A Skookum Hike

The weather around here has been bright, sunny, and cold. The air is crisp, the leaves are falling. Yesterday seemed like the perfect day to do a hike we’d long wanted to do – Skookumchuck Narrows. Peter and I and our friend, Kyle. This is one of the few hikes around here that I’ve actually done already. Years ago, when camping here as a kid, we hiked to the Skookumchuck. It rained and the walk seemed to last forever. More than ten years later I realized that it’s really not a strenuous hike. There’s not much up or down hill and the trail is rocky but mostly clear. And yesterday we had perfect weather. Cold as we started but just right as we began to warm up.

The Skookumchuck Narrows are a unique point on the Sechelt Inlet where two tides meet. If you time your hike right (which we didn’t) you can see these two forces push against each other. But even on a calm day like yesterday there are rapids, whirlpools, and whitecaps.

It can be a dangerous place for a boat.

But mostly it was a calm and beautiful day.

Starfish under water!

As we were preparing to turn around and head back, we saw something happening in the distance. A movement in the water that we watched closely to see if it was more whitecaps or something different. But the movement was not quite regular and, yes, something was surfacing. As we strained our eyes and Kyle switched to a zoom lens on his camera to see if we were looking at seals or dolphins, we heard a “huff” and watched a sea lion surface and then slip back underwater nearby. We watched the raft of sea lions (I just looked it up – that’s what a group of sea lions is called) slip easily through the waves as they swam against the tide. There were probably about six or seven of them. As they came closer we tried to get a few pictures.

I don’t have a fancy zoom on my camera so you’ll have to take my word for it. Those little heads you see at the bottom left of the above photo belong to sea lions. They’re actually huge creatures. Long and slippery looking. We watched them until they swam out of sight.

I am unbelievably fortunate to live where I live and to be able to see such amazing sights.

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