A few days ago I finally completed my write-up of our 6-day trip to Cape Scott, already a year ago now! Although I’d published the summary post soon after returning home, it took months for us to sift through all the photos and for me to rediscover our notes to help me write up each day on the trip.
Looking back on a trip it’s sometimes hard to remember just how it made you feel, and when you do remember, was it just euphoria talking or was it really as good a trip as your words say? I quote my opening line: “Wow! I don’t remember the last time a hike so clearly won me over.” And instantly I’m transported back to those big open beaches, the dense forest, and the sense of wilderness.
I think what contributed to how we felt about this trip was the fact that we weren’t expecting to be wowed in the way that spectacular mountain scenes do. The beauty of the place crept up on us and was just there for us to experience. The rest was up to us to be open to that.
If you haven’t done any coastal hiking, then I highly recommend Cape Scott. I would also suggest that you wait for a good weather window, though that is tricky given the logistics of getting there. But it’s worth it. Who can resist such idyllic beach camping?
Cute little mouse munching on foamflower seeds.
Our first day on the Cape Scott trail, and we came to a sign board that pointed to a side trail in order to explore a former settlement. A few metres along the trail something caught my eye and I looked down to see a tiny mouse perched in a foamflower plant, feasting on the seeds of this diminutive flower. I expected the mouse to run away as soon as we approached, but it stayed put, being quite intent on its food. I bent down to get a closer look and it still didn’t move! Even then I thought that by the time I’d got out the camera, it would have disappeared, so we carried on to look at the old settlement.
We found no trace of the farm buildings that used to be here, and headed back to rejoin the main trail. As we neared the junction, I spotted more mice in the flowers, perhaps 4 or 5 in total. A couple did dart off into the grass, but the rest stayed. I had the camera ready at this point and crouched down to get a closer shot. The mouse still didn’t move, and I was able to take a handful of photos (hoping that one would be sharp, given the low light and unstable position I was in). I stood up and moved on; the mouse still didn’t move! I nudged the tip of its tail with my hiking pole (never with a bare finger – those things can bite, and they can carry some nasty diseases), and it still didn’t move! Only after some prolonged prodding did it scurry off, but only to the next flower to resume its feeding.
As ever, it was good that I took multiple shots as only one of them was sharp enough to use; crouching down with a full overnight backpack while trying to focus on a subject the size of a ping-pong ball is not the most stable platform!
Dreaming of sunnier Saturdays in today’s liquid sunshine…
Looks like we’re back into the rainy season here in Vancouver. Time to look back at those glorious sunny days of summer to remind us that it’s not always grey! This photo was taken as we stirred on the second morning of our Cape Scott backpacking trip. The night before had been misty and drizzly, and after we’d come round in the morning, we were kept in the tent a little longer by a passing shower. But it wasn’t too long later that the clouds began to clear and we saw hints of blue sky that gradually turned into glorious sunshine. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and by lunchtime decided that we wanted to explore further, so we packed up our gear and hiked on to Guise Bay where we spent two lovely nights.
Happy Friday! Smiley salal faces along the Cape Scott trail.
These little smiley faces were so cute! We saw quite a few along the trail, someone must have been making them whenever they stopped near salal bushes. They were welcome encouragement for the long viewless hike! 🙂
It’s waterfall/wildflower/wildlife Wednesday, so I’m posting one of each from our recent Cape Scott trip. If you go down to the beach today, you’re in for a big surprise… The two of us were just about to exit the forest as we reached Experiment Bight when we looked up and saw this bear digging in the seaweed on the beach, exactly where we were going to hike. It took over two minutes of bear-soothing chatter to get it to move along far enough for us to make a quick move over the shingle and out of its way. As it walked past, I swear it gave us the most reproachful look ever!
It took us until our fifth day to see a bear. We’d had a close encounter of sorts at Nissen Bight, where a bear had ripped apart a log right next to the food cache while we were relaxing on the sand. I always want to see bears, but I have to admit this was about as close as I ever want to get to one. Even though this was a peaceful encounter (we had time to switch lenses on the camera!), there was always that thought at the back of my mind about dealing with an angry bear. Thankfully we just had to deal with a grumpy bear who just wanted to seek out breakfast. Once we were past we looked back to watch it dig into the next patch of seaweed in search of tasty morsels. Tasty to a bear, that is.
It’s waterfall/wildflower/wildlife Wednesday, so I’m posting one of each from our Cape Scott trip. King or blue gentian lined the trail at most of the boggy sections, adding a splash of colour to an often uninviting landscape. The nice thing about these sections, though, was that they were brighter than the deep rainforest. Plus they smelled just like the New Forest where I grew up. Loved it!
Gentian is another one of those flowers that stops us in our tracks, much to the amusement (and bemusement) of our hiking friends. We’re not sure why, but it could be that it’s relatively rare (if locally abundant). There’s a spot near Vancouver where this blooms in late August (called Blue Gentian Lake for obvious reasons!) but it’s always nice to find it elsewhere. We found our first patch on the way in to San Josef Bay, and then more (much more!) in the peat bogs as we neared the northern coast. We saw so much that in the end even I walked past without stopping to take pictures. Eventually…!
It’s waterfall/wildflower/wildlife Wednesday, so I’m posting one of each from our Cape Scott trip. This little fairy glen waterfall was the source of our drinking water at San Josef Bay. It might look pretty here but it was the colour of tea, and had a taste to match!
We’d been warned about the state of the water on the Cape Scott Trail. At San Josef Bay, we had to hike through to the western end of the second beach to find this little trickle. But what a pretty little trickle! I loved the double cascade and the way the water foamed slightly and how it spread out over the surface. It was tricky keeping the camera steady enough for this as it’s about a quarter of a second exposure. I find it much easier to brace myself when using the SLR for these kinds of photos; holding the little compact camera out in front of me (and in portrait orientation) required me to be very calm and relaxed, and to remember the trick of taking the picture as I exhaled. Of the 4 that I took, it was my second shot that was the winner.
Then there was the matter of the water that we’d filtered – it truly was the colour of weak tea but I have to say the taste was much milder than I expected, so we were quite able to drink it straight from our Platypuses.