WCT Day 2
The big decision for me this day was if I should take the beach or forest route. Hiking on the sand is tough, but when the tide recedes, you can walk along the sea shelf which is good hiking. The forest has elevation changes but you don't have to worry about the tide. Since I was new to the trail and wasn't too comfortable with timing the tide, I decided to take the forest route for the day. Before I could reach the forest, I had to walk a small section of the beach.
As I was hiking, I came across a group of hikers heading north. They warned me of a bear and cub a little bit down the trail. They said the bears were near the tree line and as long as I hugged the ocean, I’d be fine. I was already alert (from the frazzled hiker the day before) but I really had to keep my head on a swivel now. Along the beach there are massive boulders that can easily hide a bear from sight. I eventually came across the bear and cub. I was far enough away that I could take some footage and not be in danger. I would have had plenty of time to get my bear spray out, although I’m not sure how well it would work because of the strong ocean wind.
As I started hiking again, I saw two more hikers heading north… but they were NEAR the tree line! I yelled out “Bear!!!”… and a few seconds later, I heard “Ya, we know!”. What I forgot to say in yelling, that it was actually two bears… plural. Since these guys were being such idiots and still hiking near a bear they saw, and I was far away, I kept on hiking. I highly doubt they realized there were two bears since the cub was small and always hidden behind boulders.
When you hear about attacks, just remember there are tons of stupid people that don’t respect wildlife and that’s why they get attacked. It’s not always the animal’s fault.
The Valencia Bluffs at kilometer 18 provided great views of the ocean… definitely not a spot where you want to lose your footing. I hiked to Klanawa River campsite at kilometer 22 to set up camp. I did a bit of swimming in the river to cool off after another great day.