Wow, what an amazing experience! Yet another super successful #bfitday with the Rocky Point tribe. Our latest adventure took us to the remote territory of the Juan De Fuca trail, a multiple day, 47KM backcountry trek that spans the south west coast of Vancouver Island.
The trip started months ago when coaches Tom, Ty and Errol were standing around in the gym discussing the possibilities of some of our next bfit adventures. We started talking about camping and hiking trips and Ty asked if either of us had done the Juan De Fuca Trail. Neither of us had but it had been on both our bucket list for some time. The excitement grew among us and the early planning stages where on the way.
Over the coming weeks Coach Ty took over the planning. Ty must have watched every youtube video on “how to survive in the wilderness”, unfortunately it didn’t help his loose bowel movements for the ferry ride over 😉 All joking aside, Coach Ty put a lot of effort into the itinerary, the people and the preparations. The trip was on and the tribe took to the idea quickly. After a few announcements and a Facebook post, we quickly had 25+ members interested which thinned out to a committed 15 people. Coach Ty, Robyn, Matt, Steve, Rick, Emily, Amy, Mike, Michelle, Connor, Dave, Lesia, Brendan, Steph and I made up the 15 person crew.
After a few packing and preparation meetings and a test backpacking trek at Buntzen Lake, we were off on Friday July 10th at 5am to begin our adventure.
Day one of the trip may have shared the most laughs when we discovered Gorilla’s General Store… a 75 pound backpack full of everything you don’t need to survive in the wilderness. We’ll let you be the judge, here’s some of the items:
- A dozen apples and 4 grapefruits totalling 5 + lbs of fresh fruit
- 1Lt of whip cream in a glass bottle, packed in it’s own cooler, with ice packs
- Enough peperoni to feed the tribe
- A 4 man luxury tent
- A coleman collapsible chair, complete with a fresh price tag sticker
- 3 lead pots with a spatula and cooking utensils
- A 2L stainless steel thermos
- Canned chili, mac and cheese and wieners
- A french press and 1L of coffee beans
- And more…
After a few hours on the trial and our first stop at the beach, Gorilla began to recognize his grossly overweight pack, it was weighing on him hard and had even taken him down with a slightly hyperextended knee. But if you know Gorilla, you know he wouldn’t let a heavy backpack stop him! He remained in the best of spirits and laughed it off with the tribe and continued to truck on.
Day one of the trip saw the best weather, the forest floor was bone dry and the only moisture to be found was under our armpits and in the cracks of our asses 😉 The rivers and creeks were barely flowing and finding a good watering spot looked like it was going to be a challenge.
As the day progressed the pack started to split into groups and upon making the beach, Brendan and Errol trekked ahead to ensure we would make the tide crossing. With little time to spare we arrived Bear campground around 6:30pm and set up for what made out to be a beautiful evening. Everyone got a chance to set up their tents for the first time, test out their newly acquired cooking gear, and prepare a well deserved hot meal. For many, this was their first overnight backcountry trek and there’s something special about that first night out back, there’s a sense of accomplishment, a sense of freedom, a sense of unknown, and a sense of peacefulness. You begin to recognize the beauty in simplicity, in nature, and in stillness. You begin to leave the commercialized world behind you.
Day 2 began with some light rainfall and frantic packing for some. We were off to a late start and had planned to trek 19km to Sombrio, but the 11km trek to Chin Beach was by far the toughest of the trip. The trail was getting wetter by the step and just when you thought you were going to crest the top of the hill, it rounded a corner and continued up into the forest. Worse yet, it rarely trekked along the ridge at the top. Instead, it quickly jotted back down the steep hills and back to the beach, soon to approach the next valley that was steeper than the last. The rain had picked up and we were now in the midst of true West Coast weather. Needless to say, we ended up making camp at Chin Beach.
With the rain coming down the tribe quickly scattered to find a few dry spots on the forest floor. The thick canopy above provided shelter for most. After settling in and setting up camp Coach Ty and Gorilla decided a “man bath” was in order and jumped into the river with soap in hand. Let me tell you, seeing two grown men bathe together is quite the site. Amy, Connor and Emily may have missed out on the action, but a couple of gopros captured it for the world to see, over and over again.
Day 2 and Chin beach didn’t disappoint, We were treated to a couple of humpback whale sightings and the late crew saw a massive fireworks display across the water in Washington.
With 21km ahead of us, we had hopes of getting an early start on day three but they were just that. Everyone was feeling the past two days of trekking and organizing a group of 15 people isn’t as easy as it sounds. Blisters had been formed, knees were inflamed, and our bodies were beginning to take a toll. The final destination for the day was Payzant Creek for many but we were to make a stop at Sombrio Beach to make a decision on splitting the group. Sombrio Beach was the nicest beach on the journey. Surreal settings of waterfalls, ocean rock, cliffs, and secluded beaches surrounded us. We had a pocket of dry weather but it didn’t last. As the group trekked along the cobble stone path on the final leg of the beach, the rain began to come down and decisions needed to be made quickly. Steven had taken a fall early in the trip which ended up causing a partially torn quad. His knee was now inflamed to the point of barely being able to walk. He never once complained and continued to trek on. Coach Ty and Brendan helped him with his pack on the last leg of the trip to Sombrio and unfortunately it was decided that it was best for him to stay to prevent further injury.
Many in the tribe were worn out and the beauty of Sombrio coupled with the late hour in the day helped form a decision of splitting the pack. Some where to stay here and make camp while others trekked the final 7km to Payzant.
The final leg to Payzant wasn’t as grueling as the trek to Sombrio and the tribe pushed on with little stopping. Steph, Robyn and Tyler all got stung by wasps between Parkinson Creek and Payzant Creek. These little buggers hurt and left a mark but fortunately none of them were allergic.
While the camp at Payzant was beautiful, the tall thin trees provided very little canopy shelter in comparison to the campgrounds at Bear and Chin. By the time we all arrived the rain was coming down hard and needless to say it was a wet and short evening. We all made a quick meal and camp and were in our tents to dry out before nightfall.
At this point everyone was pretty pooped and Brendan ensured an early morning wake up. Most of us were out of our tents and getting ready around 6am but Emily, Amy and Connor had done the early rise the previous mornings and were wise to sleep in a bit. With only 7km ahead of us we were all eager to get moving and warm up our bodies and we broke trail around 9am. The final leg of the trip was much easier compared to the rest of the trail but still had plenty of up and downs. We took our time and enjoyed ourselves and arrived at our final destination around noon. To finish off the epic trip, we snapped a few picks of the 47km marker, quickly hopped in our cars to pick up the crew at Sombrio, and were off to enjoy some of the island’s best cafes.
This adventure was one of our best #bfit trips yet! The bonding experience was exceptional and something that will never be forgotten. Everyone put forth an amazing effort, laughs were had, blood and tears were shed, and we all got to know each other that much better. There were countless times where our training in the gym helped prepare us for this difficult trek and I was told by many that their training with Rocky Point is what enabled them to accomplish what we set out to do. We’ve got a few more ideas in store before this summer is out so be sure to sign up for our next adventure and put all that hard work and training to use.
Our Juna De Fuca Tribe:
Emily – Best packer ever. She should have her own youtube channel.
Connor – Battled a tight back the entire way, you wouldn’t have known it.
Amy – Was most worried about carrying a pack, she crushed it. Training pays off!
Brendan – This guy is amazing. This was our first major trip of this sort and his experience and willingness to help made the trip better for everyone.
Steph – Had a pretty close call on a log, got stung and still kept hauling ass and laughing along the way.
Dave – Only guy to call his girlfriend “babe” more than Errol
Lesia – This was her first type of this kind of trip. She was constantly cracking jokes and having fun.
Robyn – The silent warrior, she had a massive flesh wound on her foot that none of us even knew about until the hike was over.
Rick – “Steady Eddy” This guy does not complain. He had a huge fall into the mud. Rick just stood back up and started moving.
Matt – Determined and focused, a real champion out there.
Steve – Beat down but never gave up, he trekked on a partially torn quad to the point of it not being safe. A true fighter.
Gorilla – Who else could carry a 75lbs bag through an insane trail and then hitchhike out with Gary and a dog named Luke.
Michelle – Gorilla packed her bag, need we say more LOL. She toughed it out with a smile on her face.
Errol – Surprisingly wasn’t farting the entire time, only every second step.
Tyler – Our hero, this trip wouldn’t have happened without his hard work and planning, and he had the time of his life to boot.