Tee Hee…giggle giggle.
I was itching to get outside and go for a walk…no…a hike…and not just any old hike…but a great hike. The problem was that I also needed to do some serious geocaching and I only had the afternoon available to go. I still was unsure where to go until I checked my e-mail early that morning and I saw that 5 new caches were published on the Ripple Rock trail. I had wanted to do this trail for a while and even though it was a little further away then I had hoped to travel it was still very doable. When I looked at the map I figured it would be a 3-4 hour hike which included searching for 8 geocaches. This suddenly was the place I wanted to be. I arranged to leave a little earlier than planned and off I went.
The Ripple Rock Trail was to take me to a viewpoint overlooking the scene of Vancouver Island’s biggest ever bang, Seymour Narrows. When I sailed with my parents as a child Seymour Narrows was a place we avoided. If we wanted to travel further north than Campbell River small boats like ours either had to wind their way through many islands and four rapids to enter Johnson Strait, or they took the short cut through Seymour Narrows. With currents that could reach up to 15 knots we had no interest in tackling the channel that Captain George Vancouver called “one of the vilest stretches of water in the world.” The strong current in a narrow passage was not the only reason for Seymour Narrows to be feared. The biggest reason was Ripple Rock, a twin peaked underwater mountain which was inconveniently located just under the surface of the water. Not a good thing to have in the middle of your main shipping channel between the Pacific Ocean, Alaska, and the Port City of Vancouver. How do you fix the problem? You make a big bang.
As a young sailor, for some odd reason, I loved the story of Ripple Rock. Hiking to the overlook was fascinating and it gave me a good reason to look back on the video of the explosion, wow, the things us humans can do. There was no big bang on my hike however, but I did find the Big Bang in Campbell River geocache near the Seymour Narrows lookout. I was really in the mood to push myself physically and this was a really good trail to do it. There was a lot of up and down hiking with stairs, hillside scrambles, and the wobbliest suspension bridge I have ever crossed. I will not call it a super challenging trail but it was the perfect trail for me to test myself and see where I was physically. At the end of power walking, in between finding 7 out of the 8 caches I was looked for, I was tired. This morning I woke up with the sorest muscles since the first month of my exercise challenge.
This was a great hike and it really lifted my spirits. I was proud of myself for pushing myself so hard though it still shows me just how far I have to go. This is the type of day which keeps geocaching special to me. There were a couple of hides which we really special but all the caches, even the easy ones, combined in showing me a great trail with some fantastic views over a place I always wanted to visit. There may not have been a big bang here for over 50 years but it was still a rockin’ place.