Monday, July 18, 2005

Cape Scott

After a long weekend of long drives, mud, and mosquitoes I made it back from another trip to Cape Scott. I went over to the Island on Thursday and picked up my friend Jeff in Victoria. We carried on up the east coast for 8 hours, then took a logging road left past Port Hardy and ended up in Cape Scott provincial park on the farthest Northwest Corner of the Island at about 8:45pm. We started hiking then and made pretty good time to our first campsite at Eric Lake, 3km in. We had the place all to ourselves-- except for the thousands of mosquitoes that are thriving in all of the mud up there. On Friday we hiked another 14km through the ruins of the Danish settlement attempts to Nels Bight-- a beautiful long, sandy beach where we set up camp and stayed for 2 nights. On Saturday we did a day trip to the Cape Scott lighthouse, where we had a lovely encounter with a large black bear. Jeff and I had been sitting at a picnic table at the lighthouse comparing mosquito bites and aching bones, and finally decided to stretch out and face the 5km hike through mud back to our campsite. As we tottered down the trail at the lighthouse, I said "Is that a bear? That's a bear."
Jeff said, "That's a bear."
Not 20 metres ahead of us was a large, shiny black bear staring right at us. We backed away and went back up to the lighthouse-keepers' lawn to have a safer view. The lighthouse keepers came out and realized that they had forgotten to close the door to their compost, so the bear was enjoying a large, healthy snack. We watched him for about 15 minutes before one of the keepers shooed him off and he waddled back into the forest. Jeff and I carried on our way, whistling and talking loudly.
Yesterday we were up early to break camp and hike the 17km back to the parking lot. We made great time, and even took a few minutes toward the end to have a swim and bath in Eric Lake. It felt wonderful! We then hopped into my car and after demolishing an entire pizza in Port McNeill we drove all the way to Victoria last night, getting in just before midnight.
Here are some pics:

This is the Shoe-Tree (also apparently called the "Sole Tree") which is on the logging road just past Port Hardy. No idea whose shoes they are, but some of them are really old.

This is another quirk of the crazy logging road... the first time I saw this I was with Janet Porter, whose car had just had a break-down followed by a flat tire and missing muffler. She rounded the bend, saw this and yelled, "Now ya tell me!"

View of Eric Lake

The mud was endless, but made great sounds when we walked through it.

Nels Bight, where we camped for 2 nights.

We did a wee bit o' illegal fishing and greatly enjoyed mussels for dinner one night.

The black bear at the lighthouse

This is a narrow neck of land that attaches the Cape to the Island. From the top of the meadow we could see ocean on either side.


gfox said...

Sounds like a fun trip. I love the picture of Eric Lake. Very stunning.

Chris said...

Great shots. Looks like a great trip. *sigh*