Hiking the West Coast Trail (5)

Sunday August 15

Slow morning to enjoy the sunshine and instant coffee.


Next time it will be fine ground beans. Hike is partway on beach, partway on forest trail facilitated by boardwalks, ladders, suspension bridge, steel bridge and cable trolleys.  Views of water and rock and little coves below alternate with deep forest, ancient bogs and a beaver pond bypass.




Arrive at Nitinat Narrows ferry in time for another Indian Reserve restaurant lunch.  We benefit from the assertion of First Nation rights.


A four year old girl, strong Indian features but with blond-brown hair cavorts around the dock.  Her Daddy runs the little ferry and the family enterprise. He pulls a rope up to the dock and lifts out the crab ordered by Peter, tears it apart for cooking by his son and throws some scraps into the water where a large school of salmon fry clean them up.


I get salmon caught off Bonilla Point, which we walked by yesterday, Paul gets halibut.


At the next table two strapping women who passed us at intimidating speed are having lunch.  We chat.  They are carrying three bottles of booze and will finish the trail in four not our 8 days.  One with a French accent is from Montreal, has just finished school and earlier in the summer cycled down the coast to San Francisco.  Steve and she compare notes about the roads.  He did it with his son 20 years ago.


The dock where we sit is anchored at the edge of Nitinat narrows, which drains and fills a huge saltwater lake (lake not inlet because it also has freshwater that flows into the ocean).  The deep green water heads upstream at an astonishing rate, the surface curled by whirlpools.  After lunch Daddy ferries us across to the trailhead.



Late in the afternoon we find a beach access. Paul and I search for water while Peter and Steve wait, refusing to go on further.  A spring is found hidden in the brush at an unmarked spot south of Tsushiat point where we set up for the night.



Wind has shifted onshore and we see the fog approaching.  Noone else in sight in all directions.  I listen to the gravelly rumble of pebbles pushed and pulled by the waves rolling against one another .



[Full set of 196 pictures, slideshow and all sizes]

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