Juan de Fuca – Day 3 Sombrio Beach to Pyzant Creek – (11 km)


The night at Sombrio Beach was really nice.  There was a beautiful waterfall tucked away in a creek that was right beside our campground.  We went and checked that out and also talked to a few other campers who were walking by to check it out.  One of the campers was a woman with her Labrador Retriever…more about them later.

Instead of just having our standard oatmeal breakfast I tried to make pancakes in a pot.  I only carry one cooking device (a pot).  The pot is quite old.  I’d put its age at 15 years.  It may have once been Teflon but not anymore.  The first pancake formed a nice layer on the bottom of the pot and quickly became a pancake ball.  So the next pancakes were also pancake balls.  They tasted okay and they were calories so we didn’t really care.  We pounded them back with ease and then I made 1/2 an oatmeal portion to fill us up but also to help clean out the disgusting pot.


The tent had a light dusting of rain that I didn’t even hear.  I wouldn’t even call it rain.  I thought it was dew at first but someone said it had actually spit for a few minutes.  We got started on the trail at 930 AM with 11 – 12 km of hiking to do over moderate trails to get to Pyzant Creek.


Along the way a few kilometers in we met Holly and her dog Georgia.  The dog was 7 YO and I was super impressed that she was doing the trail with the dog.

I absolutely love Labs and especially chocolate labs.  She was so cute with her little carry backpack.  Holly had to lift her down from some of the tougher sections.  Initially Holly told us to pass and sometime along the trail we stopped to eat something so we let them pass through along with a few other people.  Once we got started again though we caught up to them.


Although the trail was marked as moderate for this section I would not say it was easy.  There were several really muddy and root filled slippery sections that you had to navigate along with some fallen trees to climb over.

Have you ever tried to climb over a big tree or under a big tree with a 50 lb backpack?  Let me tell you that it isn’t easy.  I almost took a few headers when I got off the tree and going under was equally hard.  The one time I got smart and took off the pack and threw it over and then went under the tree….the one time 😉


Holly decided to stick with us hiking which was fun.  I was a little self conscious that I stunk.  I don’t think I needed to even be self conscious about it.  I stunk, and there was no denying it.  I only carry a limited amount of clothes hiking due to the weight.  I know you could try to wash the shirt but I’m lazy and that never happened.  Even though I tried washing myself when you put the stinky clothes back on you stink.

We talked about her career for a while which was interesting.  She’s becoming a helicopter pilot.


The kids were hiking up a storm that day.  I could barely keep up and I commented on it one time.  I said I felt like I was being pulled along and she laughed and said that she was happy it wasn’t just her.  She was about 10 years younger I’m guessing from our conversation.


When we got to the campground we discovered that it is only forest sites and a bit cold with a breeze off the ocean.  That was a bit disappointing not to be able to camp on the beach after having such great sites the other nights.  Oh well, we set up the tent and the hammock and made a nice spot in the woods.

We made it to the campground in just under 4 hours and figured we averaged over 3 km/hr which is quite good.  We had mashed potatoes and bacon for lunch which was fantastic.  There wasn’t much to do and we wished we had the cards again.  The kids wanted to explore a bit so I told them to be careful and I climbed in the tent and had a 2 hour nap.  It felt incredible!!

When I got up and walked for the first time I felt like I was 100 YO for an instant.  My knees were sore but after I walked for a minute they returned to normal.


For supper we had a big meal of spaghetti and sun-dried tomatoes with Alfredo sauce.  That’s a great camping meal but it’s heavy to carry.  After supper we walked down the path and down over the rocks to get to the water where the light was ideal for pictures.

It turns out the kids had already hiked down this little path when I was sleeping.  I felt good about their decision though.  They decided it was not safe to go out on the rocks without dad so I commended them on their responsibility.  When we first started down the path I didn’t really know where we were going so I was in flip flops.  They were both in bare feet….so summer.


The ‘beach’ was really just a black rock face that jutted out into the ocean.  I love that sound where the ocean just comes in and pounds against the rocks.  It’s fantastic, but it is also terrifying because if you get into that chop you could be dead very quickly.

I think I have an above average fear of death and it is certainly heightened with kids.  Am I the only one who has periodic nightmares or day thoughts about bad shit happening to your kids!?  Whenever we are at a place like this I’m forever telling them to stay 15 feet away from the edge and never go where water has already splashed.


I think my fear is sensible because it’s not like bad things don’t happen at beautiful locations like this one.

We had such a great time down at the beach that I thought we should tell our new friend Holly about it.  So we wondered over to her tent.  It turned out she was writing in her journal.  She said we made it in her journal.  She was writing about the kids and how ridiculous they were hiking….little did she know she would make my blog as well.  Hell, maybe she’s reading along.  🙂  I don’t think so.  I think my readers are up to 25 now.


Georgia was hilarious.  Despite having hiked 11 km if you picked up a stick she was full on dog.  She just wanted to fetch sticks so the kids had fun with her for a long time.  I think we spent about an hour with Holly and then said goodnight because it was past our bedtime of 9 pm.

This was a great day!  In my mind I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t take on the 14 km day hike to the end and back because it was rated as moderate and then easy.  I think we would have shredded it in about 3 hours.

In the end though this was just my achievement oriented self talking.  It didn’t make a difference that we didn’t see the parking lot at the other end of the trail and I’m sure the last 7 km were more of the same….spectacular and beautiful.

At the end of day 3 we had hiked 40 km and it was time to turn around and head back to the parking lot at China Beach.

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