July 20, 2007

Canada - Sleeping Giant - Thunder Cape

We decided it was time to give the paddling a break, and embarked on an overnight hike from the Kabeyun trail just above Silver Isle to the last avaiable campsite out towards the end of Thunder Cape, the site of an interesting bird migration observatory. The hiking was easy, mostly downhill, our first stop was at Sea Lion, an interesting rock formation that early sailors used to help identify safe harbor.

The hiking was pleasant with interesting plant and birds along the way.

We were fortunate to get the very last campsite (and the nicest!) at the remote Lehtinen's Bay.
We quickly made camp, set up the tent, and hung our packs on a "bear rope" and headed further down the trail to the Cape. It wasn't long before we began to meet other user's of the trail....

The trail became very rugged through the midsection, often being hard to follow and requiring a fair amount of climbing over rocks & boulders.

The last section of this treacherous journey included a near-vertical stretch of a few hundred yards. We were amused at the sign at the top stating :

The hike continued on for what seemed like forever...we finally reached the Cape and were warmly greeted by John & Margaret, volunteers who have been manning the observatory each summer for the past nine years. The site operates soley on volunteer help, especially during the spring and fall migrations. A minimum committment of 3 weeks is manditory, but it looks like it would be interesting, and an opportunity to greatly expand one's "life list". http://www.bsc-eoc.org/national/tcbo.html

We spent a couple of hours there, learning about the research and touring the site.
Some of the "facilities" were quite amusing! But, the highlight of the visit was the 100 ft high observation tower built on a high area above the camp.

The views from up top were breathtaking, marking the end of a wonderful day and memorable visit!