Conny, Rowan and David are up and off for a stroll pretty early this morning, taking photos and generally having a poke about the area. We get up not long after they’ve left and as we’re sorting brekkie Todd comes over for a chat. They think they’ll leave around 10am and take the other route out. It’s not as steep but it’s a lot farther – 11 miles, and a further 2000ft descent, we drove up this much to get to the trailhead where we started. Wanting to keep our options open, we ensured a car was left at each end. Not having made a firm plan as yet, we wait on the other guys coming back from their stroll.
With mutual agreement we all get packed up and set off just before 1000. The best bit about going this route is that we have new views to look at and new paths to tread. The worst bit, it seems never ending!!! David suggested lunch in the town before we all bid each other fairwell, very optimistic we all think! … It’s 1730 when we finally get to the bottom!!
It’s not without incidence either, Conny’s achilles causes him some trouble two-thirds of the way down and he ends up borrowing one of Andrea’s walking poles to help ease the strain.
We opt for plan B: Huw, David and Rowan go on ahead so Huw can ferry the two of them to the other trailhead to bring their cars back to this one and the rest of us take it easier for the later part of the hike.
Having remembered that we’d left the coolbox with half a bag of ice and some beers we find it’s an even better finish, there’s exactly enough for all of us to have a celebratory and fairwell toast.
By which time it’s nearing 1900 and the four of us decide the best course of action is return to the campsite we were in the night before the hike. David is off home to Seattle and Todd and Andrea might join us in a bit.
Nightmare! The campsite is full. We realise it’s probably due to the forest fire we´d seen from the peak yesterday – a radio bulletin had already informed us one of the main roads out of town is closed. Ouch! Déjà vouz anyone?!! We head for Safeway’s anyway, to pick up wifi, update Nathan and Donna and get some food. We had originally thought we’d drive overnight to Vancouver tonight OR if we got down early enough drive a couple hours north to a campsite Conny and Rowan knew and then make a really early start for Vancouver in the morning. As it is we’re late down, we’re all too tired to drive today AND we’d have a huge detour due to the road closure/forest fire. So IF we can get a campsite to stay in tonight (shower or no shower) we’ll get up mega early and set off for Vancouver from here. Otherwise we’ll have to re-consider the previous thoughts…
We’re in luck, we notice – well technically Rowan notices – an RV site opposite Safeway and when they go to inquire they find not only space but also showers!! The downside, as there obviously is one, is that the sites are just a row of pines from the main road. None of us care!!
Dinner bought, wifi done, we go to the campsite and sort out all the gear, what we have of theirs in our car and what we borrowed, and what they borrowed of ours – we needed to get this task done in daylight if we have any chance of leaving early in the morning.
With a rota for showers next and the BBQ Cooking our chicken kebabs and a beer to help wash it down we’re all done. We say our fairwells to Conny and Rowan, there is a chance we’ll see Conny again up in BC next week but Rowan will be away with work most likely. 🙁