Last summer we took the RV through Washington and the ferry over to Vancouver Island to introduce Callie to sailing on my brother Tom, and his wife Frances’s, catamaran. Tom built this boat when he was in his twenties, and Alfresco is still seaworthy after 40 plus years. Callie took to sailing like a duck to water and my fear of her going overboard were never realized. She loved boating and being on the water. It was very exciting when we were under sail, but Callie showed little fear. When we dropped anchor, she explored every nook and cranny. Only once did she slip while heading to the stern and when that happened, she made sure to land on the deck and walked away with tail high in the air, as if nothing had happened and she had planned it all along.
How organized and clean the ferry boat is and the morale of the employees, high. Everyone is cheerful and helpful and laugh when they see Callie sitting on the dash and taking in the sights and sounds. She has to stay in the RV below but is now a seasoned traveler. United States- here we come!
We are heading to Klamath Falls, Oregon to see the solar eclipse. Yay!! Motel 8 and RV Park.
Michael and I spent our last day on Vancouver Island visiting Butchart Gardens. It was crowded but the flowers and gardens made it worthwhile! It has been many years since we last visited and at that time we arrived by Tom’s catamaran. Callie was able to sit back in the RV and spent the day napping.
Yesterday evening we headed to Chuck and Angele’s house and they made us a delicious dinner and we reminisced about the old days. Chuck is an artist too and a long time friend of Tom’s. Angele, his wife, is a compassionate nurse and loves to travel around the world. Angele cannot stay in one place for more than 4 months! She has traveled all over the world with Chuck and by herself. It was so wonderful spending time with them. We were able to park our RV in their front yard and because it is only a 20-minute drive to the ferry lines. This helped us a lot for the next leg of our journey.
This morning we woke up to the delight of Callie, and with the help of an alarm, in order to get to the Black Ball Ferry line at 4:30 am for our ride back to the United States. Tom and Frances, David and JoAnne and Chuck and Angele were so good to us. We will miss Vancouver Island.
Time to head south though in order to view the solar eclipse! Central Oregon is our next destination. We will stay in Washington a couple more days though. The smoke has cleared from all of the forest fires and autumn is in the air.
Tom and Frances invited us for one last party at the float house before we head to Victoria tomorrow morning and then taking a ferry ride back to the states and Port Angeles. We want to get to Central Oregon in order to watch the solar eclipse on August, 21st. What a fabulous time we have had on Vancouver Island. The wildlife is abundant, the people are friendly and the campgrounds, extraordinary. Callie, Michael and I have had a first-rate adventure of a lifetime.
Callie thoroughly enjoys hanging out on the dash of the RV now and when we are ready to take off, she jumps down from the loft and settles in.
Tofino is a picturesque and quaint town with an airport on the sea. We were able to get a campsite at Mackenzie Beach Campground and the first thing we did when we arrived was to walk down to the beach. The tide was out and you can explore the tidal pools that hug the shoreline among rugged rocks. People were swimming and boogie boarding in the chilly water and surf schools are numerous. Michael and I think it is much too cold, but young and adventuresome surfers flock from all over to get a chance to surf here.
We biked into town along a paved bike and walking path and stopped on the dock to watch float planes come and go! What a sight to see these planes take off, with white caps frothing and the wind whipping the air up all around us. The engine noise is deafening and it is amazing that the planes have lift when facing the wind during takeoff!
We were having a craving for sweets yesterday and picked up Cadbury chocolate bars and ice cream sandwiches for dessert. That was the incentive for biking into town. Lots of fish and sushi restaurants, tourist shops and coffee dens can be found along the main drag.
Today, Michael and I are contemplating what and where to go next and may try a hike along one of the ancient cedar groves advertised at Wild Pacific Trails. This wilderness area banks both sides of the highway as you drive to Tofino. The forest is so dark and thick with mature trees, that when you try to look past the first row, there is very little light that passes through. Wolves are a frequent sight apparently and hikers are warned not to let their dogs off leash. Wolves kill dogs off leash. I won’t be taking Callie on any of the hikes, not to worry!
It doesn’t get any better for Callie to wake up first thing in the morning, after a storm, and have a room with a view that she can look out over. The bald eagle is way up high on his perch at the boat dock surveying all that is below and a family of ravens are scavenging noisily on the beach. Seagulls are calling out whenever they spot anything of as they circle overhead, and all of them seem to be feeling some kind of joy after the passing of a rainstorm. You can hear it in their voices and the way that they are playing. We even have a kingfisher sitting on a tree branch next to our campsite that plummets down like a rock into the shallow water, and comes up with a tiny fish in its mouth. The morning has dawned with clouds that are fractured- allowing light to pass through, the smoke has been cleared, and the sun is going to peak out soon. It is perfect weather for BC. Not too cold and not too hot…..
We will be moving on late this morning and continue up the island to our next destination in Tofino. Michael told me about it a couple of days ago, and it is a lovely fishing town with. bird watching, hiking, surfing, and camping. We don’t have a reservation and will wing it today. It is Sunday, so it may work out for us! How exciting it is to travel with an adventuresome husband and an RV that is so comfortable and mobile at the same time. Life couldn’t get any better than this for two aging seniors and a cat that refuses to be a couch potato.
We are camped at Ucluelet Campground. Our next door neighbor who is a fisherman, caught a 50-pound halibut today and he offered the head to a bald eagle. The neighbor has been staying here for a month now, and the eagle knows when the catch has been good. The stately raptor hangs out in a tree along the shoreline and when the fish has been cleaned, the fisherman throws the head up into the air for the eagle to catch! This particular afternoon, because it is raining heavily, a raven almost thwarted the Eagles’ attempt at catching the fish head. His frustrated cries are like nothing I have ever heard before… short, staccato, high pitched bursts of sound that pierce the sky and then leave behind nothing but the soft plop of raindrops hitting the water. It is good to see a fisherman sharing his catch with an eagle. It feels like the right thing to do. Take a little and then give a little back in return. The eagle is a scavenger and knows a good deal when he sees one. I give him credit for being wary though. It took a long time for the eagle to gain enough confidence to snatch the offering. It will serve him well in the future if there is ever a time when a human does not have his best interest at heart!
It is a rainy, chilly morning, perfect for staying inside in our awesome 24 ft Icon RV. It is so roomy and spacious and perfect for camping, that Michael, Callie and I are delighted with it. We bought it used in Huntsville, Alabama 8 months ago and have already put 10,000 miles on it.
Ucluelet Campground in BC, is an older Campground and the sites are close together but the view couldn’t be more gorgeous. The Marina is home to serious fishing boats, bald eagles, gulls and the town has fabulous little restaurants and 2 beaches, Terrace and Little Beach. Long Beach is on the outskirts of town and has wolf warnings posted all over.
Today it is supposed to increase in rain density and I am happy that the skies will be washed of smoke. It has been very smokey here all week because of all the forest fires. I am hoping this will help extinguish most or all of them.
What an incredible time we have had in Genoa Bay with my brother and sister in law and David and JoAnne. Tom, an artist and salty sailor, is captain of his domain. Frances is a quiet and unassuming artist herself, having descended from a long line of Dutch Master Portrait artists. David, our selfless host, has a heart of gold with a vast knowledge of audiophile components and JoAnne, a competent, compassionate nurse, loves to dance to Dave Matthews and can turn a dinner into a party!
We had a celebration together last night which was joyous, filled with conversation and good food, wine, dancing, and music. The horrific “T” word wasn’t mentioned once! Most Canadians, as do most Americans, feel a great deal of horror and anger at the Donald. Callie was able to crash the party for a bit… Elenor and Rigby, their two beautiful cats who are brother and sister, only got to participate from a distance.
I can’t begin to share all that I am grateful for and for the appreciation that I feel toward family and host and hostess. We have decided to head up Island at the request of Tom and our hosts though, instead of heading to Seattle. You can’t come to Vancouver Island without experiencing Long Beach. So Long Beach, here we come!