Today, I drove the Pacific Rim Highway, which starts just north of Nanaimo, all the way to its end in Tofino, where I’ll be for the next three days. More on that later. 🙂
By RV, the PRH would suck. It is a narrow, winding road with one steep downhill after another. In a subcompact with a manual transmission, however, it was like being on a rollercoaster. Wheeeeeee! 😀
While the distance between Campbell River and Tofino is small, just a couple hundred kilometres, the time is great. It took me over five hours since I made a few stops and often could drive no more than thirty or forty klicks an hour.
Donna suggested I visit Little Qualicum Falls, so that’s where I pulled over first and did a little bit of hiking. I didn’t dare stay long since parking for an hour was a dollar and the only coins I had on me totaled seventy cents.
My mother suggested my next stop, Cathedral Grove. This is the site of one of the last old growth Douglas Fir forests on the west coast. Some of these trees are more than 300 years old. Some are at least 800 years old.
This place had an ethereal quality. I stood there, craning to see the tops of this handful of trees that has survived logging, disease, storms, and fire and I wept. It was a profound experience. I challenge anyone to stop at Cathedral Grove and not be moved.
Next, I discovered Sproat Lake. It was so clear that, well, it brought to mind a quote from Forrest Gump:
… that mountain lake. It was so clear, it looked like there were two skies one on top of the other.
I pulled into Tofino around 2:30, but could not check into my accomodation until 4, so I parked and walked around a bit, covering the entire, tiny, community. It’s the off season, so very little was open. I dabbled with the idea of having a dinner out instead of cooking, but the only options within walking distance would have cost over $50, more than my budget could cover, especially when I know I could get an equivalent meal in Campbell River for half of that.
You’ll need to come back for the next post to find out where I’m staying. 🙂