Highway 28 crosses the middle island, coast to coast, following the shores of the Upper Campbell lake, then the Gold River to the inlet at the end. Where it reaches the bottom of the Upper Campbell, it links to Westmin Road, which goes down one side of Buttle Lake, and dead ends at the Myra Falls mine. And just before the mine, there are two waterfalls that I wanted to see: the Upper and the Lower Myra Falls.
|Google map view of the bottom of Buttle Lake, and Myra Creek.|
But Buttle lake is a long, long lake, more like a wide river. 23 kilometres long, at most 1.5 wide. The road hugs the bank, along the edge of tall cliffs. Three times I've headed down that road, on my way to the falls; twice I gave up halfway, having "wasted" my time stopping to look at rock faces and their plants.
This past week, I finally made it to the end of the road.
Myra Falls is a roughly 200 foot tall series of plunges and punchbowl waterfalls found where Myra Creek empties into Buttle Lake in Strathcona Provincial Park on Vancouver Island. The falls are separated into three main sections with large pools in between. The uppermost consists of two drops in narrow gorge, the middle is three drops where the creek encounters a wide set of steps and the final two drops occur where the creek crashes directly into Buttle Lake. (World Waterfall Database)
|First step, I think.|
It was a hot, hot day, unusually hot for this climate. This is important; it sort of explains why I wimped out. As soon as I stepped out of the car at the parking lot, I felt dizzy, but the trail led down into the shade.
The path was steep, and seemed to go on and on, always steeply down. My old knees felt shaky. I asked a woman on her way up how far down it went; she waved vaguely off to the left. "Take the trail to the upper lookout. Don't go to the lower one," she said. Okay.
A side trail led to the upper lookout, ending in a narrow platform looking down into a green pool.
|Green pool below the first step.|
I started back. From the trail, I could see people on the rocks below me, below the lower lookout. It looked inviting, but I had been warned. And it was hot, even in the shade. The heat was sapping my energy, killing my curiosity. I'm a cold-country woman.
|Not quite the bottom; there's still a drop to the lake.|
|The creek cuts down through steep, tall cliffs.|
|Map: I was here.|