Darling River to Tsusiat Falls (11km)
We woke up on this morning to find ourselves engulfed in the misty rain that is so characteristic of the region. It creeps in and then just sits there on top of you. The weather does, however, help everyone pack up with increased efficiency. Rob had dazzled us just two days prior with his modular, stripped down pack from eBay. Unfortunately, the ultralight pack, which sat on a hook on a belt, broke before we were 5km into the hike. Today he was once again exhibiting the pinnacle of equipment performance with his rain poncho/pack cover all in one. The concept – like that of the pack – was solid but in practice it presented issues. The elastic cord to cinch up portions of the poncho ended up dragging behind Rob, occasionally getting hooked on roots and branches. Josh, who was Rob’s unofficial guardian on the trip, would have stop Rob once the cord had stretched about 25ft behind him and before it would release and snap back at Rob.
Personally I felt this was the worst/hardest day of the entire hike. The trail was much more rugged than the first section but not as rugged as we would run into later and I had this biting pain in my Achilles from the boot. It made the relatively short day go on forever. Day two did give us our first cable car of the hike. No matter how bad the day is going the sight of some serious mechanical hardware makes you feel like a kid.
Our stopping point for the day was the Tsusiat Falls campsite, perhaps the most picturesque of all the sites along the trail. We got there at a decent hour and had some time to enjoy this idyllic spot. We were sure about the rules regarding bathing in the water since everyone was also using it to obtain their drinking water but we some people go for it. For dinner that night we had hummus, textured vegetable protein (TVP) flavored with Middle Eastern spices, couscous and tomatoes. Also we were beginning to realize that our planned meals were actually much larger than needed for the group. We managed to give our extra hummus and couscous to a young Vancouver Island native to whom we gave the name Lars and whom we saw at several other points along our trip. Despite my feelings about the day’s section of trail our trip was back on track and we were moving closer to our ultimate goal.