Beauty And Blisters On The Wild Pacific Trail

After several back and forths along Ucluelet’s main drag looking for a restaurant open for breakfast, Hubby and I finally happened upon Matterson House. It was very cute. And pricey. But at least it was open.

444 Matterson House, Ucluelet 445 Matterson House, Ucluelet

Fortified on expensive chow, we collected Roxy and drove to the Lighthouse Loop parking lot. As, apparently, did everyone else in Ucluelet. We were lucky to squeeze into a tight parking spot off in a back corner.

The two and a half kilometre loop is easy to walk with a relatively flat grade, likely one of the reasons it’s so popular. There are look-outs all along the trail with spectacular views, and I was amazed at how many people didn’t even bother to stop and enjoy them.

449 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet 451 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet 459 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet 475 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet

The trail, itself, held many charms.

453 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet 454 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet 491 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet 519 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet 528 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet

We heard Amphitrite Lighthouse long before we saw it.

465 Amphitrite Lighthouse, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet 471 Amphitrite Lighthouse, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet 473 Amphitrite Lighthouse, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet

I found the black rock and rugged coastline reminiscent of Ke’anae Lookout in Maui. Even as I sorted through our photos after getting home, I had to remind myself that this was the west coast of Canada, not Hawaii.

478 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet 479 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet 482 Amphitrite Lighthouse, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet 523 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet

We often saw white sudsy-looking foam on the water, and I learned this is actually a healthy phenomenon. Sea foam is created when tiny, single-celled plants called phytoplankton mixes with air and water current. The more phytoplankton, the more food for those higher up the food chain.

476 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet 484 Seaform, Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet 486 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet

Hubby and I often take shots of the same view, yet they turn out completely different.

My shot:

487 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet

Hubby’s:

488 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet 489 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet

Me:

502 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet

Hubby:

501 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet

My shot of a jay on a fence:

508 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet

Hubby’s:

509 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet

That cheeky little bird moved to a nearby tree as we got closer and proceeded to scold us but good.

511 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet 513 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet

The wind-shaped trees were dramatically striking.

499 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet 505 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet

We filled our entire morning, marvelling over the abundance of fantastic scenery.

493 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet 496 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet 498 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet 516 Lighthouse Loop, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet

Roxy, my little diva, was such a trooper the entire trip. Rarely ever a complaint. It was quite comical, though, how completely wiped out she was after every single hike. All that being carried and looking around must be quite exhausting if you’re used to snoozing most of the day away.

532 Roxy all tuckered out

As unchallenging as the Lighthouse Loop was, my poor foot still felt the effects, so after lunch I decided to switch out the old Nikes for a sturdy pair of hikers. These hikers are newish, and the last time I wore them, they gave me blisters. As a precaution, I bandaged the back of my heels first. Getting my swollen right foot into the shoe was owie, owie. Off with the shoe, loosen the laces, on with the shoe. Still major ouch. Off with the shoe, loosen the laces, on with the shoe…I went through this painful ordeal several times before being able to tolerate having the shoe on. Not a great start to my afternoon.

533 Killer hikers

We began the Wild Pacific Trail at Big Beach and planned to carry on as far as we could go; hopefully reaching Rocky Bluffs about six kilometres away. People were leaving Big Beach in droves when we got there, and a lady told us a bear was on the beach. I asked her if it was to the left or to the right and she said to the left. Good thing we were going right. We stood at a high point for a few moments to check things out, but no sign of a bear. So off we went.

I figured out quite quickly that I should’ve left the Nikes on. Because I’d loosened the laces, my skinny little heel slipped up and down as I walked, and a blister soon started to form, despite having the bandaid on. I had to stop and reinforce it with another bandaid, and a while later, yet another one. Removing the shoe was painful. Putting it back on hurt even worse. This was not looking good.

Maybe it was my sore foot. Maybe it was the gathering clouds with a risk of rain. Maybe it was all the spectacular nature we’d already seen that morning. Whatever the reason, we just weren’t as enthusiastic about this part of the hike. Not that it wasn’t scenic, because it certainly was.

544 Wild Pacific Trail 551 Wild Pacific Trail 552 Wild Pacific Trail

The accumulation of logs all along the route spoke of violent storms, which are a big draw for storm watchers in the winter.

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Quite a bit of the trail wasn’t in view of the water, but still offered plenty to see.

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Hubby even found some red huckleberries.

563 Picking Huckleberries, Wild Pacific Trail

Bracket fungus decorated the trees.

572 Bracket fungus, Wild Pacific Trail 574 Bracket fungus, Wild Pacific Trail 576 Bracket fungus, Wild Pacific Trail

Aren’t they cute?

569 Wild Pacific Trail

Besides dealing with the injury to my right foot and being prone to blisters, I have another annoying foot ailment called Morton’s Neuroma. Nerve compression causes tingling in the toes and increasing pain in the foot. Removing the shoe eases the pain almost immediately, although it generally returns soon after the shoe is back on. This is a sporadic problem, and some shoes aggravate it worse than others. Just my luck, the pain started in my left foot about two kilometres into the hike. Every single step became an agony, each foot for a different reason.

I hate being a quitter, really hate it. And I hate missing out. But knowing we still had to walk several kilometres back to the car, I finally conceded defeat, and we turned back long before reaching our destination.

A rather disappointing afternoon, after an exceedingly wonderful morning. While at Big Beach, though, we found an excellent place to watch the sunset that evening. To see those marvelous shots click here. Start from beginning of trip here.

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2 thoughts on “Beauty And Blisters On The Wild Pacific Trail

  1. Pingback: Mother Nature’s Marvelous Paintbox | joyceholmes

  2. Pingback: Beaches, Beaches, All Those Beautiful Beaches | joyceholmes

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