On Canada's Left Coast

The pull of the coast.

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. 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.

That's one way to get there.

I booked a flight to Comox British Columbia, rented a car, and 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 my driving adventure I saw several bears, passed through Cathedral Grove, and went by some gorgeous lakes.

Like nowhere else I've been.

I caught a water taxi to Refuge Cove, which is inaccessible by land vehicles, for a short hiking trip. On my way I 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. Their war canoes were built out of cedar trees and some were large enough to accommodate 60 paddlers.

Did I mention the tacos?

Tofino isn’t just a bunch of people wandering around unspoiled wilderness though. They have a very progressive tourism industry. The food truck behind the surf shop has world class fish tacos. The accommodation was celebrity worthy. My favorite moments though were walking along beaches with my friend. We would look in tide pools and pet the starfish then RUN LIKE HELL FROM THE RISING TIDES!