Pacific Rim National Park and musings

Today I spent time exploring the natural side of the Pacific Rim National Park. When I got up the mist was heavy. I couldn’t see the beach but who cares. I was on a mission. I ate breakfast and headed for the Wickaninnish Interpretive Centre. I watched a movie about the park, how it came about and what I could expect to find there, explored a bit and watched a movie about whales. I was really impressed with the way the whole centre was set up. I spent hours there and learned a lot. It was really worth the price of admission which was $7.40, the cost of a day pass which also allowed me to park and use any of the other facilities in the park. Amazing.

Interpretive Centre in the mist. Sun is trying to come through

Interpretive Centre in the mist. Sun is trying to come through

I wanted to walk some of the interpretive trails so I asked at the desk about the bog walk and the rain forest walk. I would most probably run into a bear on the bog walk I was told. View from a distance and clap and yell if approached.

Warning sign at the centre

Warning sign at the centre

You know how I feel about meeting new people…well, apparently bears give me butterflies too so I started my walk with lots of them in freefall in my gut. The sun had come out and I kept my camera poised. The only thing I met were two loud gentlemen trying to out talk each other about how much each knew on the subject of shoreline bogs. No bears. I am just as happy. The whole area was accessible by boardwalks and even though I wasn’t stepping on them, the local ground covers smelled like spice. How different the stunted bog growth was from my next stop.

Bog

Bog

My next stop was a rain forest walk not too far away. This area was absolutely different from the shore bog. The rain forest walk was also accessed by a boardwalk but it was lush and rich. Everything from the ferns to the trees and the hanging moss was oversized.  All felt damp and moss grew on everything. Many times I could hear a stream passing under me but could rarely catch a glimpse of it through the undergrowth. There I read a sign that said “we do not inherit the earth from our grandparents, we borrow it from our children.” I have heard it before but in that place it had a much more profound effect on me than before.

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Later, I found my way to Uclulet, a beautiful seaside town built on a steep hill. Not nearly as up scale as Tofino…yet… I sat on the dock and had lunch while I talked with the family who are all gathered together in Owen Sound at my brother’s for family fest. It was nice to hear all of their voices and I wished I was there, even though they said it was raining.

I took time to go through a gallery built in a building which looked like a traditional long house. The art there was stellar. I fell in love with a carved heron and set it in my memory. Vincent said absolutely NO! It wouldn’t fit in the back. The young man behind the counter was telling some children who had come in some of the legends of Raven. I love stories and stayed to listen. Check out the beautiful bear totem.

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I got back home in time to accompany Mary on her eagle walk. I got a picture of him with his head up but…you may have to use your imagination to see it. I which my camera had just that much more zoom on it.

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And one last gift from the day, I sure hope you can see this. When I was climbing on the rocks I saw a sea lion. Actually I wouldn’t have seen it. Some one else pointed it out to me. I took this picture into the sun and with my fingers crossed.

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What a great day. And here are some things I have been thinking about today. Mist is playful. After I thought it was burned off, it came back while were were on the beach this afternoon.

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The earth has so much to offer. I wonder what we offer back.

People in BC must be very fit. They hike, cycle, camp, climb, surf and just generally seem to have a very healthy life style. Bike lanes are everywhere and every little town has walking paths. I wonder if it is just because it is just so great to be outside in the shadow of the mountains or if it is just a different attitude to life.

I want to be like Mary when I grow up. 85 with the energy and love of life of a much younger woman. She climbed up the ladder/stairs to the loft to have supper with me last night with no trouble. She takes a long walk every day to see the eagles and just to keep an eye on the neighbourhood. She has a rich and hearty laugh and is open to what ever comes up. She pats dogs, watches birds and keeps her house in good repair. Yes…that is what I want to be when I grow up… (still counting Karen?)

Tomorrow I am heading out. Mary and I leaned over the map til late last night plotting a route. She says I should have talked to her first…and maybe she is right. It is entirely possible that this trip is not about the geography at all but about the people I meet. Talk next time I have a connection.

6 Responses to Pacific Rim National Park and musings

  • Tricia Bertram says:

    Hello Vicki, What a feast for my spirit your journey is becoming. I love mist and rainforests, birds and bears, seals and seascapes, and all these amazing things you are sharing. Thank you so much. Hugs from the land downunder. Tricia

  • Vicki says:

    Thanks Tricia. It is wonderful and I love knowing that you are there with me.

  • Janice says:

    Hey Vicki
    Well the pictures are beautiful…I could not see the sea lion but I tried. I got out a magnifying glass and then used my imagination and low and behold there it was!! Ha They are an amazing creature!

    Vicki I see you have mastered the skill of taking pictures of yourself. You look great, happy as hell and vibrant… it must be all of the morning mist, the sea air and the wonderful people you are meeting along the way! Hmmm I did notice you got a hair cut nice to see some of the colour is still there.

    Happy travels. I’ll talk again when I get back from Gaspe.
    Janice

  • Sue says:

    Vicki,
    Your pictures gave me goosebumps. We used to take the boys camping at Pacific Rim when we lived in Alberta, and we haven’t looked at our photos in years. It looks, and smells, just the same as it did over 25 years ago. I’m very sorry you didn’t get a bear – but I’m oh, so glad one didn’t get you! Sue

  • Janis McCallen says:

    Dear Vicki,

    We’re just back from some vacation in Prince Edward County. I’ve been following your adventures daily. You’re one brave woman! It’s such a delight to read about your experience of the landscape, towns and people. I could feel the silence you talked about, and I teared up when you talked about finally seeing and hearing the surf outside Tofino. (I’ve always wanted to do that).

    We’ve missed you at the Freeflow Writers meetings, but (lucky us) get to read your writing almost every day. May the road be good to you and doors and (couches) appear magically as the great adventure continues.

    Janis

  • Vicki says:

    I had a rough day today and the amazing couch (actually a bed) and the magic of all of your comments have really put me in a great space to have a good nights sleep. Nice knowing that you are all out there. 🙂

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