I wanted to share my amazing experience hiking the WCT. It was an adventure of a lifetime to say the least! I hope you enjoy! You’ll have to excuse any poor formatting or grammar – I’m blogging this from my phone.
The West Coast Trail, originally called the Dominion Lifesaving Trail, is a 75 km (47 mi) long backpacking trail following the southwestern edge of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. It was built in 1907 to facilitate the rescue of survivors of shipwrecks along the coast, part of the treacherous Graveyard of the Pacific. It is now part of Pacific Rim National Park and is often rated by hiking guides as one of the world’s top hiking trails. (Wikipedia)
Brazil nut almonds
Dried black bean soup
Dried split pea soup
Instant ancient grain couscous
Vegan protein powder
3000 cal for him
2300 cal for me
About 6-700 more than I norm
Day 1: 16km hike. started at Pachena Bay, North to south, “easy to hard.” My pack weighed 32lbs and the intention was to complete the harder part of the trail with a lighter pack at the end.
Joe, my cousin and I Instantly made new friends on a gorgeous and sunny day!
Day 2: 10km hike. Another sunny day where we met our first set of cable cars and Took a bath in the waterfall!
Day 3: 16km and TERRAINTIAL DOWNPOUR! BC was experiencing a drought for months. Forest fires and heat the entire summer. Lucky for us, we got to experience the FIRST RAIN of the season. We should’ve bought a lottery ticket – what are the odds! But we also went to the crab shack and spent over $100 on food between me and hubby 🙈💩🐷🐽
$25 salmon meal x2
$25 crab legs x2
We practically threw our money at them!
We spent a good couple of hours there warming up and drying off. We met the owner, Carl, a First Nations father of 5 who has been running the crab shack for 40 years. Carl is such a native name isn’t it haha!
Day 4: 11km and chez Monique’s burger joint!! The rain capsized their boat so they were unable to go out to buy fresh burger buns. We were served veggies with our burgers instead – which isn’t a bad thing!
Some people camped at the burger joint, which is a non designated camping site, but because the weather was so bad, it wasn’t safe to continue on.
Day 5: 9km hike and another rain storm in the worst terrain ever! Met some guys who did tough mudder and they said this was tougher and muddier! Met another guy who was in the army. He said this was worse!!
We were drenched from head to toe, climbed down a ladder with water crashing in your face, water seeping inside my clothes and my GOPRO camera getting the most epic footage ever. We met some guardians/First Nations workers on the way or let us stay in their cabin – bless them – OVERNIGHT! If I had to pitch another wet tent I would’ve lost it!
My hubby, cousin and I decided to finish the hike one day early, in 6 days instead of 7, but hiking the whole rest of the way the next day. Instead of 8km day 6 and 5km day 7, we set the alarm for 5:30am and bolted on day 6 to complete 13km!
Day 6: 13km combined with day 7 because we are so over this trail!!!! Up at 5:30am and made it to the second last ferry by 2:30pm! Seeing the 75km sign at the end felt like winning a million dollars! I had busted toes, busted knees, and was legit limping with two hiking poles, screaming in agony every step of the way – no joke. But I HAD to get the eff out!!!!
Started with 7 people. Ended with 5 and 2 weren’t even with our group. Random dudes were bunking with until the rest of our group arrives. They r gonna finish it in the 7 days as previously planned!
We spent a good amount of time exploring Victoria and Vancouver with some new friends – maybe a bit too much time haha.
Our time in the city:
This had become the most random trip ever. We did a “yoga” class we did one night that had us crawling around like animals and dancing in a circle for 3 hours!
It was called ecstatic yoga and it was pure dancing. We started with sun salutes and cat cows like normal human beings haha, then they made is crawl around the room and high five each other. Then we rolled away our mats and danced for 3 hours and screamed.
they made each of us dance inside a circle. Joe started break dancing. I feel so weird now never looking at yoga the same way again. one girl was leaping around and shrieking like the exorcist
Then we wandered downtown Vancouver for 3 hours in the middle of the night looking for a place to stay until we finally found room at a hostel. I’ve never hotel/hostel hopped so much – or ever – before!
The next morning we were back to wandering the streets of Vancouver with our hiking backpacks, looking and feeling homeless and its an incredible feeling. I felt so free and careless, my guard was down with NO responsibility. We met some awesome people, who have also either quit their jobs and sold their homes and cars to wander the world, or who have been laid off and left home for weeks/months. It felt great to be able to relate and understand this amazing feeling of not being tied to anything* we are still coming back to a home and “work” but it’s something that makes us genuinely happy. the ability to sustain our lifestyle doing what we love is totally different from trying to sustain a luxurious lifestyle doing what we considered mindless, meaningless WORK last year
I’m not trying to bash those who feel stuck at their job or if those do actually love the corporate life and get a thrill from climbing that ladder and earning that huge pay bump. I know that feeling. All to well. Trust me. I was the last person to leave a life like that because I was all about the straight life. Marriage, home, car, kids, money, beach vacations. but when I realized my passion all along is what gets me going, and it’s something I’m good at and even other people saw it in me, I couldn’t ignore it.
Even if you don’t know what you love to do yet, if you know what you HATE, u are already half way there.
We finished the trip with a movie: A WALK IN THE WOODS where two guys attempt the Appalachian Trail, a couple thousand mile hike from Georgia to Maine. How fitting and relatable! We also feasted some more, dined like kings and queens!
This was the most mentally challenging thing I had ever done. Busted pinky toe, busted knees, limping with walking sticks. Super proud of myself!!!! We camp and portage every year but that’s a cakewalk compared to a rainy and wet WCT! After something like this I can conquer anything. I’m super grateful to have spent quality time with my hubby and cousin, as well as develop new friendships with other wanderers.
“Sometimes you have to get lost in order to find yourself.”
Click below for our YouTube Adventure!
Please like/share/comment. I would love to chat if you’ve done the trail yourself or if you are considering doing it!
Oh by the way, my pack weighed EXACTLY the same after the trail. The rain sure weighs you down huh!
Now we plan the next adventure!