Our first WWOOF hosts couldn't say enough nice things about Tofino, so when our hostess sent us a link to a tsunami beach cleanup registration right off the Pacific Rim we jumped at the chance.
As the day to depart Gabriola Island got closer, the weather on the west side of Vancouver Island looked grimmer and grimmer... and grimmer. But hey - we're Portlanders, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and we wanted to visit Pacific Rim National Park - what's a little rain? Right? (Riiiiight.) So we headed out early Friday to try to catch some sun before the impending gloom.
and catch we did
Patrick even found a man cave
and almost a year later,
Canadian National Park passes - check!
The beach at Green Point campsite was lovely and we enjoyed a long walk and then dinner by sunset.
rough life, we know
We woke the next morning to a spattering of rain... Fine, no problem. On the way to the cleanup site on Flores Island, we were treated to a Zodiac ride while everyone else got rides on small or covered boats. Fun for about five minutes, then the rain really kicked in and it was not so fun (at least for Jen - too many memories of that crappy day off the Antarctic peninsula!).
Despite the rain, turnout was great and the beach cleanup was a success. We heard that we salvaged at least a barge of trash.
including intact light bulbs
kill your television (or toss it ashore)
The season hadn't started so the island was empty and we got to explore some beautiful trails through hundred-years old cedar trees. Afterward we were treated to a wild salmon barbeque.
old school grilling
The volunteers were pretty worn and soggy by that point, though, so we all tore the salmon apart and headed for the covered boat. We retroactively apologize profusely for our collective behavior.
Sunday morning we were treated to nice weather for a beach walk.
When the afternoon rain kicked in again we did a quick bog walk, visited the impressive (and dry!) Interpretive Center, and headed to Ucluelet for lunch, laundry and internet. On the way back to camp we stopped at a short but lovely rain forest trail loop. Cedar trees 800 years old and 200 feet tall towered above us and fallen cedars planked the boardwalk path.
Ocean City, eat your heart out
Rain let up for dinner, briefly, and we retired to the tent for another night of popcorn popping in the form of raindrops on the tent tarp.
holding down the fort
Monday we hit the local surf shack showers and stopped at a few tourist spots before heading to the Nanaimo-Vancouvery ferry.
Little Qualicum River Falls
award for best use of space goes to...
Goats on Roof
As I type, Patrick is trying to figure out where we will camp tonight. The weather still looks grim but sunshine is in our future... at some point. And so is Sasquatch Provincial Park!