NELS BIGHT, B.C. — Hearing "family friendly" gave me the vote of confidence to wear Crocs on the last 17km stretch before leaving Cape Scott Provincial Park. Canadian families apparently are the most hard-core group of individuals that must raise their children on a lumberjack regimen.
I imagined the 16.8km stretch from Nels Bight to the Cape Scott Provincial Park to be boardwalks and crushed gravel. Thus, family friendly.
Considering day 1 started with a ferry on a rocky shore with a cliff behind us, this is the most naive thought so far on this trip. That includes the bike ride across America to reach this point - mud pits, tree trunks across the path, and the standard that comes with the North Coast Trail is a guarantee each day. Even the trip out to the light house included getting wind blasted.
None the less, the hashtag #CrocTheWorld is my unofficial slogan - see this post with Diabetes Sports Project.
Consider Bringing Crocs Instead of Chacos
Hikers, bikers, and fellow travelers usually bring two pairs of shoes. The first is a sturdy pair prepared for the daily grind of life - mud, miles of pedaling, or hopping in a puddle. While I have thoughts about the former, I am going to argue why Crocs should be considered for the comfort pair of shoes.
Qualities of a good comfort pair of shoes
We are chatting about what to slip on your feet at the end of the day around the campsite. Or, when that first pair is way too wet or muddy. These are the key qualities of camp-side shoes:
- Flexible for any situation (i.e. resilient)
- Can I coat these in bike grease and not care?
Some rookies bring flip flops. Let's immediately dismiss this by saying flip flops start off as useless and break easily when the strap breaks or disconnects.
Most other serious adventurers choose Chacos. A quality choice. However, it comes with a price tag of $100. The other more serious point to consider is weight. These clunkers are 2lbs according to REI. Check out the "specs" to confirm this.
How Crocs Crush Chacos
- Crocs weigh as little as 11 ounces to 16 ounces - or HALF the weight of Chacos.
- The price tag is generally around $30 and it seems like everyday Crocs has a sale. As I write this there is a 30% sale.
- Crocs partnered with Star Wars to offer these sweet combinations - R2D2 and CP30, Darth Vader, X-wings and Tie fighters. Which foot will be on the dark side?
- Neon orange Crocs strapped to the back of the bike makes them double as a safety signal.
- Flip the back strap forward and it is all casual shoe. Flip the strap back and it is solid enough to walk or bike in.
OK, so this is all taken with a grain of salt. People use Chacos as their only pair of shoes for a trip and I think that is a great call. Besides the tan lines, Chacos are rugged, sturdy, and leave you with sweet tan lines.
Crocs fill in the gap for that lightweight shoe that endurance athletes should consider to fling onto their touring bike or backpack. I used to hate on them too. Then they kept making it onto the gear list.
What is the farthest you have hiked in Crocs?
The first long #CrocTheWorld hike was along the beach near Bluff, NZ after about three weeks of backcountry hiking. We walked roughly 14 miles and chased a few sheep.
Now, Crocs are trekking 11 miles on the North Coast Trail, but on the Cape Scott Trail section (easier).
Passing an 800 Year Old Tree
Back to trail talk.
Gamble and I got lost in sharing stories to pass the time. A labeled trail sign indicated the parking lot might be right around the corner. We got excited:
"Is it possible we walked past the group and somehow are at the finish?"
"Did the Douds, Gamble combo go from the back to the front?"
The distance seemed about right for this situation to be true. Then we heard voices. Darn. Sitting on the boardwalk near Eric Lake sat everyone else waiting for us to arrive.
Time to keep marching on.
A tree trunk cut in half has wooden pegs spaced from the inner core going out towards the bark. Nick said this is marking each one-hundred years making this one over eight-hundred years old. The North Coast Trail has many trees larger than this one.
Old growth forests begin at two-hundred and fifty years and older. There must be trees that we saw that are over a thousand years old.
Waiting three months for this parking lot
Flashes of color between the tree limbs meant the end is near. You being to reflect upon the journey before even reaching the finish.