Clambering and stumbling…

…but mostly sitting.

A contrast, weather-wise, with what was written last week. When will I learn not to mess with the weather gods? My delight at the sunshine and warmth we experienced (as most of North America shivered in far below seasonal temperatures) has since been tempered by more usual winter weather on the coast. It’s been raining almost non-stop ever since last Friday.

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A pretty good view?
A little rain, or a lot of rain, wasn’t going to prevent daily walks, but it has been interesting trying to spot a weather window, some gaps in the clouds to enjoy a dry(ish) ramble.

I like to walk for an hour or more – anything less makes the effort of tying bootlaces and doing up jacket buttons too much. Honestly, that’s true. A holdover from donning winter gear to go skiing, boarding or snowshoeing, I think. An inflexible attitude to match the physical lack of flexibility when putting on thermal socks, lacing winter boots, then reaching down and securing snowshoe fastenings. I get tired thinking about it…

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Clambering
Yesterday, I used my skill and judgement (there were fewer raindrops running down the windows) and chose the early afternoon to hit the Wild Pacific trail. There are several access points within a short walk from where we are in Ucluelet, and once you’re on the trail, if it is raining – and it was – you have some measure of shelter. I like to pretend it isn’t raining, it’s only the drops dripping down from earlier. Makes me think my judgement is good.

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Rainy stumbling
Not wishing to be the headline in a future news piece about being washed out to sea, I kept my clambering and stumbling far from the incoming waves, on the logs between the trees and the rocks. Oh, overcast but beautiful. Of course I’d forgotten my camera – all those distracting raincoat buttons – but snapped a few grainy shots on my phone.

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Above my perch
Remember that great weather judgement? So good that I was forced to stop and sit under a tree, because it wasn’t only drips, or ocean spray, it was rain. “It’ll pass,” I thought to myself, perching gracefully on a butt-sized tree root and leaning back gratefully against the trunk. I have to say, rain  or not, I had a pretty good view. The scent of sea, wet wood and sodden earth was heady. The rain on my jacket, and the rumble of the surf just below was a welcome soundtrack. “I could spend some time here,” I said to myself. So I did.

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Waiting it out
Time passed. I ate my apple. The steady dripping grew heavier. More time passed. I nibbled the apple core. More rain. The afternoon wore on. The woody, stalky bit of the apple wasn’t too bad. “I think it is clearing?” Nope. More rain, and I drew the line at munching the appleseeds.

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Taken from my perch
So it rained a bit, and then it did ease off, and grey skies grew a little lighter. I knew there’d be a break because the pattering was slightly less on my jacket, and I could hear, and then see, two bald eagles singing and circling on the rocks in the ocean in front of me. Not only had I forgotten my camera, I’d also forgotten binoculars. Never mind!

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There is a bald eagle on each side of the shallow “U” – honest!
It was fine to see one or other of the pair take off, circle, fly down and out of sight beyond the rocks and then reappear to land. They kept this up for quite a few minutes. Then one took off, flew towards where I was sitting, and veered to my right to alight on a tree over the little bay. Majestic!

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Was it lighter, then getting darker, or darker, and getting lighter?
The sky was changing back to a darker grey, and my inner forecaster decided it was time to head back. Sometimes slipping on the wet path, I tripped and stumbled but avoided a tumble through the rain and the trees, feeling slightly damp but delighted I’d stopped and seen the eagles on the rocks. What an afternoon for clambering and stumbling – but mostly sitting!

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Heading back
Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

Published by

plaidcamper

I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

15 thoughts on “Clambering and stumbling…”

    1. Got a warm and sunny one yesterday – last day out here for a little while, so it was a good one. Kept delaying my departure, but dragged myself away. Yes, the coastal trails around Ucluelet are fun to be on in any weather. I think you’ve been out there, so you know they’re actually pretty easy hiking, just treacherous underfoot in very wet weather.
      Thanks, Mike, and have a great week!

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      1. Glad you got a bit of sun before you had to take off from the coast. I do understand the treacherous underfoot part of the equation as I do think I have ended up on my backside once or twice while walking through seemingly easy terrain in wet conditions. It is even worse when you are not expecting it. Have a great week as well.

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  1. Stumbling around on a wild Pacific trail almost sounds insanely wonderful to one who’s pent up in an eastern cabin (like me). Stumble on, PC, but don’t break anything that’s better left unbroken!

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    1. Thanks, Walt! It’s been stumble with care, and all good fun. Thoroughly enjoyed the relative warmth and change of scene, but I’m now dragging my sorry self back to the city for a little while.
      Have a great week!

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  2. By the time I finished this wonderful post, I was trying to pinpoint all the reasons your clambering in the rain sounded perfect compared to our January rain last week. Was it the surf soundtrack, watching eagles circling or the waves crashing against the rocks? Maybe it was the lack of fog and dirty snow? It definitely wasn’t the apple! Whatever the reason, you captured the beauty of Ucluelet and stumbling around in the rain and I loved the photos of Waiting It Out and Taken From My Perch. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  3. Well that was a pretty intense walk but still so beautiful, even amongst the rain. Eagle sightings, close to nature and the sea, I actually think it sounds pretty relaxing. Glad though you didn’t end up as front page news washed out to sea. Loved your post.

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    1. Thanks, Miriam! It’s great to be out on the west coast in any weather – having just left there, I’m missing it, even though they’re getting a lot more heavy rain! I do stay away from those heavy seas, but you’d be astonished at how many times I’ve seen people right on the edge, trying to take a selfie…Darwinism in action!
      Hope your week is going well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. People can be really crazy!!!
        Yep, another hot one here today, my son’s birthday is tomorrow and we’re camping all next week so life is pretty busy (and good). Take care 🙂

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