Day 6 - Thursday, August 26, 2015
Route: Michigan Creek (KM 12) to Pachena (KM 0)
Distance: 12 km
Start Time: 6:00 am
With a 5:30am wake up call, the group was determined to reach the finish line! Not to mention our ride back to Port Renfrew was scheduled to leave at 12pm. Leaving the campground, we had two brief scenic stops at the Pachena Lighthouse @ KM 10 and the Sea Lion Rock @ KM 9. Definitely 2 stops worth checking out along this leg. Once we got back to it, the trail was flat and relatively easy as we’d be passing a kilometer marker every 20 minutes. It was the complete opposite of day 1, so we were all happy we decided to have the hardest part of the trail done on the first day as opposed to the last.
However, once we reached the last kilometer, we had ran into a significant fork in the road. We had the choice between the beach or trail. With Brock leading the way at the time, he choose the trail. Unsuspectedly, this meant we had to climb a lot of giant ladders and hills. So next time, I highly recommend the beach trail for the last kilometer….
But after all that cursing during the last 30 mins, we finally reached the end! Having finished the trail after 6 days, we naturally all gave each other a few high fives. We were also greeted by two friendly National Park attendants at the WCT Office who also congratulated us.
With the West Coast Trail conquered, it was definitely time to go home. First we had to get to Bamfield which was 5 km away. There was no way were going to walk another 5 km so we opted for local Taxi services which charged $10/person. At this point we were will to pay anything. Since there was no cell phone service at all, we honoured ‘Throwback Thursdays’ by using a pay phone. It’s a good thing we all had change on us.
Once the taxi dropped us off in Bamfield, we had an hour to kill, so we didn’t hesitate to eat some freshly made Breakfast at the Market Café and of course had to have celebratory breakfast beer!
Getting back to Port Renfrew, there were 2 options: bus or boat. The bus ride would be a 4 hour trip filed with other sweaty hikers along a narrow bumpy road. The water taxi boat would be a 2 hour ride next to the coast with a scenic views of trail and wildlife. We opted for option 2. We booked the water taxi ride through Coastal Sea Adventures, it did cost a little more than the bus, but we thought it was money well spent. Luckily, for those who were awake for the ride, got see tons of birds and even a close encounter with a grey whale!
With our journey through the West Coast Trail completed, I can tell you that it was definitely eye opening and an experience of a life time. It was a challenging for sure. The trail did push each and everyone of us to the limit and there were plenty of times when we would be out of our comfort zone. But nothing could replace the sights, friendships, and experiences over the last 6 days.