Hiking the Nootka Trail (2)

August 28 Skuna  Bay


Yesterday’s blasting surf settled to a smooth rush from far offshore across the tidal shelf.  The quiet creek winds through first-growth spruce forest, clear enough for me to explore in my water shoes after the regular post-hike nap.  Many of the spruces are snapped off with a horizontal break at 50, 100 or 200 feet and surrounded by light coming through the hole their fallen tops leave in the canopy.



Contrasting to the noise and motion of sea and sky, the creek walk prompted reflection on the unpeopled landscape we’ve been immersed in now for more than 24 hours: the margin of land and ocean varying from forest and rock outcrop to beaches of sand, boulders, pebbles and vast sandstone shelves.



I wore parka, rainpants and poncho to stay dry through the swamps, fog and drizzle that succeeded the sunshine of our first day. My pants kept slipping down and my glasses kept fogging up from the heat of exertion, especially during the half hour we found ourselves bush-crashing to recover the lost trail.  The weight I’d added to my pack to reduce Peter’s tortured my shoulders until Paul showed me the proper strap adjustment to bring it closer to my back.


The series of headlands requiring diversions through the bush ended and the beach turned into a flat tidal shelf of sandstone with good traction extending for a mile seaward and disappearing into the fog.


Drifting off to nap after the day’s six-hour trek, I counted primal contraries revived by backpacking: wet-dry, hot-cool, cold-warm, hungry-full, thirsty-slaked, tired-rested, anxious-relieved. Now my boots, soaked in the last creek crossing, have dried and warmed by the fire.

Peter provided dinner of Annie’s organic Mac and Cheese, my grandsons’ favorite.

Hiking the Nootka Trail (3) »

For a full set of images and slideshow for this day, go here

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