Sunshine Coast Trail – Day 6: 15 miles (90 total)

When I woke in the morning I was surprised to see Nemo had set up the tent during the night. Surprised because I hadn’t woken up at all when she set it up. That is how hard I have been sleeping out here.

After coffee and breakfast we started on an uphill climb to Walt Hut. The morning was cooler than the past few and I even started hiking with a jacket on. As we were in the mountains I have my down jacket, fleece, and hat and mittens. I have only worn my fleece, the nights here are quite mild, but for the first time today I felt the hint of fall.

We saw views for almost the first time. A lot of the smoke had blown off and we could really appreciate the dramatic mountains around us rising out from the sea.

We made it to Walt hut and met a few hikers that hadn’t left yet for the morning. They had just made a pancake breakfast and shared some left overs with us. Score!

Nemo had been dealing with some knee problems, the steep climbs and descents were wreaking havoc on her muscles and tendons, and her pain level kept increasing. The first kilometer down from the hut was supposed to be the steepest on the whole trail, and by the time we made it to the bottom and had lunch she didn’t think the knees would hold up for the rest of the trip. We made it a mission to get to our next campsite on Lois Lake by taking easy grades, so I routed us from trail to road, road to trail, whatever looked the easiest walking for her. When she started comparing her knee pain to childbirth I knew she was most likely down for the count. We were meeting Courtney and some of her friends at the campsite tonight for a BBQ, so we could evaluate some options when we got there.

We stumbled in both exhausted. We claimed a campsite and went to the beach. My main mission on this trip was to hang out with Nemo, so I was totally willing to call it with her and take a chill day. Yes, we were two days from finishing the trail, but it didn’t seem as important to finish solo as it did when we would finish together.

Courtney arrived with delicious beer, and her friend Kim and her boyfriend pulled up and had a big spread set up in minutes with hamburgers and sausages on the grill. Impressive!

Nemo broke the news to Courtney that her hike was finished, and suggested I continue and show the Sunshine Coast Trail that it didn’t take both of us down. Well when she put it that way…

Courtney wasn’t able to camp with us, so Nemo started pulling her stuff together. I repacked with the resupply bag I had left at C’s house, and before I knew it they were both pulling away.

That happened so suddenly! I was left with a solo hike where a reunion tour of two old hiking buddies once was. Bummer. But I only had 30ish miles to go and was so close.

One last big climb up Mount Troubridge. I would finish my 22,000’ of elevation gain somehow! I won’t let it take me out too.

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