Muscle Memory – Hurts so good…

No mud puddle can stand in her way!
No mud puddle can stand in her way!


The Juan De Fuca Trail – a legendary, ocean-side, rugged 47 km hiking trail along the west coast of Vancouver Island.

“Let’s go to the Juan this weekend…hike in 20 some-odd km’s, stay the night, then turn around and come back.” Sounds like a reasonable plan. We need more trail in our lives…so let’s do it!

We rolled out of Victoria as soon as Dan was done work on Friday. We drove to the trail-head, and spent the night in Hobo. I was giddy with excitement – oh to hike again! My trail home! My heart…mmm…

We got on the trail at a reasonable time (not 6am like the PCT – more like 8). We were feeling great…motoring along…laughing and deep in conversation.

In a very very happy place :)
In a very very happy place 🙂


We complete the first 8 kms and roll into Bear Beach and start chatting with some late risers, cooking breakfast by a campfire.

“You guys must have been up early,” they mention.

“Not really…we started at 8.” I say. “What time is it now…? 11?”

“10:08,” one of them replies.

“Oh! Ok! Well have a great day!” We wave and move along.

“Wow, that’s fast…” I hear one them whisper to another. “There’s no way…”

But apparently there is a way! We were shocked as well. Turns out hiking the PCT has changed our perspective of what’s a reasonable hiking pace. We’re not in the same shape as we were when we hiked for 4.5 months, but we still have the same heart, drive, and faith in our bodies as we did then. Our bodies are so capable of so much more than we realize! Even when we think we are in poor shape (which I tend to think lately, when I compare myself to my former PCT-self) – the human body is incredible!

Being as we were making great time and feeling high off of endorphins, we decide to just do the entire trail. If we were going to hike 40 km’s, why not do the full 47? Never mind the trail is basically either up or down the entire way…just a mere detail…so why the heck not?!

As we hike, we toy with the idea of just hiking the whole thing in one day. Wait a tick…let’s not get ahead of ourselves…that’s just madness.

So we settle on two days then.


We find ourselves settling into the rhythm of walking – up and down…up and down…Over and over again. A lot of the time, it hurts; but it hurts so good!

Being environmental activists, we find ourselves a lot more sensitive to the atrocity that is wilderness preservation. Parts of the Juan De Fuca Trail – which is BC Parks – are recently logged. Did you hear me? A park, governed by my provincial government, is being logged. Not protected. Open for profit. A well traveled, well-known trail, that people flock to hike from all over the world. Logged.

Garbage. Ugh.

We are forever cursed for caring. Sometimes it would just be easier to turn a blind eye, accept it, and move along. But it’s an injustice that burns in my soul…in my very being…in my human core. This is not right friends.

But all of that aside (while still festering within my being…and ever festering to some degree), we hike on, and focus on the beauty that is still present. The sprinkling of old-growth sections, the crashing waves, the vibrant seaweed on the beach, the peeping sea lions playing in the waves. What a place!


Hooping with the sunrise...
Hooping with the sunrise…



We were spent when we finished on day 2 – but doesn’t spent feel so dang good sometimes?!

Get out there friends…


4 thoughts on “Muscle Memory – Hurts so good…”

  • “Kick-Ass Tree-Hugger” that’ got a nice ring to it don’t you think. I’ve never hiked that trail, but I know the area….. So gorgeous !!

  • Did you do the full 47k both ways, & did Sitka do it with you, & how does she feel about muscle memory?
    I agree muscle memory feels so good, but not if it’s from carrying out the garbage.

  • No…not the full 47 both ways – it’s a pretty brutal trail. We just hitched back to our car at the end with a really cool guy who we are going to go climbing and hiking with in the future. Sitka did REALLY WELL. There were some thick, mud puddle spots that were quite depressing actually, and she just sludge right through the middle of that stuff without a care in the world! Up to her shoulders in mud! What a champ. She seems content with her three 1km hikes a day now that we are back in the city. 🙂