My Adventure Story
Took a day off paddling to explore beaches along south side of Flores Island.
My goal was to walk to Cow Bay, return to my Sand Dunes camp for a nap, and go to Cathy’s Place for dinner. I figured about 5 miles each way to Cow Bay, based on the nice map where the Ahousaht Trail hits Whitesand beach. Low tide was between 7 and 8 and I started walking by 7:00 AM.
Low tide made beaches broad, beautiful, and easy to walk. Lots of birds probing in the sand. Lots and lots of wolf tracks. I forded the Kutcous stream and checked out the emergency shelter. It was early, so I didn’t knock on the door or try to go inside. I didn’t see anyone on my walk from Whitesand to Cow Bay, but at Cow Bay there was a group of students and their teachers from Courtenay. They had just seen a wolf come out of the trees and claimed they could still see it on the far side of the bay. I couldn’t see it. The teachers were return visitors to the area and dissuaded me from walking to the warm springs, saying a kayak approach at high tide would be a better plan. After a snack and drink I headed back.
The highlight of the trip back was seeing a wolf on the beach. He saw me and quickly outpaced me and disappeared down the beach. After knocking on the door, I entered the emergency shelter. It is awesome, architecturally interesting, and beautifully crafted from hand split cedar. It has quite a bit of room with maybe cots for 8 people. I’m guessing the trail maintenance crew uses the shelter and is responsible for keeping it very clean and orderly. The tide had filled in the Kutcous Ford shortcut, and I wasn’t keen on getting into the cold water. By the time I found a knee deep section to cross I could see the Kutcous Bridge. Near the bridge is a culturally modified tree with a square hole carved about 10 feet from the ground. It looks like an inspired coordinated person could climb up to get a look inside. I didn’t try.
Back at Whitesand there was a group of students from the University of Victoria surveying the beach. They had finished their work and were enjoying the sun, taking pictures, and waiting for a water taxi.
I’d run out of nap time, so after a snack, drink, and few back stretches, I headed for Ahousaht. I read on the back of the map sign of a $25 fee to walk the Wildside Trail. After asking a few people, I found the Wildside Trail office inside the Ahousaht Housing Office. I thought the trail was wonderful, in good shape, and offered easy access to beautiful locations. I gladly paid $25. The trail staff alert subdivision construction crews that hikers/walkers are coming through and a staffer walked me to Cathy’s Restaurant. Cathy’s is the best restaurant in Ahousaht. My chicken burger was outstanding and other’s rave about their fish and chips.
By my return to the Sand Dunes at Whitesand Cove, I’d walked 15 miles, and I was asleep my 9:00. I say walked instead of hiked, because the combination of trails, boardwalks, and beaches makes the experience more like a walk in a city park than a wilderness experience. Although, most city parks do not provide wolf sightings.