I've always wanted to visit Vancouver Island, which is almost as far West as you can go in Canada. It houses wicked coastlines, ancient cedar forests, and armies of wildlife. If it were a nation their flag would feature an otter surfing on a killer whale and they would be led by a bear instead of a person. My wife and I stayed on the North end of the island near a small town called Tofino which is moderately transient and full of tourists and surfers.
This wasn’t meant to be a photography trip; in fact Carrie and I were celebrating our anniversary. I booked a flight to Comox British Columbia, rented a car, and we drove across the whole island which was crazy beautiful. I highly recommend renting a car because the trip would take forever in a golf cart. During our driving adventure we saw several bears, passed through Cathedral Grove, and went by some gorgeous lakes.
We caught a water taxi to take us to Refuge Cove, which is inaccessible by land vehicles, for a short hiking trip. On our way we passed by sea otters (which float on their backs while holding hands to form rafts) and a pod of killer whales. It really feels like civilization hasn’t been there long enough to screw it up yet.
The native culture is celebrated in the area too. The Haida are known for Totem Poles and their art which features psychedelic beavers. I read up on them and they’re like the vikings of pre-Canada. Their war canoes were built out of cedar trees and some were large enough to accomodate 60 viking-like paddlers.
Tofino isn’t just a bunch of indiginous people wandering around unspoiled wilderness though. They have a very progressive tourism industry. The food truck behind the surf shop had world class fish tacos. Our accomodation was celebrity worthy. My favorite moments though were walking along beaches with my wife. We would look in tide pools and pet the starfish then RUN LIKE HELL FROM THE RISING TIDES!. One of the best trips I’ve been on.