Tourist in My Own Province

For about the past week or so, my parents have been out for a visit. It was nice having them out here, and it gave me a chance to take a couple of days off from the craziness that has been work over the past few weeks. We decided to head over to Vancouver Island for a few days, to check out Victoria and Tofino. 

Other than running the Royal Victoria Marathon in 2004, I have never spent any time in Victoria. So it was a good chance to check the place out. We ended up with an OK day - a bit overcast and cool, but not too bad for the West Coast in April. The day started off at theButchart Gardens. Mom's a bit of a gardener, so this one was for her. It's a interesting enough place, but the $21 entry fee seemed a bit steep for wandering around a gardne. Might have been a bit better, later in the summer, once more flowers were in bloom. 

 We also made it to the Pacific Undersea Gardens and the  Royal B.C. Museum in downtown Victoria. Both were worth the visit, and infact, the museum is really quite excellent. I'd highly recommend either of them. Getting those three in was a fukll day, and we called it quits after dinner. 

The next day was all about touring the island, and heading out for Tofino. We had to make a stop along the way in Duncan, to look up a friend of my Grandmother's, who she had lost touch with. Happily, the woman was still there and we were able to pass on (and pick up) updated contact information, so Grandma can continue to keep in touch. After that, we headed off to Tofino. For those of you unfamilar with the geography, Tofino is on the west coast of Vancouver Island - pretty much as far west as you're heading in our fine country. Tofino is still pretty wild and rugged. The big thing lately is to go there in the winter to storm watch. It's supposed to be amazing to watch the storms crash in - 30 foot waves and such. I haven't done it myself, but it's on the list of things to do. In the summer, especially towards the end of summer when the salmon are running, Tofino is all about the fishing. 

It was getting late in the afternoon by the time we arrived in town. So we checked in to our cabin, went out and picked up food for dinner and got settled for the evening.

View from the dock of the cottage.

View from the dock of the cottage.

The crab dock where we picked up dinner...

The crab dock where we picked up dinner...

This was the view from the cabin. Pretty sweet. The place had a nice wood stove, and we managed to keep a fire going both nights we were there. That first night, we picked up some fresh crab from the crab dock, and added that to the menu. It was pretty nice. We also organized a fishing trip for the next day, so we headed to bed fairly early.

Now the thing about the west coast of Vancouver Island is that you expect rain. All the time. Especially in the spring. Summer's are nice, but you still expect a lot of rain - that whole temperate rain forest thing. So what do we wake up to on the Tuesday moring, but bright, clear skies. It was unreal  -we ended up with two (Tuesday and Wednesday) days of perfect weather. It was unreal. I don't know what kind of luck Mom and Dad have with these trips out here, but man, we had great weather. So off we went fishing. Itwas obviously early season, as there wasn't a lot of action, but we did managed to land some fish. Nice ones too. Dad landed 13 and 15 lb. fish, and I got one just over 20 lbs. Filled the freezer nicely.

Wednesday morning we headed back towards the ferry and Vancouver. We made a number of stops in the Pacific Rim National Park, and did a few short hikes. Around lunch time, we stopped in Uculet and had lunch in a pub over looking the inlet. After that, it was a pretty leisurely drive back.  

Dad out on the fishing boat. 

Dad out on the fishing boat. 

Logs piled up on the beach in Pacific Rim National Park.

Logs piled up on the beach in Pacific Rim National Park.