Juan de Fuca Trail Revisited (Botanical)
After our unforgettable adventure hiking the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, J and I parked ourselves in a hotel to rest and recover, and get all of our muddy, wet gear cleaned up.
Over a delicious seafood dinner, we relived our four-day trek on the JDF, which had been filled with rain, rain, and more rain.
We debated whether to go back and explore Botanical Beach, which would have been at the end of our hike had we not had to abort a day early at Sombrio Beach due to a torrential downpour reminiscent of The Great Flood.
We decided that our journey wouldn’t be a complete without a visit to Botanical Beach, known for its tidal pools teeming with snails, mussels, algae, and other fascinating marine life.
So, two mornings later, we drove back to dear Juan de Fuca and made our way through the forest to Botanical Beach.
Information stands popped up every so often on the way, telling us of creepy crawlies we might encounter on the trail (like those banana slugs!), and how Vancouver Island, on which the JDF Trail is situated, was formed millions of years ago.
Once emerging out of the woods, we noticed a black bear ambling up a ridge to our far right. Then, we spotted another bear hanging out closer to shore.
Not in the mood to make friends, we went along our way until the bears were out of sight, and we could explore all of the interesting marine life inhabiting Botanical Beach.
Brightly-coloured sea sacs and periwinkles made their home out on the expansive landscape of tide pools and sandstone formations.
Birds were out catching their breakfast, taking advantage of the low tides that had uncovered their morning menu.
California mussels and giant green anemones peeked from underneath the clear, glassy surface of the tide pools.
Algae, urchins, crabs, sea stars, and other curious-looking creatures also filled the landscape. We felt like scientists exploring a strange, new world we could have only dreamed up in our imaginations.
Our time on Botanical Beach was nearing an end, as we had a flight to catch back to Toronto. We were grateful for our return to experience this wondrous place — certainly nothing else on the JDF Trail was like it! — and for the fond memories we would always hold of our crazy adventures hiking the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail.
>> Stay tuned for the next post in the Juan de Fuca adventure series!: Top 5 Tips for Hiking the Juan de Fuca Trail