Just back from a couple of days exploring the area NW of Port Renfrew. My wife and I made a trip there back in May but bad weather limited how much exploration we did. This time it looked like our summer had finally arrived so we headed out there to see what was what. Turned out the gate on Grierson main was locked so we could not make it up to the nice view point we camped at back in May, so we headed west on Camper main and found a spot just on the southern edge of Walbran Provincial Park. Yup, another campsite on a logged off area – we joked about writing a book “Slash Camping on Southern Vancouver Island”.
But the view was magnificent, looking over the logged area of Camper Creek watershed, to the south and west the virgin forest of Pacific Rim National Park (West Coast Trail), and Juan de Fuca Strait and Washington to the far south. This panorama doesn’t show the park boundaries, but just to orient you, Port Renfrew is pretty well behind that dip on the left.
I’m not going to go on and on trying to defend our habit of camping on logging spurs, we’re just different, ok?
A bit of haze was coming in over the straits as the sun set.
Next morning, thick marine cloud had arrived.
We packed up and headed down the slope and further west, exploring spurs and dead ends. All the way to the Pacific Rim National Park boundary. On the way we found another logged view point. You almost can see our first night spot back up on the ridge to the left, middle of pic, narrow vertical grey logged area.
About 950 metres further west is the National Park boundary, it is logged right up to it.
I don’t know why I take pictures of giant stumps without some object in frame to give an idea of size, but I do. This cedar stump really is bigger than you think.
Had a look at Sandstone creek.
And then back up to to the previously scouted campsite.
It really wasn’t that bad. See the cloud still on the deck in the background?
The low cloud made the sunset quite spectacular.
The cloud started to form around us after the sun went down.
And in the morning, we got the cloud full on. Damp and chilly.
On our way back home, we stopped at a spot on the Gordon River, a few km upstream of the marina.
All in all a pretty good trip. No one got hurt, no van problems, no run ins with bears (plenty of bear poop around), and plenty of food and drink. What more can you ask for?
Addendum: some more pics from trip.
We often came across signs of cedar shake block cutting, folk salvaging something from left over wood. On this trip it was all Red Cedar, on our previous trip in the area we saw Yellow Cedar shake block cutting too.
Apart from locked gates (mostly to restrict access to active logging areas – protecting machinery), many roads are “decommissioned”. Can take the form of large ditches and gravel berms across road, or taking out bridges. The latter shown in this pic, and a tree across the road to stop folk before they go over the edge.
My quick and dirty levelling ramps worked fine.
One of our two dogs looking noble. We don’t usually have any problems with them and the local wildlife but they have chased off a bear on another trip.
And here he is, dog tired.
As I mentioned before, lots of bear poop around. I think the bears are feeding on Salmon Berries.
Another shot of the marine cloud and West Coast Trail boundary. Where I took the pic the temperature was in the mid to upper 20’s C. Next day when we were in the cloud it was around 14 C. We were sympathetic for the hikers on the trail, they probably had no idea it was so nice and warm 150 metres higher.
Not the biggest slugs in the world, but pretty big.
Some of the sandstone outcrops.