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Cycle Touring
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Whale Watching
Bird Watching
Salmon Watching
Cave Exploring
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Sea Kayaking
Appendix: Getting There
Seasons in the Sun
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The Critic's Voice
" Whether you're just doing your part for the environment or you simply can't afford it, many people are going without the luxury of automobiles. "
BCAA's Westworld Magazine 2001 Top Travel Books
Sea Asparagus
This salty delicacy will be found wherever sea kayakers lurk. Carpeting the water's edge on mud flats, sheltered coves and estuaries, sea asparagus prefers limited exposure to wave action. Sea asparagus has more aliases than its segmented stems have branches, being known variously as glasswort, pickleweed, samphire and pigeon foot. In the camp kitchen sea asparagus is versatile. Stems can be munched upon as is, used to perk up salads, presented like asparagus or even collected for pickling or freezing. A British Columbia company has developed a market for sea asparagus, shipping the frozen product to upscale restaurants worldwide. Soak sea asparagus in freshwater for several hours before preparing to reduce its salinity.
Illustration by Manami Kimura
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Written by Brian Grover   
Pachena Bay to Michigan Creek 12 kilometres.
After signing in at Pachena Bay at the northern end near the community of Bamfield you'll find the going very easy at first. A number of impassible headlands make beach walking out of the question until Michigan Creek. The first 10 km of the trail follow what was once a supply road for the Pachena Point Lighthouse. As a consequence the trail is generally flat and so wide that walking two abreast is possible. Just a kilometre before the lighthouse on this pretty but otherwise uneventful section of trail a viewpoint affords a view of Flat Rocks where sea lions often enjoy basking in the sun on a warm spring or autumn day.

At the lighthouse you'll be greeted in your native language no matter where in the world you come from. Hikers are welcome to look around the Lighthouse grounds during posted visiting hours but keep in mind that this is home to the lighthouse keepers. Disturb nothing including the keepers as they go about their daily chores. Only recently the original tower was decommissioned, replaced with an automated light-on-a-stick. The original beacon at Pachena Point, now a Recognized Heritage Building, is the last remaining wooden lighthouse in British Columbia. The massive Fresnel lens and oil wick lamp have operated faultlessly since 1907.

Two kilometres on consider calling it a day at the popular Michigan Creek campsite[km 12.] After setting up camp check out the boiler and other rusty bits of iron from the steamship Michigan that ran aground here in January 1893 costing a number of lives.

Much of the next day will be spent hiking along the beach. Loose rocks, slippery seaweed-covered surfaces, soft sinking sand and surge channels all require special attention especially when encumbered with a heavy backpack. The majority of ankle, wrist and arm injuries occur on the intertidal shelf. A sturdy driftwood walking stick or ski pole can go a long way towards providing the additional stability needed along the shore route. Once you reach the ladders at the bottom end of the trail you'll doubtless agree that a collapsible walking stick is well worth the investment.


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