and with the others just ahead, I decide to scare the sh*t out of the birds by running and crazily waving my arms, but realize far too late that this may not have been a good decision; hundreds of them begin frantically stampeding, flying over and all around us in a mass panic. Luckily we’re all wearing good hats and a close inspection reveals no one was “bombed.”


All of the seagulls before the action.


 The comic that came to mind (courtesy Gary Larson).

Countless mussels.

At Carmanah Point, we see another rock island full of sea lions, but there is something new that quickly grabs our attention. Attached to the rock shelves, there are countless farms consisting of what looks to be hundreds of mussels in each. Another interesting thing about this part of the trail is that it’s home to some of the world’s tallest Sitka spruce, some being over three meters in diameter and about 700 years old. The tallest is nearly thirty-two stories high!








It’s becoming apparent that something is wrong with Marlin’s feet. He seems to be limping and slowing down, but has not said anything. We move onward, and shortly come to a huge set of ladders that take us to the Carmanah Light House that was established in 1891. It’s foggy, so the horn is doing its job letting out a trio of short, but very loud blasts every ninety seconds.



"Work it! Show me that GQ attitude!"

Carmanah Lighthouse.

Stepping away from the story for a moment, look at the shots below... do you see the face in the rock? Hmmm... these were taken only minutes apart, yet I did not understand what they revealed until I began studying them for this book... People say that you take on characteristics of your surroundings after a while... now, the more I look, the more trouble I have distinguishing which is Mike and which is the rock!


More beach.

Pushing on, we get to Monique’s, another shack - the original - on the beach where we can buy another sinful treat. Everyone ravenously digs into a hamburger and soaks into the comfort of some patio chairs on the sand. I remain strong (or crazed!) and opt for a log as my backrest and my regular bagel and cheese for lunch. I do allow myself to buy a pop and chocolate bar since I could have easily packed these in place of some other food that I won’t be able to finish (and will be packing back out anyway). Interestingly, Monique has a give-and-take box that you can use to reduce your load by leaving food in, if you have too much, or take food from if you find yourself hungry. I quickly note that it was rather full; by this point people know how much food they’ll need to finish, and they’re beginning to tire of the relentless weight of their packs on their sore muscles.

It’s been warm but overcast much of the day with no rain as of yet; we’ve been making excellent time compared to yesterday. However, things change as we walk about 5km over some of the most difficult beach terrain we’ve yet faced in order to reach Vancouver Point. We hit the tides wrong and the point is impassable, but rather than waiting we decide to do the last 1km inland - even though, last we heard, there is a bridge out. This proves to be the muckiest, most difficult part yet and, yes, the bridge is still out. We are forced into some hard work and need to use ropes to get around the ravine that was previously made passable by the bridge. We’re all happy to arrive at Walbran Creek, our campsite for the night. Looking back, it was certainly a good change of pace to have trekked most of the day on the beach.


Oh, and Marlin’s feet… they’ve been getting progressively worse through the day and are now covered in duct tape to try to control the blistering.


Walking more cribs.

The bridge is out, the ravine deep, and the cabbage thick.


Marlin's feet

"A real adventure, by a real guy. 

If you're going to do something, do it big. 


Dean Fedecko

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