Three days. Three friends. One ferry ride over to the Sunshine Coast in beautiful British Columbia.
We spent a blissful three days at Roberts Creek Provincial Park. It's a short 45-minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay and then another 20-minute drive to the campsite. No reservations are necessary and there are a lot of campsites, so chances are, you'll probably have a spot to set up your tent!
The campsite itself isn't very off-the-grid, but it's also tucked away in the forest enough to feel like you're in the wild. It's the perfect spot if you are looking for something between "glamping" and "real camping". You'll only be 10 minutes away from grocery stores and there are actual sit-down bathroom stalls at the site. You don't have to dig a hole and squat to poop :D. You'll also have access to running water from a tap. WAHHH?
List of things you gotta do.
1. Walk down to Henderson Beach.
2. Visit Davis Bay and watch people catch crabs/sunbathe.
3. Drink beer, play cards, and make camp food over the fire.
4. Make s'mores.
5. Visit Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park.
6. Visit Smuggler Cove Provincial Park.
Once you are settled in at the campsite, you can start walking in the general direction of "downhill" toward the residential area until you reach a street. You'll see some signs leading you to the beach or you just keep walking downhill (sorry for the weak description, but it's literally how I got there hehehe). The best time to go is during low-tide. You'll be able to see all of the intertidal species native to the West Coast of BC!
Davis Bay is a little community just South of Sechelt. You'll be able to see many locals and visitors fishing and crab fishing. Also a good spot to read a book and just enjoy the sun!
And of course, we Westcoast babes drink hoppy beers and play cards.
It's the only thing better than the classic s'mores.
Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park
Skookumchuck Narrows is about an hour drive up North. The word "skookumchuck" is a Chinook name meaning turbulent water or rapid current. 200 billion gallons of water flow through the narrows, connecting Sechelt and Jervis Inlet. The difference in water levels between one side of the rapids and the other can exceed 2m in height (that's about 6.5ft). The current speeds can exceed 30km per hour (19miles per hour). So going for a swim in this water is probably not a good idea.
Smuggler Cove Provincial Park
This park definitely makes it on my list of favourite places. You'll see plenty of wildlife; snakes, beavers (if you get lucky), squirrels, and all the beautiful birds that I do not know the name of. It's kind of an eerie and magical place. The kind of place where the Forest Spirit in Princess Mononoke would live.
A little history moment.
So why the name "smuggler"? When the Canadian Pacific Railway was completed in the late 1800's, many of the Chinese workers became unemployed. Although they had just built an entire country's transportation system from coast to coast, they were stuck, unemployed, with no future. They tried to emigrate to the United States, where they were denied entry. Then a "Pirate", named Larry Kelly, came up to Canada after fighting for the confederates in the American Civil War. Kelly assisted the Chinese men to cross the border for $100 each (according to inflationcalculator.ca, that would be about $2-3k now). He also had them agree to be roped together and tied to a large hunk of pig iron, which he would throw (both iron and the people) overboard if there was a chance they would get caught.
There are multiple viewpoints throughout the trail. I highly recommend that you just take a moment, sit down, enjoy the sun, eat some trail mix, and listen to the sound of nature. We rested our aching backs on the warm rock and took a mini nap here.
It's always a bittersweet moment when you go home from a camping trip. I always feel conflicted because on the one hand, I'm really excited to take a proper shower and maybe even a bath. On the other hand, I'm not ready to go back to real life. Work, projects, bills, responsibilities, planning for life.
Being out in nature puts my problems into perspective. It makes me feel incredibly small, but at the same time, makes me feel like things will just fall into place. The thoughts and worries that keep me up at night seem trivial when I'm in front of extremely fast currents that could sweep me away. If my projects fail and if I can't reach my goal, it's definitely not the end of the world. The end of the world would be when we don't even have the option to escape into nature.
That was my introspective moment (lol). Thanks for reading everyone! :D