Blog

San Josef Bay + Tofino

I'm welcoming Fall. The heater in the house is reawakening, and the leaves are starting to change. This means I have time at home to finally pour over some of the photos from our busy Summer. 

At the end of August we hooked up our Boler trailer and headed to the island to watch our friends tie the knot. After the best weekend of celebrating, laughing, dancing and eating too much, we embarked on a week long road-trip alone. The trip was a last minute decision. We had already paid for the ferry so we figured why not pay a visit to some of our favourite island summer spots? 

Two nights under the stars at my family's Summer spot gave us time to make a plan of attack for the week. Amongst sunsets, time with family and nights under the stars we decided to move forth to San Josef bay (hike-in camping) and then some Boler time in Tofino.

I've literally taken hundreds of photos from this spot. My inner biologist made her first discoveries of life under this very sea. We've watched eagles and whales pass, fires burning on the hillside across the water, and spent the time of our life growing young here in the Summer sun.

I've literally taken hundreds of photos from this spot. My inner biologist made her first discoveries of life under this very sea. We've watched eagles and whales pass, fires burning on the hillside across the water, and spent the time of our life growing young here in the Summer sun.

At night, when I was kid,  we stargazed and threw rocks in the ocean to watch the phosphorescence dance in the water. I guess not much changes with age - except wanting to capture it because you know that the good parts of life pass way too fast. We were busy playing with long exposures and this guy was so serious about getting the shot that he didn't crack a smile once.

At night, when I was kid,  we stargazed and threw rocks in the ocean to watch the phosphorescence dance in the water. I guess not much changes with age - except wanting to capture it because you know that the good parts of life pass way too fast. We were busy playing with long exposures and this guy was so serious about getting the shot that he didn't crack a smile once.

Ok, so back to the trip.

Destination 1: San Josef Bay is at the most northern tip of Vancouver Island. Tyler had been really excited to see this spot. I think we were both craving a visit to the wilderness of the west cost of Vancouver Island.

So, to say our say that our drive there  was, well, 'eventful' would be an understatement. We got a head start in the morning - the drive out is pretty long. Unbeknownst to us, the following obstacles stood in between us and our rustic destination

  • The power was out in the two towns right before the logging road exit to the park
  • We had planned to get lunch + gas in said towns - gas stations + restaurants close when the power goes out
  • Lucky fix #1:  A lovely man with a generator made sure we got gas + lunch became took the form of doritos and powdered mini donuts (only the healthiest of food for us! ;) )

We were back on our way - or so we thought...

  • Flash forward to exactly half way into our bumpy, logging road ride (1.5hrs) and we hear a thunking noise. It couldn't be. Oh, but it is - a flat tire.
  • Can we talk about how this happened right across from a sign that reads "Be prepared for the unexpected"? We were laughing pretty hard at this point.
  • And then irony hands us another little bit of comedic 'relief'. Our spare is flat.
  • Lucky for us we were passed by a couple who, may I mention had also had a flat that day, happened to be carrying a portable tire inflator - phewf!
  • Back to the powerless town to smack some new tires our ride, get old by the mechanic we'll likely pop another one (not our tire's fault - just a bad road) and head back out.

So, after countless hours of driving and a few slight mishaps we finally reached the lot. We threw on our packs, disregarded the cougar spotted signs and rushed through the easy, 45min hike in hopes of setting up camp while there was still light.

Maybe it was delirium, exhaustion, or a combo of the two, but when we reached San Josef Bay it couldn't have looked more beautiful. Virtually completely alone and in the wild we were so happy. We wandered the beach in the last light, made some food and settled in.

In spaces like this the weather turns as quickly as you can look out towards the ocean. Hazy, sun-swept morning are replaced quickly by milky, misty clouds. I didn't mind running into our tent to watch as the 'storms' passed us by. We huddled and read and watched the rain and waited for it to get barely dry enough to wander the beaches in the fog.

Collected treasures from far away countries, moved across oceans to stared at in awe.

We don't often get pictures of us together, so when we brought a tripod this time I was happy to get a few snaps... even if we do look like complete dorks.

These stark, sharpened, toothpick-trees are a staple of the West Coast. You know you've reached somewhere rugged when the trees can't even keep all their greens. I get excited whenever I spot them on the way to a destination. I imagine the storms they've weathered and can't help feeling excited about where we are/are going to.

And just like that, our time at San Jose Bay came to a close. We packed our gear out, drove to pickup the boler and were on our way to Destination 2: Tofino.

Tofino is the kind of place that gets into your bones and never leaves. I went a lot growing up. When Tyler and I first started dating he surprised me with a weekend at a beautiful B&B on the beach. As cliche as it sounds - it holds a really special place in my heart. There's something about a true Vancouverite - someone who will escape from Vancouver only to go somewhere even rainier. The clouds, the rain, the greys all make it more charming. You can wander the beaches and get cold and then come home to a hot shower, a fire and a book - if you're lucky.

Strangely on this trip we didn't get much grey. It was brilliant, warm and sunny almost everyday. I stowed my camera away and we spent the days just having a good time. We lazed at the beach, explored the town, grilled steaks over the fire (possibly the best steak I have ever eaten) and then read in our christmas-light-filled boler at night. We did get clouds for one afternoon and I brought my camera out for it....

This Summer was so good to us. I'm saying farewell to the season with a smile on my face and I'm excited to see what Fall has in store for us.