Juan De Fuca Marine Trail

Picture of the west coast beach on a cloudy day

West coast

I think we have the best hiking opportunities anyone could ask for on Vancouver Island. My friend Debby and I were camping at Sombrio Beach, on the Juan De Fuca Marine Trail, and decided to do a day hike to Botanical Beach. The weather was perfect and the trail was in excellent condition.

Picture of sunlight shining through forest

Sunlight rays lighting up our trail

After hiking for a couple of hours the trail took us down to the shore and we stopped for lunch. The rocks were nice and warm and after eating, Debby and her dog, Phoenix, lay down for a snooze while I sat scanning the ocean with my binoculars.

Dog lying on a log at beach

A tough hike calls for lunch time

After about half an hour of enjoying the incredible view, I glanced to my right and saw a fellow a long way down the beach leaping around, waving his arms. I thought it was a bit strange, but carried on gazing out on to the ocean. After a few minutes I happened to look behind us and immediately saw the reason for the fellow’s strange behaviour. A big black bear was standing about 30 metres from us, blocking our only escape to the woods. I quietly called out to Debby and she and Phoenix slowly got up and we all stood there facing the bear. Phoenix was the first to speak, letting a quiet whoof, the bear responsed with a grunt, Phoenix whoofed again, and the bear grunted back. After a few very long minutes the bear slowly turned around and sauntered up the trail and into the woods.
The fellow then came running up to us to see if we were okay. He said he could see us sitting on the rocks with the bear approaching us from behind. He was afraid to call out in case his calls startled the bear and caused it to charge us.
After a good while we ventured back out onto the trail, all singing at the top of our lungs. Luckily, there were no more encounters with the bear and the rest of the hike to Botanical Beach was amazing and thankfully, uneventful. Another BC Parks adventure to remember forever.

Two women hiking down the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail

Juan De Fuca Marine Trail

Written by:Name: Nancy Chave-Sumbitted as a contest entry

Published: November 7th, 2014

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by BC Camping Story Contest Entry

This post as been submitted voluntarily by the above author as an entry to the Camping and RV BC Coalition " BC Camping Story Contest".

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