Juan De Fuca

Being out in Victoria has ignited a fire which has made it tough to stay off the bike. Endless roads, rockin trails, decent weather and a lack of sketchy central american dogs to chase me while I ride has made it quite enjoyable. Too much riding in April can be a problem in August though, so last week I made a point of staying away from the bike and set out to trek the 47km Juan de Fuca trail with my friend Lilla.

The trail is known as the little cousin to the West Coast Trail and the entire length of it within view of the ocean. With rocky cliffs, suspension bridges, waterfalls dumping into the ocean and waves crashing into the rough West Coast the views were pretty unreal.
The first two days were spent hiking up and down big creek gullies, we figured we made about 100 m horizontal movement for each 1 km hiked. At one point I thought I heard howler monkeys, Lilla being from the East coast pointed out they were probably sea lions. Hmmm, would’ve never known…. Next we thought we were seeing hoards of 100’s of seals, but they turned out to be giant kelp and logs. Weird. Tides were another problem. With parts of the hike on the beach it would’ve been wise to check out the tide tables. Nothing 1 hr of waiting and trying to time the waves can’t fix. I got pretty wet, Lilla showed better finesse and made it across dry and lady like.
The third day we woke up to rains, hiked for 4 hrs, then it started to rain sideways as gail force winds moved in and started knocking branches and tops of trees down. Hiking the next 4 hrs in the storm, on icy wet board walks and ankle deep mud with the tree’s tossing crap at us was an adventure. Reaching my pickup at 6pm in 100% saturated clothes but our heads still in tact was a relief.

Rrrrrrrrr..a.rgggrgrag.. Was my pickup trying to start. F&%#@ piece of s#*$&# was my response. A couple home mechanics were in the parking lot and they helped us in the pooring rain for over an hr. No Luck. Still in wet clothes and ice cold I renamed my truck B-POC (Black Piece of Crap) and then we hitched into Port Renfrew to call the tow man. We were dropped off at the local pub, our friends drove away, we walked up in the pooring rain, saw the closed sign, swore again and then looked around for another hideout. No luck. Power was out all over town and there was nothing else in the town. Too our luck a guy came out of a back room in the pub where he was watching the new star trek movie. He felt sorry for us, let us inside, made us tea, gave us a phone too use and then let us hang out till the tow truck arrived.
2.5 hrs later the tow truck showed up and we started towing B-POC 120 km back to Victoria on the sketchy Coastal highway which was now littered with trees and branches. Half way back we went by the trailhead we had started the hike at. 3 days earlier I had stashed my bike in the bush as I had used it to get to the start of the hike after dropping B-POC off at the other end of the trail. I convinced the tow truck driver to stop for 10 minutes so I could hike down the trail to retrieve the bike.

Running down the trail, in the storm, in the middle of the night, with a small headlamp was a gongshow. After running around in the woods for 30 minutes resembling a chicken with his head cut off I waved the white flag on the mission and headed back to the tow truck to humbly continue our journey home. At 12:30 am we finally reached Victoria to conclude the 17hr hiking day, minus a bike, a working truck, and anything of any sort still dry.
The next morning my brother Dustin, Lilla and I spent the day ripping B-POC apart. Luckily Dustin is a top notch home mecahnic and he figured out the problem and pointed Lilla and I to do the labour. 6 new spark plugs and spark plug wires later and B-POC was back to life. Apparantly spark plugs should be replaced every 3 yrs or so. Mine were 9 yrs old…. Prevenative maintenance has always been on the dusty pages of my dictionary. It is now on the front cover, highlighted in bold letters and in three different languages!
A few days ago I went back and found my bike. Much easier in the day light. In the end I’m not sure if the hike fit properly into the term “rest week” but it was a solid enough adventure to help ease a guy’s mind who is going through post Central America travel syndrome.
This weekend its up Island to rip some trails in Campbell River and try my luck at the Island Cup XC race in Cumberland on Sunday.

One Comment on “Juan De Fuca”

  • Ronald J April 15th, 2010 7:07 pm

    Nice crazy Ride Buddy. I am very sure that next time you will not forget to change your sparkplugs of your car! I can not imagien how cold is to wear wet clothes!!

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