Part 3: Punta Conoas to Punta Vibora


Navigation Links
 Trip Home Page     


The Trip

Punta Canoas was scenic, but the strong winds were annoying and cold.  The wake of the cold front brought clear skies, but the strong winds proved problematic.  After a tasty dinner, the whiskey was just the thing.  Next morning, we cooked breakfast and then continued south.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

Once our camp site was fully light, I climbed a small hill to get a view of our vehicles.  As you can see above, the site was very barren.

The camper was warm during the night because I ran the heater.  But, much to the dismay of my fellow campers, the propane regulator squeaked when the heater was running due to the flow of the propane.  Mostly due to the noise, this was the only night we ran the heater.  In the photo above, you can see the storage area for the ice chest in the lower cargo box.

After eating, Kai leads the way out to sea.

The trail south from Canoas passed many large silt beds and crossed some steep grades.

The trail skirted some coastal cliffs and returned to the water's edge to another fish camp.  This domicile was basic in every respect.  I did like the two abandoned pickup bed liners that were serving as the roof.  Very creative.

Some of the coastal fish camps were pretty busy.  The dwellings on the coast are the part-time homes of the fishermen when their prey is in season.  Some of the guys had nice trucks and new outboards.  Note the new Honda outboard on the close panga in the photo above.

Many of the beaches were framed by high cliffs that are impassable even on foot.

Even if you live in a shack, you have to keep your priorities straight.  The satellite dish on the roof gives a hint as to the priority of needs.

Many of the beaches were made of small, wave action cobbles.  In many places, the cobbles were sufficiently steep that walking down them was difficult.  Walking up is a totally different story as the rounded stones are like ball bearings and slip under your feet.  Later in the day, we went  down one of these cobblestone berms and had difficulty getting back on top.

The trail went over many ridges, then back down to the shore.  Some of the ridges had steep ascents, making travel difficult and time consuming.

YouTube Video

The trail passed through some significant ravines requiring careful driving technique.

The group went down this cobblestone berm but had some difficulty coming back up.  The stones made an awful racket clacking against each other as we made the descent.

The waves were nicely formed, but too small for Richard to bother surfing.

Dan took several tries to get up the berm.

Richard got this shot of the berm as I was coming up.

You Tube Video of Ascent

I made 2 runs at the berm and then took the strap.  I could hear something hitting underneath, so decided to be safe rather than sorry.

It was an "easy out" on the berm, but we strapped both Matt and Kai's trucks together to insure that they did not dig deep ruts giving me a tug.  All parties agreed that if I had made one final attempt that I would have made it unassisted.  And, having seen the video made by Bob, I agreed.  But, sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.

YouTube Video of Assist

Once the tow was completed we got out of the truck and discovered this spine sitting on the ground.

Kathleen checks the truck for damage.

I discovered the source of the sound I was hearing: I bent the front step under the bumper.  It is not that useful and just another "dangle-down", so I will remove it rather than attempt to repair it.

There was some interesting scenery, so I took a  few photos with my camera.

Yet another small bay to the south of our position.

This was one of the steeper sections of trail that we encountered (as an up-grade) and it is as steep as it looks in the photo above. The 1017 made it up OK, but it was near the limit of what the truck would do at the tire pressure I was running.

Richard got this photo of us going up the grade.  Yes, it was very steep.

The down-slope was just as steep and I am guessing that it would be impassable when wet.  The 1017 has an exhaust brake and it works well when the truck is in one of the lower gears.

The trail meandered inland and then back to the coast repeatedly.  Happily, this section of trail had been recently graded and not much rain had fallen here.

Back to yet another remote fish camp.  I have to assume that the fishermen come to these remote camps because there is less competition for fish due to the travel time required to reach the fishing grounds.

We went further south along the coast and came upon a fellow that had caught a geoduck clam.  I had to look this one up online and was amazed to find that some of these can weigh up to 15 pounds and have snouts of 6 feet in length.  These are filter-feeders and eat plankton sucked in through the snout.  Geoducks (pronounced "gooey duck") can live for 150 years and females can produce up to 5 BILLION eggs during a lifespan.

The fishermen also caught Sea Cucumbers in addition to the geoduck.  I had to look this one up as well and all I can say is that a Wikipedia search is in order for the readers.  This odd-looking creature has some amazing properties that are too numerous to list here.  I must say that I was fascinated to learn that the cucumbers migrate in herds!

More up-and-down trail along the coast.  Kai's 416 is visible to the left of center in the photo above.

Another steep uphill grade.  Bob Ragain caught this photo.

This section of beach had a very steep cobblestone berm.  Some of these cobbles are the size of loaves of bread, a loud testament to the power of waves.  The berm above is perhaps 30 feet high.

The group attempted a beach run, but was turned back by the gravel berms.  Above, they return to the "main" road which is visible along the coast.

Surprise: another fish camp with satellite dish.

This was one of the most basic dwellings that we encountered: a used panga turned upside down with plywood sheets as walls.

Danger ahead:  these silt beds are soaked due to both rain and recent high tides.  We did cross it, but not in the used tracks.  We went way to the right across the brush to avoid the really wet sections.  Meanwhile, the other members of the team were on the beach but had to retreat due to the gravel berms.

Richard failed to make it across the dunes from the beach and required a tow from Matt.  I stayed back from this area while they were towing for fear of getting stuck myself.

It was an easy out, but it still did require a strap.  I am guessing that they could have gotten out by themselves, but it would have required quite a bit of digging to succeed.

You can see the mud left on the tires from the silt bed crossing.

We are running out of daylight, so we searching for an appropriate place to camp.

We found a flat spot on the cobbles and set up for dinner.  There was no shelter here of any kind, other than what we brought with us.

We positioned the trucks to act as a wind break to make cooking easier (or possible depending on your perspective).

Dinner tonight: home caught Copper River Red salmon from Alaska compliments of Dan.

No camp is complete without a fire and cocktails.

This was an interesting, but arduous portion of trail.  Our camp at Punta Vibora was barren and windswept.  But after a long day on the trail, just being stationary was nice.

Tomorrow, we head further down the coast to Bahia Maria.

Navigation Links
Previous Adventure
Top of this Page
  Next Adventure
Trip Home Page  
Bill Caid's Home Page

Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2011, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.