SKINNER CREEK, B.C — The wooden arrow sign reads, "To Certain Death". Luckily, the warning points to the path now at your back.
A 3km hike to Nahwitti River offers the group's first exposure to cobblestone beaches. Soon to be the doom of my feet. Consider the tides carefully because there are impassable sections at high tide.
This is part 3 of the Connected in Motion's adventure team hike of the North Coast Trail in Vancouver Island. The series covers the story of thirteen hikers with type 1 diabetes coming together from August 10th - 20th, 2017 to complete this challenge and raise $25,000. Contribute by clicking here
Across a river that may be forded, due to low tide, are thick steel cords. A cable car has room for two and the gear on their backs. A good push from behind sets of the rollercoaster ride until the car comes to a halt at the halfway point. Peter begins pulling the rope around the pulley to safely bring two members across the river.
Hank fires up the DJI Mavic drone to fly overhead while I hold out a Nikon to capture a firsthand perspective. Some may be fooled we are on a Hollywood set out here in the wilderness.
A twenty foot metal ladder brings us down from the platform on the other side. The trail is up and down as we climb over thick trunks of trees and down steep hills where ropes are needed for assistance. One earns every kilometer on this trail.
I lock my eyes onto the heel of the person in front of me. Where is the next step going to be? How thick is that mud? Is there a log hiding under there that I can use or will it sink away under the weight of my pack? There is no daydreaming allowed.
We forge out of the forest and see the sign, "To Certain Death". The arrow points towards the path now at our backs. Phew. Thinking the pain was over, a staircase that would ease the trip to the beach is impassable because of a fallen tree. Guess the arrow should be turned around to point at the muddy cliff that is now the only way forward.
As if there is some invisible line, the mud suddenly shifts into sand and cobblestones. Cape Sutil is another sweeping beachfront to pitch a tent. The waves lure in weary travelers until a curious foot touches the ice cold arctic water.
"Three, ONE, GO," Amanda rushes forward. A second behind her, I sprint into the bay knowing that ripping off the bandaid is the only solution to take a swim. Pinpricks creep up from your toes while the heart is pounding to circulate warm blood throughout the body. Am I warm? Freezing to death?
An ice bath helps numb the pain.
We call out into the bay imitating Dory from Finding Nemo searching for whales. Will we bump into more wildlife on this remote island?