“Surfing soothes me, it's always been a kind of Zen experience for me. The ocean is so magnificent, peaceful, and awesome. The rest of the world disappears for me when I'm on a wave”
– Paul Walker
Sunday September 15
Skookum (Strong) Chuk (Water)
Skookumchuck Narrows forms the entrance of Sechelt Inlet on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast in Canada. Before broadening into Sechelt Inlet, all of its tidal flow together with that of Salmon Inlet and Narrows Inlet must pass through Sechelt Rapids. At peak flows, whitecaps and whirlpools form at the rapids even in calm weather. The narrows are also the site of a Skookumchuk Narrows Provincial Park.
Each day, tides force large amounts of seawater through the narrows—200 billion US gallons (760,000,000 m3) of water on a 3-metre (9.8 ft) tide. The difference in water levels on either side of the rapids can exceed 2 metres (6.6 ft) in height. Current speeds can exceed 16 knots (30 km/h), up to 17.68 knots (32.74 km/h). Although it is sometimes claimed to be the fastest tidal rapids in the world, Norway's Saltstraumen reaches speeds of 20 knots (37 km/h).
When Wendy and I visited the coast five years ago, Skookumchuk was one of our very first BC hikes. It was December and raining hard. Large trees had fallen across the trail and the boardwalks were under water. We were cold, wet and, after reading a sign identical to this one, wary of bears (who were of course hibernating).
In truth, we were completely alone in the forest and we loved every minute of it
Even though we arrived at the rapids at low tide, it was a powerful experience. We were fascinated by the multitude of marine life that thrived in this fast paced environment and seeing Bull Kelp for the first time was amazing
Yet we had missed something tremendously important. There were no kayakers there that day…and they, as much as the forest, fauna and mighty waters, have made these narrows world famous.
Today we are going to re-visit 'The Skook' and we're timing our hike to arrive at exactly 2.53pm.
But before we do that…we have some time to account for. So, here, for the first time in blogging history (oh yeah, you can tell your kids about it) is…
'Two Days In Under 30 Seconds'
Yo Gunny…can I get a quick Mail Call
(Semper Fi buddy)
St Clements?? (i promise to look that up)
I can't yet show a pic of Wendle's haircut…those are currently being held by the censors, pending the results of her new haircut, scheduled to occur on Tuesday.
P.S. Happy Birthday
P.S.S. Happy Camping
Friday…we took the Civic in to Chris for an oil change. Chris, is a local fellow who loves engines, is an amazing mechanic and has a full garage (including hoist)…in his garage. He and his wife Jill live about a kilometre away on Redrooffs Road. Luckily for us, Chris also looks after Colin's '79 Civic 'Frannie' (August 9 Post) and he's offered to switch our back tire around and take a look under the hood (as they say in the business). Pretty sweet.
We drove over to Chris' place around ten, left the car and walked home. We walked back over at 4.30 and had a chance to visit, while we discussed the car. It needs shocks. Hmm…I wonder if they're under warranty
This is one of their pups (inside he's smiling)
Time??? (27.9 seconds)
…we woke up Sunday and the skies were grey, temperature was a solid 14 degrees and clouds were so low that you could in reach up and touch them…of course we didn't because that would be totally inappropriate (stranger danger).
It's a 55 minute drive from Halfmoon Bay to Skookumchuk so we left at 1pm and drove…
North on Hwy 101, turning right (East) onto Egmont Road…drive past North and Waugh Lakes (both on your right) and finally turn right onto Doriston Highway (or just follow the signs 'to Skookumchuk')
Despite visibility issues, and partly because we we talking to my daughter by phone (she and Ryan are into their new apartment and their softball team is 'stinking up the joint'…if you were wondering), the drive was quite enjoyable and we arrived at 'Skookumchuk Narrows Provincial Park' right on schedule.
Since our last visit, and possibly due to increased traffic, the road into the trailhead has been closed to all but local traffic (people who live within the park). That means we have to park the car on Doriston and hike Old School Trail into the park. That extra one and a half kilometres might mess up our schedule. Well, as my old mom used to say “Brain for Thinking, Feet for Walking”
From the trailhead to the rapids is a four kilometre hike through a fine example of a Temperate Rainforest
“The Rainforest Coast of British Columbia encompasses the largest remaining intact temperate rainforest in the world.”
Stumps the size of hobbit houses dot the landscape.
Some still show the scars where the 'Springboards' were planted to give loggers a platform from which to cut.
(Springboards in action)
Reminiscent of our last visit…it starts to rain. The air fills with an intoxicating blend of natural perfumes.
Ah Brown Lake…a waypoint
As we near the rapids we begin to hear and feel the sound of cascading water. We turn off the main trail and head towards Roland Point, the prime viewing area and directly over 'The Wave'
We hike up to the point at exactly 3.03pm…Dang, all the good seats are taken
That's okay, while we hunt for a spot you guys catch some zzz's. We'll see you back here tomorrow morning and we'll tell you the rest about today…of course by then, it'll be the day before yesterday to you…
…Don't worry about it…it's all good
Moose and Wendle
I looked up Steve the Bison online…apparently he's pretty popular with the ladies (that's my boy)
” Due to conservation efforts, they are back up to around 25,000 and Mountsberg has ten of them. That includes a very macho-looking fellow named Steve, who has a wicked set of bangs that flopped up and down when he loped toward our wagon.
The bisons obviously love the mix of grain and molasses Erica feeds them. My daughters laughed as Steve’s bangs bounced up and down like an overteased hairdo as he ran toward us, obviously looking for more granola”