May 26, 2008
We are presently in Tofino, BC on the West side of Vancouver Island. We found a laundromat and it has a plug in! So we can charge the lap top and load the photos from our cameras and get clean clothes! The weather is, well, foggy, and slightly warm (around 12 C). We are for sure in rain forest territory. Everywhere you look on the highway is either a road to a rain forest trail or a beach. Beautiful and picturesque this land we call Canada. The photos will tell you more....worth a thousand or so words...
We have seen many more slugs along our journey in the pacific islands, and just the banana slugs (no human ones).
We’ve learned much about how fragile our rain forests are and all of the wildlife here. Both Dave and I agree that doing this trip has made us wonder if all of the wonderful wilderness around us in all of the national and provincial parks may be gone in years to come because of our species overpopulating the earth, our hungry need for fossil fuels, and the list goes on. So, better to see
Botany Beach at low tide
Port Renfrew, Juan de Fuca Prov. Park
it now than later.
Our trip continued from Salt Spring Island to Vancouver Island (via Ferry--didn’t feel like swimming) where we drove past Victoria and headed to Port Renfrew on the #14 highway. We gave a ride to Mikael, a psychology student from Sweden doing a locum in Ontario, who was backpacking and hitching his way to Port Renfrew to do the Juan de Fuca Hiking trail for a couple of days. We hung out at Botany Bay and Botanical Beach exploring the marine life beneath our feet, and listened to and watched the ocean waves crash along the rocks.
Because it was cool and rainy (no, really?) we offered Mikael a hot meal and our dry tent to save his for the trail (tents are a lot lighter when not wet). We had a guest for dinner! Hmm, haven’t been to the grocery store yet....how about pasta, pasta sauce with tuna and cheese and canned mushrooms! Hey, anything tastes great when yer campin’! We gobbled down our dinner and strolled along the beautiful beach packed with the biggest pieces of driftwood we’ve ever seen! Off in the distance were surfers in full body dry suits, catching the
skunk cabbage (smells like skunk)
in the rain forest. also known as swamp lanterns because their inner stem heats up and warms the swamp.
waves of the evening. We settled at Pacheedaht Campsite on the Native Reserve, right on the ocean amongst the great western red cedars.
Our next day was beautiful and we visited the same spots at low tide, where more wildlife entertained us (I love the crabs, they are so cute) and the rocks revealed such beauty from the ocean’s carving knives. Mikael set off to do the trail after a hot chocolate and coffee at the van in the parking lot and we continued our journey towards Sooke Potholes Provincial Park (still on the #14). We were able to do some biking and short hikes to view the potholes (carved swimming holes from the waterfalls) along the Sooke River. We had a nice dry evening where we were able to dry out the tent and gazebo from the last few days. A nice campfire set us off to bed as we drifted off to sleep with the sounds of rushing river just below us. (and still no mosquitos).
Okay, wake up! It’s time to see the tooth-guy! We ventured into Victoria where I finally got my tooth looked at. Stage one of a route canal (taking out the
These are along the west coast of Vancouver Island. Quite unnerving, actually.
nerve and pulp) by Dr. D was a welcome procedure as I was cringing in pain from just a mere drink of cold water. My fractured molar just couldn’t wait until the trip was over, I guess. All is well now, until the next visit with whomever. Just have to make sure the darn thing doesn’t fall apart! That was Fun!!!!!!
Onwards past Naniamo to the #4 hwy west and past Port Alberni is an awsome sight to behold. The 800 year old trees in Cathedral Grove at McMillan Provincial Park. Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar trees. Absolutely stunning.
We headed down the #4 to Sproat Lake Prov.Park where we stayed the night. A shower was enjoyed by all! Oh ya, and Dave shaved! (mark it in the history books!!)
We made it to Ucluelet where we had an awesome day! The sun was out, and we did a zodiac tour around the Broken Group Islands looking for whales and other wildlife. The boat was full (13 people) and the guide crew was great. We saw a grey whale, killer whale (orca), humpback whale, two sea otters and sea lions! and many eagles! A calm day!
by the seashore (Botany Bay)
The last wildlife we saw were 3 guys in a row boat having had too much too drink and the rowing guy almost fell out of the boat! It was a great close to our tour!
We stayed at Ucluelet Campground in town and returned to the Wild Pacific Walking Trail that we enjoyed so much the morning before the boat tour, to see more eagles and animal life. The next day we did a tour through the small but abundant aquarium with knowledgeable interpreters. They pump water to and from the ocean to maintain the marine life and they catch and release them after about a month or so. Sounds very healthy.
On our way to Tofino we drove through and stopped at the many trails of rain forests, bog forests and beaches, and stayed at Green Point Campground in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
What is amazing to me is that our rain forests have conifer trees, unlike the others I’ve seen. Because they have their needles all year long and their roots are so gargantuous, they dominate the forests and get so big!!! Enjoy the photos! And remember, they may be gone in
the future....so if you ever wanted to see them...
Incidently, anyone have half a million bucks to buy a piece of property without a house on it? holy pricey!!!!
Signing off for now,
the wilderness appreciators....
Theresa and Dave
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