After returning from the Clayoquot Arm Saturday afternoon we strategized what to do with the remaining days. We explored the idea of continuing to circumvent Kennedy Lake, perhaps venturing into the North East arm. We also talked through the idea of paddling the Kennedy River with intent to exit into the Tofino Inlet and explore some ocean waters for the final day. We decided the latter would be most interesting and to make it happen smoothly we would move one of the two vehicles with us to the mouth of the river at the Tofino Inlet. This way we could exit the river and use the car placed there to go fetch the other car (a classic car jockey for an A to B hike/paddle).
We set out down Kennedy River Road which follow the Kennedy River towards the inlet. The road was a single lane gravel road which seemed to get narrower and more rough as we progressed inwards. The cars took quite a beating on this road and we eventually hit a spot where we could go no further, it was just too rough and overgrown. As an alternative we used Deer Bay road to access the inlet and parked the car at a small logging camp with permission from a friendly logger (who was working on a few MGD’s).
Back at camp we had a mini crisis when my friend Matt’s car keys went missing. The car keys while valuable for staring his car (although his wife Kim had her set too), also contained the key for the lock which we used to secure the kayaks while we were car jockeying. We searched relentlessly for the keys for as long as we had light that evening, to no avail. In the morning we scoured again to find the car keys and be able to unlock the kayaks to continue our voyage. After breakfast we had given up and took an axe to the lock which held the kayaks together!
Just after hacking through the lock and during our last look around camp before shoving off, I stumbled upon the keys in the thick grass. It was a kayaking trip miracle! All that was lost was the poor lock which held the kayaks together 🙂
We set out down the river and had a leisurely paddle through the calm waters. In the distance we could hear a roar that got louder as we approached the river outlet. As it turned out the river turned into a fairly rough rapid at the outlet which we would not be able to get through in our sea kayaks. We searched for a portage to the road from the river but could not identify where it might be , plus the brush around the river was incredibly thick. After the fact we discovered that the road was about 10 feet from the spot we were looking but could be seen from the river; it would have been a tough portage if we have found it.
In the end we paddled back up river to the original site, jockeyed the cars again and set out for camp at the logging camp. Collectively we decided that the logging camp was not a pleasant site to camp and so we set out north on Deer Bay road to find a better spot. It was a good move, as in the end we found a nice little spot with lovely views and a boat launch which allowed us to get out into the inlet early Monday morning.