This week started off with a bang for our team. We kicked off the summer 2020 season at Cape Scott Park with our inaugural fly out day on Monday! Fly out day…? What is that you ask? That is when all of our team members jump in a helicopter and fly out to various parts of the park. Materials and supplies are dropped in the locations where they will be working in order to get it set up for you- our visitors to experience over the coming months. Yes, it is exactly as exciting as it sounds!
Before they headed out on Monday, we asked all the new (and a few returning!) faces what they are looking forward to this summer. It seems that everyone really hopes to have the chance to see a wolf on the beach! Wondering what they’re taking with them this summer to camp with and what else they are looking forward to? Read on and next time you are here for a visit, say hi to these Park Operators on the trails! They will be living and working in the park until mid-September in the following areas:
San Josef Bay:
Situated in a cozy yurt just set back from the trailhead parking lot, you might catch a glimpse of Neal before or after he heads over to San Josef Bay to check permits and work on the trail. You’d be surprised how well the yurt blends into its surroundings to the unsuspecting eye! San Josef Bay is definitely the easiest place to access in the park, and makes for a great option for young families or those new to backcountry travel. A short 30 minute, accessible gravel track links the parking lot to a beautiful white sand beach that is home to the north island’s most iconic sea stacks. You can camp on the beach here, and have access to nearby outhouses, bear-proof food caches and an untreated water source (boil, treat or filter!).
Name: Neal Josephs
Favourite hike of all time: Everest Basecamp
If you want to get me talking, ask me about…: The World, Ecology, Travelling
Favourite campfire song: Down by the Bay
The three things you can’t go camping without: Dark Chocolate, Headlamp, Long Johns
Wildlife you’d most like to see this summer: I’d be a very happy camper if I get to see wolves or a cougar. Seeing bears also never gets old!
Nels Bight, the 5-star resort of Cape Scott Park Operator accommodation. For those of you who haven’t seen the Nels Bight Ranger Cabin, it is worth stopping by to knock on the door. The two story wooden cabin comes equipped with all the off-the-grid amenities- plus beachfront views of the two kilometres of west coast wilderness that stretch out in either direction. Nels Bight is a good weekend, or long weekend adventure. It is a popular spot for Canada Day long weekend, where you can set up your camping fort and hunker down with a beachfront bonfire after the long 17 km trek, which is mostly flat, but often muddy terrain.
Name: Charlie Amar
Favourite hike of all time: Rio Tigre Trail in Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
Next hike on your bucket list: Nootka Island or Hesquiaht Trail
If you want to get me talking, ask me about…: Wildlife in the park, mid-90’s/early 2000’s hip hop, conservation/restoration projects
Favourite campfire song: Santeria by Sublime, or No Woman No Cry by Bob Marley and the Wailers
The three things you can’t go camping without: Hammock, Frisbee (the best fire stoker!) and extra shoelaces
Wildlife you’d most like to see this summer: The ever elusive Coastal Wolf, as well as a number of different nudibranchs!
Name: Hello! My name is Shanae.
Hometown: I’m originally from Victoria, BC but I haven’t been there for more than 6 months at a time for the last 5 years.
Favourite hike of all time: My favourite hike of all time might be the trails around Lake O’Hara (where my photo was taken!). As a southern islander, I was not initially super stoked when it started snowing in September but it ended up being more beautiful because of it!
If you want to get me talking, ask me about…: If you want to get me talking, ask me about wolves! But be warned, I worked as an interpreter at a wolf center last summer, so I may not stop talking for a good half hour once I get started.
Favourite campfire song: I don’t have a favourite campfire song BUT I do have a favourite hiking song (really it’s just the chorus). It goes like this: “Mud mud glorious mud, nothing quite like it for cooling the blood, come with me follow, down to the hollow and there we will wallow in glorious mud.” I have a feeling I will be singing a lot of it this summer up at Cape Scott.
The three things you can’t go camping without: I can’t go camping without my binoculars, sandals and a bag of Swedish Berries.
Wildlife you’d most like to see this summer: I really want to see some grey whales, sea otters, elk and wolves this summer. I would also be very excited (and extremely intimidated) to see a grizzly or a cougar.
North Coast Trail
The North Coast Trail. If you’ve heard the name before, you probably already have visions of remote, tough, muddy and beautiful beyond belief terrain. It takes a special someone to hike this route every two weeks and make sure it is in great condition for hikers to enjoy. Alex and Ryan will be doing the biweekly commute on the North Coast Trail Water Taxi, then hiking from Shushartie Bay to the San Josef Bay trailhead, camping along the way for 10 day stints this summer. If you are up for a challenge, and looking for west coast terrain at its finest, there are few places more spectacular than the North Coast Trail to tick off your backcountry bucket list!
Name: Alex Parrish
Hometown: Roberts creek BC
Favourite hike of all time: Tombstone Territorial Park, Yukon
If you want to get me talking, ask me about…:Travel, music, fishing
Favourite campfire song: Out on an island by Cocksparrer? haha
The three things you can’t go camping without: Fishing rod, binoculars, a good book
Wildlife you’d most like to see this summer: Beach wolves!
Name: Ryan Colpitts
Hometown: Originally from Ottawa Ontario but raised in Calgary Alberta.
Favourite hike of all time: Have been a hiker since I could walk but would have to say my favorite hike of all time is always the next one, each new adventure has the potential to be the best one yet and should be treated as such.
If you want to get me talking, ask me about…: Get me talking about my job at 43k and I will never shut up about it.
Favourite campfire song: Bohemian Rhapsody must be sung at a campfire with 4 part harmony, air guitar and headbanging.
The three things you can’t go camping without: I never hike without my camp knife, a good book and mh hammock.
Wildlife you’d most like to see this summer: No staff member saw a wolf last season in Cape Scott, so this year I sincerely hope to see more than just their footprints in the sand.
And the glue that holds it all together, the one who’s seen and done it all in Cape Scott- Dave Wall! He has been with us for 10 years, we’re not quite sure how many times he’s hiked the North Coast Trail (it would be a lot!) but he’s played an absolutely integral part in much of the work that has happened in recent years at Cape Scott Park. From helping build Nels Bight Cabin, to visiting the Park with his assistants (daughters) in the off-season to be sure there is still lots of toilet paper, Dave is the brains and the brawn behind the operation.
Name: Dave Wall
Wildlife you’d most like to see this summer: Wolvarine
See you on the trails this summer!