David and my water bottles, prepped for the trip
On day 4 we left our comfortable cabin at Cluxewe to start on our 4 day backpacking adventure farther into Cape Scott Provincial Park. We started the day in Port Hardy at the visitor’s center for information on camping within the park and then headed out, again, on the long stretch of unpaved gravel highway back to where we were the day before.
Scarlet Ibis Restaurant in tiny Holberg, delicious fish ‘n chips
One of two little dogs outside at the Scarlet Ibis
We did make one stop at the Scarlet Ibis, the only restaurant in the tiny logging town of Holberg. Marcy went in to ask for some butter so that we could cook and eat any edible mushrooms we’d find on the trail. We would stop back by here for a delicious meal of fresh fish and chips after the trip. The owner had the little two little dogs.
Seasnails clinging to the rock at Fisherman’s Cove
More life hidden whin the rock at Fisherman’s Cove
Old remains of a shipwreck, Fisherman’s Cove
Although it was afternoon by the time we began our hike in, we continued for almost 10 miles to Nissan Bight, a beach on the north end. I was so exhausted! I thought a few miles would have been my limit, but I think excitement and adrenaline (plus a whole package of cliff shot blocks) kept me going the whole way. It was dark when we arrived, and sadly I don’t have any good pictures of it. Actually, we didn’t find it at first, and instead came out at Fisherman’s Cove, to the left of the bight. We came back there the next morning to closer examine the old ship wreck there and so Alex and David could fish. I spent my time exploring the rocks, and looking for shells along the water’s edge.
An average example of an unimproved area
A log bridge crossing
A boardwalk through massive fallen trees
An example of improvements, new bridge parallels the old on right
Let me just say that the trail north to Cape Scott was incredibly different than the well kept trail to San Josef Bay. I have never in my life encountered such a difficult, wet, muddy, slippery and varied trail. There are parts that are packed dirt, some with muddy pits, and then there are some parts with a boardwalk or other wooden slatted platforms to keep you out of the muck, at least for a short stretch. Luckily, David’s boy scout instincts kicked in at the start of the trail and he made me an awesome walking stick. Later he’d also make one for himself and Marcy (Alex declined). It was the BEST tool (after waterproof hiking boots) to have for balance or for checking the hidden and dangerous depths of the mud pits. One thing I can definitely say is that it was almost exciting, to see what the next part of the trail would hold. Luckily some ongoing improvements are evident and will likely continue, due to its increasing popularity. For us, we practically had the trail to ourselves.
Bridge over Fisherman’s River, where we camped the second night
One of the many giant snails on the path
Instead of continuing on to Cape Scott on that second day of backpacking, we headed back on the trail to Fisherman’s River. We had learned from another hiker that there were two campsites behind the pit toilet there, even though it wasn’t marked on the map. The weather continued grey and rainy, but luckily the sites had raised wooden rainforest-style platforms. It didn’t include a bear cache for food though, so we had to rig it all up a tree. Every time David began to snore softly that night, I woke up thinking it was a bear :-).