Thursday, January 3, 2008

So far, 2008 is PERFECT!

Well, we are back from a quick jaunt into the temperate rainforests to ring in the new year. We spent a night camping at the illustrious French Beach, and for probably the first time in west coast history, it did not rain AT ALL on the 31st or the 1st! There's one for the record books!

It's amazing how different camping and hiking are here, compared to Kananaskis and Banff National Park, where we are used to spending time outdoors. In Alberta, there are plenty of things to be worried about when camping: bears, cougars, freezing to death, avalanches, falling through ice, getting caught in snowdrifts up to your head, etc., etc. Here, you still have to worry about bears and cougars, but most people say this tongue and cheek like there is only one Ogopogo-like bear that only the craziest people have actually ever "seen". Overall, though, for some reason, camping here never feels as dangerous-- it's like a gorgeous and inspiring Camping Lite.

This past holiday, we did discover something that you must absolutely fear here that you wouldn't even think about back in Alberta (aside from the tide coming in and swallowing your tent on the beach): FALLING TREES. Wind storms on the west coast, especially in winter, are commonplace and intense. Hence, we strategically put our tent in the mossy depths near a giant cedar tree and hoped to hell that it would shelter us in the event of a wind storm. Luckily, it did.

Unfortunately, the starfish weren't as lucky as we were in the overnight winds. We saw nearly 10 of these guys washed up on the shore, most of them already dead.

New Year's Day was spent hiking a mere 2 km on the epic 47 km Juan de Fuca Marine Coast Trail. What a beautiful hike!

Cozying up on Mystic Beach

Those measly 2 km (and back) made us hunger for more rainforest hiking, so hopefully I can book some time off of work STAT and make plans to do the whole thing-- finally!

I hope you have all enjoyed the 2 days of the new year as much as we have!

1 comment:

granolagirl said...

Poor little starfish!
Looks like a great way to spend new years, great friends and the great outdoors!