Tofino, Vancouver Island, BC
We had a great weekend on the island. Maybe a bit too much fun was had, but it was great time nonetheless. We picked up Mark and Michelle and headed north for the ferry. Got a bit nervous about 10km from the ferry terminal but everything went okay. It also took me a while to realize that hitting speedbumps full speed ahead isn’t fun for the passengers in the rear who don’t have seatbelts. Sorry guys.
We got a bite to eat on the ferry and began the long drive across the island. It’s funny, I still remember us talking about how one of the benefits to moving to Vancouver is that we would be able to go surfing on weekends. Tofino is very much NOT as close to Vancouver as the Oregon coast is to Portland. With the ferry ride, waiting at the terminals and gas stops, this is easily an 8 hour day. I really regret the weekends in Portland that I passed on surfing thinking that it was too far of a drive. Lesson learned.
There really is something about driving a vehicle that's older than you that changes the very way you look at like. I used to not be able to get anywhere fast enough, couldnt pass enough people to make me feel like I was shaving minutes off the drive. I still remember my driving low point- 8 speeding tickets in just over 2 months. ouch.
This drive a few years ago would have absolutely killed me. Seriously, when your driving uphill with a row of RVs pulling cars, a school bus full of kids and a compact towing a boat, and you're the one that has to pull into the slow lane so others can pass...you just have to laugh. Don't get me wrong, the bus keeps up well enough on flat ground, but going over passes like we had to do going over the island range with steep uphills compounded with hairpins turns...I'm not exaggerating when I say we had to take a few ascents at 15mph and in first gear! Today it's all part of the journey, and when I watch that stressed out guy fly by me in the middle of a blind curve and still more focused on honking and flipping me off then looking for oncoming traffic...I see a version of myself that I don't miss. at all.
We make the turn off toward tofino just in time to see a giant black bear hauling tail across the road and into the woods. This guy was moving for a huge bear. I've always heard they were quick, but I actually sped up (hoping to make sure he didn't turn back onto the highway and mess up the money end of the bus) and he was still outrunning us. Nothing but fuzzy tail and the pads on the bottom of this guys feet for us. We got to the cabin, unloaded the goods and were in the hot tub within 15 minutes of pulling in the drive. Ahhh, precious hot tub, how we missed thee.
Most of the next few days were filled with more hot tubbing than recommended by 10 of 10 physicians, trips to the beach to make sure the waves were as small as reported online and a bit too much imbibing. Too much imbibing for us and too much chasing the football for karma. As it turns out, Mark on holiday is like the best gift we could ever give Karma. He never stops throwing the ball (might have something to do with frequent smoke breaks), but by the second day karma could barely walk over the stones to return it. Didn't stop her from being able and willing to run after the ball…but we put her on the bench for safety reasons. Jen actually had to pick her up to put her on the bed that night and I had to carry her to the bus when we left. If I had to guess though…for Karma, lesson not learned.
Friday night we cheered the Canucks on to victory thanks to our combined passion, an amazing taco dinner courtesy of Tacofino (seriously, this place makes crazy good tacos. The tuna is nothing short of inspired) and a 3rd period goal by Max LaPierre (thanks Frenchie!). I finally got up the nerve to take my wetsuit and board over to the beach on Saturday night and grabbed a couple decent waves- so we all tried our luck again Sunday morning before having to return the gear. I love this sport like crazy and was full on hooked again after just the first wave, but I am seriously looking forward to surfing in the sun again, and without wrestling the wetsuit before and after.
Of course, after dropping off the gear we had to have yet another tacofino snack and talked for a bit with a couple in a hightop westy with boards strapped on the side. As they're planing to head down to cali in a few weeks for some sun and surf, we talked for a bit about the possibility and dream of life on the road. I couldn't help but drool for a bit over the headroom and amount of space in their van, and they snapped a few photos of E, but then I got distracted enough with my tacos that we forgot to get their digits. Guess we’ll just have to find them on the road later on.
We decided to head out early on Monday so that we could be home in time for the game. The weather was crap so the drive back over the island range was really anxious with the wet roads and water running in over dash in small buckets from the safaris. The ferry ride was something to behold however, as 2/3 of the passengers were decked out in Canuck gear and heading for the city to party.