Tsusiat Falls to Cribbs Creek (16km)
I woke up this morning nervous about the back of my foot. I had a sharp pain from the way the back of the boot folded and put pressure on my Achilles when I took a step. Also, I had just finished a day that I thought was the worst of the trip so far but I was not about to quit or complain. Of course neither would have done me any good. Richie “Hollow Point” Powell hooked me up with some anti-inflammatory meds and I laced my boots up in their old ‘classic’ way (the same as from the first two days, but I had strayed from this style the on the day before). I felt pretty good as we set off from the falls.
This day’s hike was scheduled to be a long one, since there were limited points at which to obtain water and a camp site in the middle – Cheewhat River – was closed due to bears in the area. It would be our longest of the trip at over 16km. Thus we got an early start and the organic rhythm that began to make itself apparent the night before again appeared, this time a bit more refined still. The early start did us well. We started on the beach and came up to Hole in the Wall within the first hour, a classic spot on the trail.
In addition to the early start the group had vowed to avoid the mistake of the prior day which was to skip lunch so as to reach our final goal even faster. This last goal wasn’t much of a problem because of the ferry crossing at Nitinat Narrows. When we arrived the sun was shining and the sky was blue. On the other side of the crossing there were fresh crab lunches ($20) and beers ($5) to be had by the rich.
Following lunch we continues on in the good weather and after km36 we popped out on a beautiful beach and took some time to admire it. The weather seemed to carry us and the weight of the packs was no longer obvious but more assumed and beginning to feel natural. I think it surprised everyone when we arrived to our destination; I thought we had about 3km to go.
On the far side of Cribbs Creek we found a nice shelter next to a small stream and a wall of rocks. We all went for a dip in the ocean, tried to dry some clothes in the sun, and made the most of this late afternoon glory. Josh and I tried to do some climbing on the rock wall next to the site. For dinner we had what was called the unwrapped baked potato. It was dehydrated mashed potatoes, vegetable medley, pepperoni, cheese, bits of real bacon and butter buds. That’s right we carried with us pepperoni, smokes salmon, and real bacon (a huge Costco bag that was subsequently used for snacking, throwing a pinch in like a chew and with meals that followed) through bear country. It was a bit salty but hardy. We sat on the rocks and watched the sun set. Having accomplished our loftiest goal thusfar and with our spirits lifted by the beauty of the place we were part of, we felt optimistic about the rest of the journey.