The Return Hike
Vancouver Island, B.C.
After six days on the trail we had run out of food and were ready to
hike out. We timed our departure with the morning tide. That way, we could hike the beach instead of the trail. Going around one point was a bit precarious. We were late, and the tide had started to come in. We made it across the rocks just as the rocks sank beneath the waves. Both Mike and I were wet from the waist down after that. Struggling to get around the point, the waves lapped at my backpack, sucking away my tent, apparently. At Thrasher Cove, we found another tent that somebody had left behind. What a piece of luck. We dried out sitting around the fire after we got our camp set up.
Camping at Thrasher Cove with the mice was a little less comfortable this time. Perhaps it was because the mice were not so vocal back then. This time the squeaking sounds could be heard everywhere. (A convention perhaps?) Just as we were trying to go to sleep, the mice started to party. They nibbled our shoes, our tent, and everything else they could get their teeth into. The sound of their nibbling kept us awake. I called it quits when an over-zealous mouse found his way into our tent. I grabbed my sleeping bag and went closer to the ocean. I threw my bag down in the curve of a huge driftwood log, crawled in, and went to sleep. I wasn’t bothered (by mice at least) for the rest of the night.
In the morning I found Mike outside the tent, sleeping on the ground. Next to him was a dead mouse tied to two sticks that were sticking in the ground next to where he was sleeping. As Mike had told the story, (he was never at a lose for words), after the mouse had gotten inside the tent, he’d gone outside to sleep. He had gotten really angry when a mouse ran across his face. He’d found a stick and managed to kill a mouse. He’d then crucified the body and left it standing close to where he was sleeping. He said, “After the crucifixion they left me alone for the rest of the night. I guess squeak-of-mouth got around because that was the end of their jamboree.”
The last part of our hike was the part the Seattle chicks found so
horrendous. Although the trail didn’t seem as bad as the girls had
made it sound, it was the most rugged part. The steep ravines were the major obstacles. On some of the ups and downs, there were large ropes to help negotiate the climb. Sometimes they came in handy; other times they just got in the way. We had to cross another timber bridge also. That one consisted of trees larger than the ones we had hiked on before. Because of the rocky, hilly terrain, the huge fallen giants became a necessary part of the trail. They were the trail. It took us almost three hours to walk the three miles. The scenery was fantastic.