Sunshine Coast Trail. The name conjures up beautiful sunny weather, a trail along the coastline of mainland B.C. I learned about this trail year's ago. Now finally I was going to take advantage of some time of and go see what the trail was all about.
Sarah Point to Wednesday Lake
Those darn Canadians and their trails!
I had planned this trip in 2007 thinking that it would be a mellow trip along the coast that I could do with my older dog Ash. Thank god I didn't launch that one. After a beautiful ride on the Lund Water Taxi to the Sarah Point, our driver maneuvered us up to the rocky ledge and we disembarked. Taz jumped off and then waited for me to follow. The other hikers and I formed a line to help unload everyone's gear. We were perched, with our gear, on the rocks above the water as our taxi driver waved and sped off for the next load. Sarah Point, beautiful point before the opening into the Desolation Sound wilderness to the northeast. It was a colorful display of Manzanitas, exposed rock, and tawny grasses lined by a bright blue sea. I could have just camped there for a day.
I had shuttled up with two other groups. A group from Vancouver. Nuria, Mark, and John. Researchers for the CDC. Then another group of two couples who had seen the Sunshine Coast from Vancouver Island but had only, now, finally decided to see what it was like on the other side of the water. On Vancouver Island they have the famous and well used West Coast trail. This trail boasted to be the mainland version of Vancouver Island’s West Coast Trail with out the ladders and tides to worry about. We would see.
We organized our packs. I pried Taz's on over his great big ears and his unhappy face. Yes, if he could get a free ride he would try to work it. Pack versus no pack. Well, he'd take no pack if he could but...he had to carry his own dog food and snacks. I was loaded to the gills with enough minus our food for 11 days of backpacking. Overloaded actually.
In true form the trail went straight up the ridge from the point. Our first stop was at an overlook that looked east down into the adjacent sound and the gateway to Desolation Sound. I unloaded my pack and took Taz’s off. Our late start put us into the heat of the day. Taz found a shady spot and laid down. We had hardly started the hike and we were already feeling the heat and the ruggedness of the trail. Nuria, John, and Mark were also stopped there eating a snack and enjoying the view. Before we knew it Taz walked up to Mark’s open bag of bagels and helped himself to one. I was shocked. Taz had never done that before. Now I was apologizing. Fearful that I had deprived a hiker of his only meal. Mark laughed it off and said well, I guess he’ll have to eat it now. I took the bagel and we negotiated giving it to him later in the day as punishment. Taz became known as the bagel thief and Mark became known as the bagel man. Taz was always happy to see him on the trail after that.
The day heated up. I was sweating buckets, trying to push my overweighted pack up and down the ridges. We zigged from one side of the peninsula to the other and we walked up and down the spines of the ridges.
Finally we arrived at Wednesday lake. The others had gotten there before me but were swimming and not making a commitment to camp so being the strategist I found a small shelf and pitched my tent before they knew what had happened. My plan had been to stay at the lake and sites were limited. Nuria, Mark, and John continued on to the Manzanita Hut. The group of 4 found tent sites above mine and stayed the night. They were the ones who were late arriving for our shuttle so I didn’t feel too bad about swooping in and making camp.
An evening swim cooled down my body. The quietness of the lake broken by my fellow backpackers. I read into the evening and then settled in for the night. Tomorrow I would be up at 5 am and on the trail by 6am. The heat along with the terrain was going to take a lot out of us. I wanted to get an early start to try and beat the mid day heat.