I am often alone, but I am rarely lonely.
I meet a few people heading south, but most of the morning is quiet. The forest walk is slow and laborious. Many ladders, broken boardwalks, bridges and of course, mud. This half of the trail from the Gordon River boat crossing to Crib beach is poorly maintained.
The beach walking is easier. I spot a whale 25 feet from shore! So close! Maybe two? A mother and calf? Or an Orca and a Grey whale? There is a dorsal fin that emerges also a round back with water and air blowing from its airway.
I pass a well known and loved haven on the beach. It is Chez Monique’s. A beach-side shack cafe owned and run by a First Nations family. How they ever got supplies here I’ll never know. The home and property look abandoned. Monique passed away this year and shortly after her husband followed.
Many of the hikers I have met in the past two days are from Alberta, Victoria and Winnipeg. The Albertans tell me the West Coast Trail is the thing to do.
I am camped at gorgeous Cribs Beach. It was another long day. I’m going about twice the distance than a typical WCT hiker, but that is how I enjoy my hikes. A slightly faster pace and longer days.
I enjoy a beautiful sunset then fall asleep hearing the crashing of the surf and barking of a colony of sea lions on the rock island just offshore. They bark all night, but I sleep well anyway.