The best-laid plans oft gang agley, and so also do the spontaneous ones. We’ve all been laid low, in beautiful synchronicity, by an evil virus our daughter brought home from her newly convened dance studio chums. Hacking and barking like a bevy of two-legged seals, we hiked about Pacific Rim Park with ever-lessening enthusiasm for several days, before blearily deciding to suffer the rest of the awful illness’ term at home in relative comfort.
It wasn’t all so bad – there were some quite good bits. We hit low tide in early morning on several beaches, all alone but for the sea creatures in the intertidal zones; we napped away two beautifully sunny afternoons in the warm sand, wakening to read for a bit, watch the surfers attempt to catch those obviously rare “perfect waves”, and doze again; we people-watched one morning in Tofino and had a grand brunch at The Common Loaf, the iconic local bakery; we sat around numerous campfires commiserating with each other and comparing symptoms; we visited the Ucluelet Aquarium and chatted with the ever-enthusiastic and knowledgeable biologists and volunteers; and even, on our last day, managed a side trip into the big city to visit the Cone Sisters Retrospective “Collecting Matisse” exhibition on loan from Baltimore, at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
We pulled out of the city and headed up the Sea-to-Sky Highway at 2:30 and made it home just before midnight – a marathon drive, but the reward was an enthusiastic greeting by our canine and feline crew, and our own cozy beds. Today we’ve been wandering about a bit lost and culture-shocked by the abrupt changes in our generally sedate lives this past week.
Newly topped up with sea air and a dash of culture, we’re thinking we’re now ready to face our getting-ready-for-winter chores with fresh enthusiasm. Or, to be honest, we will be ready soon, once we get a bit further along in our viral journey.
I only managed to read two short books, and I didn’t take too many pictures, but here are a few souvenirs of the lightning-fast trip. Next time…
We arrived just in time for a rare clear evening and an awe-inspiring sunset over the ocean, next landfall Japan.
Long Beach, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
A very special place.
Early the next morning we enjoyed the company of ravens scouting for a low tide meal, and using a convenient driftwood structure as a lookout post.
Starfish. (But you knew that, didn’t you?)
Waves at Incinerator Rock, a favourite surfer’s hangout. Can you see the two “Bobs” in the water? We decided that all surfers are named Bob, because that’s what they spent the vast majority of their time doing. Waiting on the perfect wave! This is wetsuit water, even in high summer. They hung around for hours out there, like seals in the surf, while we napped and watched from our warm and sandy nook among the washed up driftwood logs.
And on our last morning, we caught low tide and waited for the turning at the perfectly named Halfmoon Bay. Down a kilometre and a half of no longer sign-posted trail, ending in a precipitous ocean side staircase fast giving in to the elements, we were the only people here for hours. We met a few fellow trekkers coming in as we were leaving – perfect timing and a lovely way to end our too-short visit.
If you ever get a chance to visit this glorious area, do it! There’s never a bad time, summer or winter, rain or shine.