Third Beach was sunny and delightful, and we spent all of Sunday there - talking to our fellow hikers, and just plain relaxing in the sun.
We had planned to take a day trip up north to Ferror Point, but the trail was in pretty rough shape, and the beach was pretty inviting, so after a bit of nasty bush-whacking, we gave up and explored the reef just offshore from the beach instead.
While we were climbing among the rocks, we met an interesting lady, almost retired, who had kayaked there for the day. She told us that she headed up one of the environmental offices in B.C., and told us about some of her struggles with the current provincial government. It seems that the B.C. government is adamantly opposed to any kind of environmental protection within the province. Peculiarly, that government seems unaware of the huge influx of hikers to Nootka Island, and continues to designate the area as being suitable for the clear-cut forestry practices that have hurt the tourism industry in much of the province.
I was still thinking about our new environmentalist friend as evening approached. As a person who is used to hiking in alpine areas, the idea of a camp fire is almost anathema. In the alpine meadows of Alberta, a tree takes hundreds of years to grow, and to burn one is unthinkable.
Here on the coast though, driftwood is plentiful, and a roaring fire is only minutes away - even in the rain. Although I felt like a wastrel as I built a fire, I eventually concluded that as long as we didn't leave unsightly charred fire remnants lying around, there was no real reason not to build fires.
An evening campfire was one of the real luxuries on this trip. Iíll miss them on my next trip above the tree line!
Another pleasant surprise here is that the environmentally friendly thing to do is to use "Nature's flush toilet" - the intertidal zone. Armed with naturally antibacterial seawater and a bit of antiseptic gel, there's really no need to even bring difficult-to-decompose toilet paper into this environment.
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