Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tenting

After an afternoon on the beach, we hiked the Rainforest Trail before going back to Ucluelet. The Rainforest Trail has two loops, one on each side of the highway. For lack of time we only took Trail B, which is 1 km. long.

This temperate forest is very thick. As you walk further, it becomes moist and very cool even on a sunny day. I read that only 5 to 10 percent of sunlight filters through the forest canopy. The red cedar and hemlock trees are old and gigantic, and the undergrowth, dense. There is one tree that is supposed to be more than 800 years old.


The trail is a boardwalk. It goes down, down, down,
then around and up.

It feels eerie in this forest. Very quiet. I made weird sounds to let any wildlife know that we were approaching. You don't want to surprise a bear or a cougar. Occasionally, my boys conspired to scare me by hiding behind trees or walking further ahead. Oh these boys...

Thank God, we made it out of the forest without any close encounter of the bear kind.

We made sure we were at the Ucluelet Campground before sundown because we still had to pitch our tent and cook our dinner. There is no electricity at our tent site.


Entrance to the Ucluelet Campground.

As soon as we found our site, the boys, led by Mr. Blossoms, immediately got to work. We were excited about our location under big tress.


Gino and Markus lay down large pieces of cardboard on the ground. Then they cover these with a blue tarp.


Next, setting up the tent and the canopy for the dining table.

Because we had not gone tenting in a long time, we did not know that one of the tent poles was broken. Thankfully, we had duct tape. We taped a little branch beside the pole like a cast. "Never leave home without duct tape," I said. In case you didn't know, I'm one of those people who think most anything can be fixed with duct tape and twist ties. I brought both.


The tent looks okay now.


Then Gino inflated the airbed.

Later, we discovered that the airbed was deflated. It must have a leak. Fortunately, we had a spare one.

Pitching a tent is not as cumbersome as I remembered it to be. Now that the kids are grown, there's more manpower to do the job. I helped some but mostly I left it to them. Sometimes getting on each other's nerves.


Starting the fire.

For dinner, we had bread, soup and bottled spicy sardines. Then we roasted hotdogs and marshmallows.

After dinner, we hid all the food, utensils and garbage in the van because these attract wildlife. Then there was nothing to do but sleep or stargaze. The boys slept. Mr. Blossoms and I watched the stars and satellites in the clear sky.

When it was time for me to sleep, I went inside the van and bundled myself in a sleeping bag at the back. I had no plan of sleeping in the tent. ("I call the van!") Besides only the 3 boys fit in it. Mr. Blossoms stretched himself in the inclined driver's seat. It was cold at night, but we were prepared for it.

I didn't sleep well because my left shoulder started acting up. In the morning, Mr. Blossoms and the boys were already making breakfast when I woke up.


Bacon and eggs.



I'm liking this.

After breakfast, I went to the shower with a token. You pay to use the shower here. $3 dollars for 6 minutes.

Then it was time to pack up. Camping was not a bad idea after all. The boys even liked it better than the hostel. We should have done this for two nights. I could have saved some.


Preparing to leave

We started our long trip back home at 10 am. While we were enjoying the sights along the highway, we saw a black bear again. Too bad, we missed another photo op.

We stopped at a national park in Port Alberni, hiked a trail again. By this time, we had seen enough forests. We did not stop anywhere else.

We were home before 6 pm. back to the comfort of our beds. We plan to go camping again. Next time I will sleep in a tent -- maybe.

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