We stayed in the Canadian equivalent of state parks on our trip. The campsites were typically in old growth forests. Here's a view looking up in our campsite in the Sproat Lake Provincial Park near Port Alberni.
On one of the drives we took in search of a trailhead, we found this tree. Some of the shoes looked like they'd been there for quite a few years. That red thing way up there is a camping chair.
We decided to try a hike on Mt. Arrowsmith pretty much because we knew that a mountain named after a rock group would totally kick ass.
Access was via a maze of logging roads. This was taken on the way up to the trailhead.
Ascending the Saddle Trail, this was looking back to where we parked the truck, at the bottom of the horseshoe-shaped piece of road. We were the first ones there that morning, but by this point several other hikers were also on the trail.
Parts of the trail were pretty steep. This stretch of about 50' went right up a rock wall. Even though no technical skills or equipment were really needed, some enterprising soul had secured a length of rope to a tree near the top, for casual hikers.
Hiking guide Tim expertly finds the trail marker.
To amateurs like L and me, the trail wasn't well-marked. The terrain was too rough to have a readily recognizable footpath; strips of flagging every hundred feet or so was essentially it. Luckily we got help from the other hikers we encountered. Canadians are friendly.
Obviously we gained elevation pretty quickly. This is about halfway up, looking upward into the saddle between Mt. Arrowsmith and neighboring Mt. Cokely.
|in the saddle
I think the elevation in the saddle is about 1200 meters. This is looking back the way we came up. It was damn cold and windy up there, even though it was late summer.
This is looking generally toward Mt. Arrowsmith (the summit would be toward the right). We opted to forego a swim in this little lake.
|a few flowers
The guidebook mentioned that in late summer, tons of wildflowers covered the parts of the mountain that weren't rock and/or covered by snow. We learned from a few other hikers that we were still a few weeks early, though. We did see a few.
Having had our fill of hiking, we decided to take a charter boat from Port Alberni to the Barkley Sound. This shot was taken as we chugged south down the Alberni Inlet.
|even more trees and water
I think there are more trees in Canada than there are people on the earth.
We saw a few bald eagles, and some falcons, on this trip.
|broken group islands
The Broken Group Islands in the Barkley Sound are really popular among kayakers, who can row and camp among the various islands.
This was when we docked in Ucluelet. Check the name of the boat. It was a little unsettling.
However, we had some incredible fish and chips in town, and got t-shirts.