With a early light of day start, we were up and on the trail by 6:50 a.m. in anticipation of a much longer day on the trail. The first steps away from the hut had us on a steep descend from the bluffs into the valley below. Shortly after the downhill was an opportunity to refill water after 7km up on the bluffs. We pushed on toward Malaspina Road and continued the now familiar up and down climbs of the SCT The earlier start kept us slightly cooler, but with the climbs we were quickly dripping in sweat once again.
This section of the trail had several cut block sections of differing aged fir trees, evidence of the logging outfits that are common in the Powell River area of BC. These sections were quaintly referred to as “baby 2 x 4s” by my husband. These areas were much more dense in undergrowth than the forest with high canopy. The moss and ferns continued to blanket the ground in a sea of greens. The morning sunlight coming through and hitting these rich colors was a real treat for the eyes. The start of this day was parallel to the Okeover Inlet, however, one could only get quick glimpses as we were mostly in deeper forest throughout the hike.
Once the trail reached the end of the Okeover Inlet, it dropped to the valley floor and became a much more level and gentle trail. After crossing Malaspina Road on the way to Plummer's Creek was particularly pleasant trail and the kilometers clipped by quickly. This section is also the location for a marathon trail run due to its smoother and more forgiving trail surface. Much of this smoother and faster trail was on the old logging roads the cris-crossed the forest.
Along the way we passed an unnamed water falls, which was a good spot for our morning snack and refill of water. We are quickly realizing that carrying less water when we can really made the hiking easier. I guess we did not realize how much carrying four litters ( 8+ lb) of water was slowing us down.
The next interesting section took us through lower land swamps full of boardwalks and interesting bridges. It also passed one of the largest Douglass Fir trees in the area. It is likely this tree surpasses 1,000 years old.
Eventually we climbed the last high section on our way to Rieveley Pond shelter around kilometer 30. We rested here for a few hours and dried our clothing, visiting with our latest trail friends and swapping stories of our different experiences. However, we did not decide to stay the night here, but rather push on a few more kilometers to a section we heard of at Appleton Creek.
Here we camped surrounded by old growth fir trees on a bed of moss and neighboring the rushing stream of Appleton Creek. Here the cold water was useful for a foot soak, bath, and quick clean up. Just up trail from here is a swimming hole known as Paul’s Falls, which provided a deep clean cold pool for swimming. We passed on the dip due to the frigid water and the end of a 14 mile day.