We found ourselves back at the beginning in front of Butch’s Ferry dock.
The Coast Guards debriefed D & L. L realized on the way back that her hiking partner who stayed on the trail had the tent and because both were in rough shape we were going to split indoor accommodations. The Coast Guards took us into Port Renfrew and after discovering all the huts were booked and closed, they left as the Port Renfrew Pub. They owned the cabins and may be able to help us. It was extremely busy when we got there. The 40 something man who we met at the door looked us with disapproving disdain and swiftly told us to put our packs out on the porch. We asked about accommodations and was promptly told there were none to be had. We decided to wait for a table and at least have a good dinner while we figured out what our next move would be. We ended up being seated smack dab in the middle of the restaurant conspicuously on display.
We asked the man if they could call as a cab, apparently there weren’t any. We asked if they could call Pacheedaht Campground for us, but they didn’t have their number. We had to find it and they would let us use their phone.
I grew up in two isolated villages both a little larger than Port Renfrew. And I can assure you there is no way they don’t have local numbers to the 5 or 6 key business in the area. I’ve travelled to more remote, obscure and less prosperous places than this and have been welcomed with greater hospitality. This was plain obstinate rudeness. Our actual waitress was very considerate though. Regardless, I really do wish that I could have lingered with the locals and strolled what looked to be a boardwalk.
Back in Walbran the before, the Double As powered my phone to 25%. 1,000 thanks to you. This allowed me to do three things. Log into the pub’s wifi, get the number to Pacheedaht, and call my Mom through Facebook. I gave D the number for campground. He called to check if we could stay there and get a ride after we ate. While he did this I went outside to the deck to call my Mom, who thankfully answered. I told Mom we would catch the 5pm WCT bus the next day and figure out how to get to Qualicum from Sooke afterwards. In the background I heard my daughter asking if they could get us in the morning. I said if they were okay with that it would be appreciated. Regardless of where we ended up for the night, I asked her to pick us up where they dropped us off at Pacheedaht.
When I got back to the table, D said that the campground was about to close and someone was on their way to get us right now. I ordered chicken grill salad to go. D ordered a drink and we paid. When our ride arrived D stalled while I waited for the salad and off we went. Since the office was closed, we paid the driver for the ride and walk-in campsite in cash. I cannot stress enough how important small bills are for this excursion.
D set up our the tent and rigged up L’s tarp into a shelter. The tarp didn’t fully cover her head, so I propped my pack at the head of her mattress and draped my rain poncho over the tarp and pack. With her nice thick mattress, she had a cozy nook. I got water and made a fire. It was just what we needed. There is nothing like a fire on the beach.
Unfortunately, I had another sleepless night between snoring and raccoons. I rebuilt the fire, laid my sleeping gear out on a long flat piece of drift wood watched the sunrise.
Just me, the bald eagles, and the banana slugs.
When it was light enough and plumbing called, I quietly packed up and L know I was going the office to make breakfast and freshen up. They joined me about an hour later or so later.
The front office area is full of local residents, hikers starting out on the trail and hikers who completed the hike the day before.
My Mom and daughter arrived around 11am.
We stopped in Cowichan on the way back for an after photo – D, me, L.
We dropped L off at the Nanaimo airport, D in Nanaimo, he would take the ferry later, and I returned to my parents.
A million thanks to you Mom, for taking another 6 hours of your day to pick us up and drop us off. You even brought food and refreshments ❤ Bear hugs to my daughter who wanted to see me so much and made the trip with her Grandma. Who was still happy and cheerful even after getting car sick on the way to us. ❤
On the upside, I got to spend more time with my family on the sunny side of the island and was able to watch the presides from their backyard. I even snuck a little hike in there and another trip to Goats on Roof.
Health Update: D says he recovered pretty well and stopped limping in about a week or so. L seemed to get the help she needed when she got home. As for me, it turned out my big toe was in pretty rough shape. It was persistently throbbing and tingling. On Friday, my daughter convinced me to go to urgent care to get it checked. Turned out they had to drill a hole in it to release the pressure. The process didn’t hurt and within a week my toe stopped throbbing. Part of the nail is not attached, but growing out well. Part of the toe nail next this toe did eventually fall off.
Trail update: The Double As and Engineers finished the trail by Saturday. Apparently they had whales all the way to the end. I will have to return and go SOBO (South Bound).
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