Friday, July 8, 2016
Mount St. Patrick
Sea Otter Cove is a major reason why we decided to go around Vancouver Island again. Mount St. Patrick towers over the cove and Aaron had wanted to hike it since we were here last year. We found a trail on a map and made it our goal to make it to the top. Jason also just happened to have a conversation with a guy in Comox who had hiked it and gave him some tips on how to find the trailhead. So after four weeks in the camper van and seven weeks on the sailboat, the day had finally arrived for us to hike Mount St. Patrick. On Father's Day. Lucky Jason.
We paddled to shore and up the river at the end of the inlet. After a couple of false starts (which allowed me to gather some wild food *yay*) we finally found the trailhead. We pushed our way through thick bushes and tromped through gloppy mud following a trail in the middle of nowhere that was barely there, purely on faith that the ribbons we found tied on bushes and trees from time to time wouldn't lead us astray. I am so thankful we decided to wear uber-boots for this hike. Eventually the trail opened up a bit and then reared straight up. We huffed and puffed our way to the tree line and then slogged through deep mud until we reached the top. With 1300 foot elevation gain in 2.5 miles, it was an epic hike and the views were amazingly gorgeous. I love the rugged coastline here with waves crashing against craggy cliffs and sea stacks and we got a birds-eye view of it all.
On the way down we took a wrong turn that put us into even deeper mud. Pika stepped into a mud pit and started to sink. She looked at us with wild-googly eyes as she sank to her chest and then her chin slowly kissed the mud as she continued to flounder. Isaac came to her rescue and pulled her out of the mud with a satisfying slurp. Poor Isaac sunk in up to his knees and then Aaron was swallowed by the same hole. Pika was so cute after the sinking incident and would "air-swim" every time I lifted her over a mud puddle.
When we got back to the kayaks the tide had dropped considerably so we had to drag our kayaks through what was left of the river until it was deep enough to climb in. Isaac even pulled Jason like a sled dog through the water. We arrived back to the boat happy and tired. We decided that the thick bushes + deep mud + steep climb = the most epic and fun hike we have ever been on, which = Best Father's Day ever and worth all of the trouble to get to it.
Click here for photos.