BOONER's Blog

Adventures, Photography, And more


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changes to booner’s blog

My blog is changing… for the better! I have decided to focus the blog on a few new areas as well as keeping the photography focus. Part of this is because a lot of the photography I have done lately I am not able to share and part of this is to blog about some of my other passions. This will allow me to post far more frequently 🙂

Coming up in the next few weeks I will post about my triathlon training and a mountaineering course I am taking!


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Mystical Winter Hike

It’s been a while since I posted so I thought I would show a few quick pictures from a recent hike. The weather was foggy and it started to snow as reached higher elevations. This gave the hike a sort of mystical and ethereal feel. I don’t think the photos quite captured that, but I hope some of that magic comes through!

Mystical Path

Mystical Path

Almost There

The final moments on the snow covered path.

The lake's island

The lake's island

Enjoying the view

Enjoying the view, just before we have some tea

Our trusty companion

A picture of me in the snow... with shorts of course

A picture of me in the snow... with shorts of course

 

 


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West Coast Trail – Day 7 (Final Day)

Log Jam Creek to Port Renfrew (5 km)

The final day was a little anticlimactic. We only had 5 km left which was so short and you could feel that it was the home stretch.

We came across another derelict donkey engine just past the highest point of the trail. What better place for some goofy pictures.

We have reached the summit of the donkey engine.

Some Goofy faces as we pose at the donkey engine

Umm.. The face says it all I think

When we came to the end of the trail we could see where we camped before we started the hike. On the Port Renfrew side you must cross the Gordon River. To do this you raise a buoy to signal the ferry operator to pick you up.

This is the final marker on the trail

The signal for the ferry operator to pick us up.

Once we were on the other side it was a couple hour trip to the ferry to the mainland, and then another hour back to my parents house where we were greeted by our families. We were tired but in good spirits.

The Ferry

This picture may be a little out of focus, but it shows us triumphant at the end.

Across the river you see our camping spot from day 0. That beech is where I took the first picture in my Day 0 post.

There were over 90 people who had to be evacuated off the trail this year when we left. At least 8 while we were on the trail. During our time hiking we saw 2 search and rescue helicopters.

We made it and had an amazing adventure.

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West Coast Trail – Day 6

Camper Creek to Log Jam Creek (8 km)
Day 6 started off with a good breakfast. Just as we were leaving camper creek we saw 3 deer, however they ran off before I could get a picture. At camper’s creek is the last cable car. Since this was the last cable car on the trip we decided to use it even though the water was low enough to cross without it.

Hikers Carved in a Buoy

Campsites were marked by many buoys. Many were humorously carved.

A cable car goes across Camper Creek carrying a hiker

Our last ride across a cable car

A caution sign

The warning signs on the trail changed from bear to cougar.

Day 6’s hike was all inland and was very typical for coastal BC and the least muddy of all the trails so far (I haven’t mentioned it, but parts of the trail are very muddy).

Old log bridges

The previous log bridges discarded that used to cross this creek.

We decided to eat lunch on a bunch of logs that were part of the trail path but several feet above the ground. One of us was really nervous that something might fall off as we cooked the noodles. I did pushups on the logs just for fun.

Our group cooking lunch on some logs above the ground.

Our group cooking lunch on some logs above the ground.

A nervous hiker eating lunch

One member found eating on this log a bit precarious

Doing some push ups

I decided to do some push ups, I guess I had too much energy in the morning.

There was a some more old growth forest through this section, but not as much as on Day 5.

2 old growth trees

This was some of the last large old growth we saw on the trip.

We decided to camp just past km 70 at an unofficial campsite at log jam creek. This saved us an extra 2 km by not having to go to Thrasher Cove for the night and then having to come back to the trail. This required a little more work as there were no outhouses or bear caches so we had to do things the old fashioned way. There is a certain art to stringing up food in trees when it is dark that I have not perfected yet.

Our make shift camp in the woods

A view from the trail looking down on our make shift camp at Log Jam Creek

Myself working on a photo

The camp gave me time to setup for a photo of the bridge we would cross in the morning.

Bridge Over Log Jam Creek

The resulting shot from all that tripod work at Log Jam Creek.

At supper we made hot iced tea using the iced tea powder you buy in the store. It is surprisingly tasty. I was surprised how much darker at night it is in the woods (pitch black) compared to on the beach. Tonight had a different feel as we knew it was our last night of the trip. You could feel that it was about to end.

I was a little tired.

I found myself very tired at the end of this day. I think I didn't pack enough snacks to eat.

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West Coast Trail – Day 5

Walbran Creek to Camper Creek (9 km)
Day 5 was a good day. It all started with a big bowl of oatmeal. For whatever reason, starting with oatmeal just makes the day better.

Sunrise at Walbran creek with one star still visible in the sky

The sunrise was beautiful with a few stars still fighting to stay visible.

What better way to start off a day of hiking by going over the Logan Suspension bridge. It has just the perfect amount of wobble to make it fun! Each side was proceeded with ladders of about 200 rungs.

West Coast Trail - Stairs to Logan Creek Suspension Bridge

The longest ladder on the West Coast Trail is this one leading to Logan Creek suspension bridge.

The view of Logan Creek from the suspension bridge

We can start to see the bank of mist roll in from the ocean. Below is Logan Creek.

Crossing Logan Creek

Crossing Logan Creek

Day 5 also contained the best forest scenery with the beautiful bog forest mixed with old growth rain forest. Nature was kind enough to send in a bank of mist off the ocean to allow for beautiful light beams in the forest. Thanks Nature!

The bog forest with unmaintened boardwalks

The bog forest is nearly entirely on board walks, however some are in need of repair

Hiking through the forest

Many parts of the day would transation through forests like this and the bog forest.

Tree growing out of falling trees

The amazing part of the rain forest is trees will grow anywhere, even on top of fallen old trees.

Large old grown trees start to appear

Old growth trees would be along sections of the trail. Unfortunately it is hard to get an appretiation for how large it is without being there.

Roots all over the trail

With old growth trees the pathway is often just a tangle of roots.

Light rays light up the moss

Mist + Sun + Forest = Awesome

A hiker walks by a large tree

This was not the largest old growth tree, but hopefully this give you an idea of how large these trees are.

Tall trees dwarf our hiking trip

The tall trees and thick foliage dwarf our hiking crew.

While stopping for lunch another hiker going the other way decided to use the cable car (even though the water was low enough you didn’t have to) and have lunch above us. It was nice to have another guest!

A guest for lunch, high above in a cable car.

Our lunch guest

The only disappointment about the day was that Adrenaline creek was just a trickle. It didn’t live up to it’s name at all.

We arrived at Camper’s creek and made a fire with some other hikers. They were packing too much food so they were kind enough to give us some of theirs for the next day so we didn’t have to use the not so nice store bought food. Yay!

Sharing a fire with other campers

Here are a few friends we made on the trail, sharing a fire.

Day 5 ended with a lovely clear sky. Spirits were high but our pace was getting slower. The group was starting to get tired.

Sunset at Camper's Creek

This would be the last sunset we see on the trip.

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West Coast Trail – Day 4

Cribs Creek to Walbran Creek (11.5 km)
It Rained last night and the sand was everywhere. I did not get all the sand from Cribs Creek beach out of my camera until after the trip. It was also another light breakfast day, but I learned my lesson and ate several energy bars before we left.

We hiked on some great shelf today. I love shelf hiking. We also saw more sea lions, 2 eagles and more cormorants. Not a bad wild life day. The route had some wonderful sea stacks and the second light house on the trail at Carmanah Point.

Carmanah Point Lighthouse

West Coast Trail - Carmanah Point Lighthouse

Sea Lions getting hit by a wave

Sea Lions getting hit by a wave... which they seem to enjoy

Sea Stacks

Sea Stacks - Unfortunately I do not have a picture which does them justice.

We stopped at Chez Monique’s for breakfast/lunch around 9:00 am. Chez Monique’s is a little burger stand on an Indian Reserve. Monique who runs the stand is married to Peter whose ancestral land is where the burger stand is. Monique was not at the stand but at school studying horticulture so they can grow their own vegetables instead of bringing them in. Not bad for a couple in their 70’s. I split a bacon, mushroom, cheddar burger and a red snapper burger with another backpacker. Both were good but the bacon mushroom cheddar was better. I also took advantage of this occasion to buy a coke, snickers bar and a large muffin. Today was a good day for food.

Chez Monique's Menu

Chez Monique's Menu

The group at Chez Monique's

The group at Chez Monique's

Fantastic Looking (and tasting!) burgers

Fantastic looking (and tasting!) burgers

The view of the Carmanah Point Lighthouse after Chez Monique's

The view of the Carmanah Point Lighthouse after Chez Monique's

A member of our group turtled on this section of the trail. Turteling is where you fall backward onto your back, but because of the weight of the backpack you can’t get up unless you roll over like a turtle. I have to apologize for the lack of video or photos of this most hilarious event.

The long backpacker

I don't have a picture of anybody turteling so here is another picture I like from that day.

We decided to stop at Walbran and extend our trip to 7 nights from the original 6. This made for more relaxing and enjoyable days. It also allowed us to get the Walbran resort as we were at the camp site so early (roughly 1:00 pm). This gave us time to have a nice fire, play some cards and hang up our gear to dry from previous wet night.

Crossing Walbran Creek

Before getting to camp you must wade across Walbran Creek. When the water is higher you will be forced to use the cable car that is upstream.

The Walbran Resort Sign

Not too many camping spots come with a shelter already built.

Walbran Creek Reflection

Sometimes the water was just still enough on Walbran Creek to get amazing reflections.

Seagulls gly by Walbran Creek

There were lots of seagulls on the trail today. They are not as used to humans as the ones in the city which means they will take flight if you get close.

A look at the Walbran resort campsite

The Walbran resort in all its glory

Sunset at Walbran Creek

The sky tried to stay clear, which gave us a brief moment of colour at sunset.

Sunset at Walbran Creek Beach

Another view of the sunset at Walbran Creek

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West Coast Trail – Day 3

Tsusiat Falls to Cribs Creek (14.5 km)
Day 3 was an early start as we wanted to do a lot of distance and the terrain is starting to get more difficult. Our alarms went off at 5:30 am.

West Coast Trail - Tsusiat Falls Camp

Here we are packing up with Tsusiat Falls in the background

We just ate a few snacks breakfast as we knew we would be hitting Nitinat Narrows early and we would purchase fresh crab. The first part of the hike was on the beach and was a lot of fun before I ran out of energy.

A hole in the rock allowing us to pass at low tide what would normally be an impassible headland

A hole in the rock allowing us to pass at low tide what would normally be an impassible headland

Hole in the rock

Another view from the other side of the hole in the rock

We made it to Nitinat narrows and were the first group that day to ride the ferry across the narrows. After the ferry ride we ordered crab for early lunch/breakfast. Apparently this is the only place in the world to have fresh water dungeness crab in the world.

A sign telling us we are entering an Indian Reserve

On our way to the narrows a sign indicates we have entered an Indian Reserve

The Ferry Operator Checks Our Passes

At Nitinat Narrows the ferry operator checks our permits before we cross.

The crab shack where the ferry takes us.

The other side of Nitinat narrows has the crab shack.

My breakfast crab

Breakfast is served.

Unfortunately the last 10 km of the day felt long. Crab takes a long time to eat and between the light breakfast and the crab I did not have enough energy. It is too bad as I wish I felt better to enjoy the fantastic cliffs we were walking along overlooking the rugged coastline and beaches.

Cliff Side View

A cliff side view of the fantastic coast line.

A perfect untouched beach

We were high on the cliff when we passed this beach, but it looked like a great camping site... if you could get to it.

Along the way we saw lots of warnings about resident bears, past closed campgrounds because of said bears and saw a patrol cabin with an electrified fence around it because of, you guessed it, bears. I was so tired and I am glad I took the pictures or I would of forgotten that we even passed by these locations.

The First of Many Bear Signs

The first of many bear signs

A Patrol Cabin with an electrified fence

The second patrol cabin we see in our journey, this one with an electrified fence.

Crazy Trees

I wish there were more trees that grew like this.

Cool looking mushroom

I wonder if it is edible?

A Garter Snake

A garter snake.

We got in to Cribs Creek which is a unique beach. It has sea lions off the coast and large rock shelves that would fill up with water when the waves hit and have little water falls come off of it. This beach also has the finest sand of all the beaches we stayed at. It gets everywhere because it was wet, however it was comfortable to walk on.

Mini waterfalls

Some of the mini waterfalls

I have been defeated

This is why you should always eat a good breakfast backpacking. Even if you are going to eat crab 2 hours later.

Day 3 was a blur because of a lack of food for me, but still enjoyable.

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