Yes, we're back! This is early for us. We usually don't come home until the end of September or even the beginning of October. And the weather was pretty darned good too! However, maybe it was the two-month-long trip last year or the fact that we couldn't get another night at Green Point in Pacific Rim National Park because they were booked up? Or maybe we just wanted to go home to hot showers and reliable wifi! Today we're drying out (again!) and cleaning up plus washing about 5 loads of laundry. I blame those old ruby slippers, ya know? There's no place like home; there's no place like home; there's no place like home...
So where did I leave off last time? Oh yeah, we were heading back to Prince Rupert on our old friend the "Northern Adventure". Another whole day on the ferry but at least the weather was lovely and sunny. We were sorry to leave Haida Gwaii but we had yet another ferry ride coming up, the famous Inside Passage. But first we had 2 nights in Prudhomme Lake Provincial Park and since the sun was shining we decided to spend our free day picking up some groceries and hiking a trail.
The Prince Rupert area has lots of pleasant trails and this one to Butze Rapids (reversing with the tides!) was a nice workout. An amazing amount of lush skunk cabbage:
At least something is pleased with the overabundance of rain in this area!
However, see? Yes, the sun does shine sometimes!
Next morning we had to pry ourselves out of bed at 4:30am in order to catch our ferry. Yes, it was the "Northern Adventure" yet again heading down south for a winter refitting. We were pretty darned familiar with her now so we got our favourite seat in the cafeteria and watched the scenery go by. First it was foggy:
Later the sun came out and the view was of course spectacular:
Check out the lodges being towed down the channel while we were stopped in Bella Bella for passengers. We also saw lots of humpback whales - usually well before the purser announced them on the PA. You snooze, you miss the whales! This was a very long day for us since we didn't get docked until 11:30pm. You can't help missing several hours worth of the view in the dark! Luckily the regional campground in Port Hardy is used to folks showing up at midnight off the ferry and were all ready to check us in and point us to our campsite. Good thing because we were pretty darn sleepy by that point. We wisely had 2 nights in Port Hardy so we could rest up and then walk the pleasant trail into town the next day.
After Port Hardy we drove south along Vancouver Island's east coast to Miracle Beach Provincial Park for two days. Unfortunately our timing meant that we didn't get to see much of the wide sandy beach because the tide was all the way in every time we went for a walk.
We finally got a look on the last morning just before we left for Pacific Rim National Park on the island's west coast. We had 3 nights reserved at the Green Point campground which was fortituous because they were booked solid for a week. Our campsite was deep in the forest where it was dark and damp. Very "rain forest".
Just check out that lichen! Old man's beard indeed. And it looks brighter than it really was. The tides here were more conducive to beach walking:
This is Long Beach. Can you tell where it got its name? And this is Combers Beach on the other side of Green Point:
That's actually Green Point way in the distance. We walked the whole beach and back again at nearly high tide. The many logs made it a bit tricksy but luckily the tide wasn't super high.
And here's some of the rocky Green Point from up close:
That was on our last evening there after going into Tofino, walking around town and having The. Most. Delicious. Salmon. Tacos. Ever! For lunch at Big Daddy's Fish Fry. (Note the Mexican Fries were yummy too.) Really too bad we were 2 days late for Talk Like a Pirate Day. I'm sure these guys would have obliged. On our way back to camp we went to the Tofino Botanical Gardens just outside town. Plants and sculptures and trails, oh my! And the best free wifi so far.
This gazebo is by local Tofino artist Jan Jansen who works in wood. We knew him way way back in the day. Glad to see he's still creating wonderful things:
And here's his Story Telling Hut:
Our stories were told only to each other since nobody else was there.
So this holiday had a plethora of loops in it. We did a big loop around most of BC but spending the majority of our time on the west coast. We also got in plenty of ferries, beaches, trails, sea shells, rocks, sand, whales, birds, rain, sun, and evergreen needles. (The latter are still being shaken out of my boots.) Glad to be home. It's Autumn now! At least in this hemisphere. Season is a-changing. Moving right along.