The morning of Day 15, May 10th, was the first of 3 mornings that we’d wake up in Pacific Rim National Park. The plan for the day was to explore the area, and make the 20-km drive to Tofino to book a boat trip to Hot Springs Cove.
Our first impression was to give this campground top marks in every category, and that never changed. A couple of hundred meters/yards from our campsite (#76) is a washhouse with flush toilets and free showers.
Cathy and I were both quite amazed at the quality of the washhouse.
Our campsite was spacious, with 15/30-amp power, a picnic table and a firepit. I drove into the campsite rather than back into it so we’d have the ocean view out the front windows. That meant that a long extension cord was needed to hook up to 15-amp power (I don’t carry a 30-amp extension), and I tripped the breaker by trying to use the microwave and toaster at the same time.
The ocean view was nice from ground level, very nice from the front window of the RV. It’s even better from a fallen tree at the edge of the site.
This was grooming morning for the kids. Tucker is quick and simple to clean up. Bella takes much longer but she loves being fussed over.
I bought this wine glass at the pet store in Port Alberni: “I rescue dogs from shelters and wine from bottles” 🙂
This rainforest view is what we saw from the side windows of the RV. The forest truly is magnificent. Massive trees, lush undergrowth, and some of the most incredible nurse logs I’ve ever seen. The last time I was here was in 1991, but back in the late 1960s, before Parks Canada arrived, my girlfriend (and later wife) and I spent a lot of time here.
A look at Combers Beach from a viewpoint at the campground.
Tucker and I on a chair made from a tree that was felled along the short trail to the Combers Beach viewpoint.
Going down the trail to the main beach, which is Long Beach.
At the access to Long Beach, there are signs warning about the dangers of surf and rip currents, including instructions on what to do if you get caught in a rip.
What a place! A vast sandy beach, and great rocks for crashing-surf creation. This is the West Coast at its finest.
Looking north over Long Beach from the rocks at Green Point.
Yup, love the surf!
And the surf is even better in a video 🙂
Chillin’ with my beach dogs 🙂
A couple of the largest of the trees along the trail back up to the campground.
This is part of the parking lot for the main access to Long Beach. In the ’60s, you could drive your car onto the beach in this area and drive for miles. A few vehicles got caught by incoming tides and some never were recovered – they’re out there buried in sand somewhere.
The main day-use part of Long Beach.
We finally made it to Tofino at about 2:00 pm. The first place we went to wasn’t doing a Hot Springs Cove tour the next day, but they suggested that we go a couple of blocks to Ocean Outfitters, who was. Cathy decided not to go, but I quickly had a reservation for 10:00 am the next morning.
The Canadian Coast Guard ship Bartlett was in Tofino harbour changing buoys. This “Medium Endurance Multi-Tasked Vessel” is based in Victoria.
We ended up at Big Daddy’s Fish Fry for a late lunch / early dinner. The halibut and chips that we had once again was very good.
On the way back to the campground a sign pointing to the Tofino Brewing Company prompted a U-turn, and we shared a sample flight of their beers. We really liked a few of them, and a 4-pack of assorted 650 ml bottles accompanied us back to the rig.
Not done exploring yet, we stopped for a walk at Chesterman Beach.
I had seen a couple of red chairs high on the rocks at Green Point, and went down to check them out at about 7:00 pm. The Red Chairs are a Parks Canada program to encourage people to stop and enjoy a few particularly fine locations across Canada.
Ever since we’d confirmed Long Beach as a destination, I’d been playing “the good old days” over and over again in my memory/imagination. Driving on the beach, but also the original Wreck Beach, where weed was freely passed around, a couple of hundred people lived in shacks made from driftwood, and nudity was very common. I’m not certain where Wreck Beach was – it may have been Combers Beach, which the shack was overlooking. This driftwood shack near the red chairs, in any case, brought those memories flooding back even more. I could practically see Gae and I sprawled out in front, soaking up some warm sunshine with a curl of smoke rising. Ahhhh….
After spending some quality time with the red chairs and the driftwood shack, I went back down on the Combers Beach side of the rocks and went for a more literal stroll down memory lane…