Saturday, August 22, 2020

A Few Days on the Wild "Wet" Coast


Vancouver Island lies roughly parallel to the mainland of North America. Between the continent and the Island are many smaller islands and islets. Land is almost always visible from anywhere in these waters.

However, the west coast of the Island faces the open ocean, with a clear view to nowhere. Japan and the Asian continent lie far across the waves. The Pacific Rim National Park stretches along the coastline and includes the West Coast Trail, the Broken Group Islands, and the Long Beach Unit. It's this latter section that we visited. 

The road climbs up over several mountains and winds in tight curves through narrow passes and along enormous Kennedy Lake to arrive in the Park. It's difficult to reserve a spot to camp in the Park itself - our son and his family reserved in January. We stayed in another private campsite with our camping caravan/trailer, about 15 minutes drive away. 

We enjoyed hot weather (not too hot) a couple of days before leaving, but once we got down to the ocean, the temperatures dropped to 22 degrees, then to 17 degrees for most of our stay. Fog and cloud rolled in, followed by drenching rain and strong winds.

We put on our rain gear and enjoyed the scenery. The Wild Pacific Trail offered the views in the above three photos. 

Someone amplified the out-of-bound warnings. We saw no wolves, bears, nor cougars.

The Amphitrite Lighthouse is active, and can be accessed by road. It's not open to the public, but the trail passes close by. There is a webcam of the waters around the lighthouse, and I see that today the water and sky are blue, and there is no fog, very unlike our time there. 

This area was known as the Graveyard of the Pacific; several thousand ships have floundered and sunk in the waters stretching from the mouth of the Columbia River in the USA to Cape Scott on the northern tip of Vancouver Island. Shifting sandbars, rocks and reefs have claimed many lives over the past few hundred years, and likely before Europeans first explored the area.

This is part of an unnamed wreck that sank in the late 1800s. Rusted iron and weathered planks of Douglas Fir are all that remain. 

On the other side of the Pacific Rim Reserve is the more sheltered water of Grice Bay. We drove down the narrow road one evening as the sun was setting.Tim wandered to the water while I took photos where blues and greys melded in tranquil harmony. 

On our last evening there, in the drizzle and wind, we went one last time to Long Beach. Lovekin Rock stands ominous and dark, and swimmers and surfers are warned to stay away from the rock because of strong rip currents. Driftwood lies abandoned by the waves on the sand. It is a place of many moods, and this particular moment felt full of mystery and shadowed loveliness. 

We enjoyed our time seeing this part of our Island, in spite of the inclement weather. Our son and his family were in a tent trailer and decided to pack it in two days earlier than planned. We helped them pack up in pouring rain. It was so crazy that it was funny. 

And now the summer is almost over. Tim returns to work on Monday and I begin in-service on August 31. How will this school year look? 


  1. Hi, Really enjoyed taking your informative journey with you. The Island sounds like a marvelous environment with all the different climate zones and seasons. Lovely history and beauty. Hope your return to school is more pleasing and fantastic then what seems to be the expected challenging future of our so important educational systems. Thank you for your part in providing a very much needed service. Stay Safe and Sty Well.

  2. There is such beauty in your almost monochrome photos.

  3. It was a delight to share these amazing views with you. Hope all goes well with the start of the new school year. We are living in strange times that's for sure. Take care.

  4. Lorrie, thanks for the tour—I really needed to get out! :-) I have never even thought about the west side of the island! It will be interesting to see how your new school year progresses.

  5. Comment went POOOOF... ~sigh~

    Try again... A calming beauty, all its own.

    "Twilight" saga was set in your area. Vancouver... And around. Because these Vampires could not go out in the sun. They did not burn. They sparkled!!! ~smile~ On sunny days, they "went camping."


  6. I have such curiosity about your part of the world that I love these photographic journeys you take us on. I could almost feel my spine tingling as I looked at the pictures. Surely film crews are crazy about coming here. It could be the setting for hauntingly beautiful movies and books. It is mysterious! And a little scary and lonely but ever so impelling.

    I like your family so much for enjoying this kind of holiday!

  7. Difficult times in so many ways. You are fortunate to have these sort of places to get away to. It's always wonderful to be right out there in nature and, despite the weather, it looks like you were able to enjoy your time, plus get some great photos. I hope the school year goes well. So much uncertainty with everything.

  8. Even the fog and rain can result in lovely scenes. Hope your school goes well. For the first time in 41 years, I will be watching from the sidelines as the school year starts.

  9. Oh comment went away, too!
    You captured the fogginess so well, Lorrie. I had never heard of the Graveyard of the Pacific. I could picture all of you trying to pack up your family. It's nice that you were there to help. On your previous post, I loved all the flowers that you captured, and especially that cutie pie, Iris!!!
    Best of luck on your new school year.

  10. I did enjoy your post, once again you have shared some lovely photographs.
    Grice Bay especially looks wonderful.
    Sorry the weather wasn't too good but somehow the fog adds to the pictures.

    Hope the school year starts and goes well ... the days, weeks and months still seem to pass by so quickly.

    All the best Jan

  11. Hi Lorrie,
    You have captured parts of the island, unseen to us. So happy when we can enjoy it with you. The ship that sank in the late 1800s, so interesting to see what was left. I hope your school year is rewarding for you and your fortunate students.

  12. The one of Tim by the water is my favorite! And I love looking at Webcams so I'll check that out. I'm glad you got to get out in nature. I hiked yesterday but it's too hot today! Enjoy your afternoon!

  13. I love the webcam views of the lighthouse. I saw people walking around with shorts on!

  14. I enjoyed all your pictures. Too bad about the rain while you were there though.
    No one seems to be too sure exactly how the school year will unfold. One grand is going into middle school and another into her last year of high school. We're hoping everything goes smoothly.

  15. Your word and visual images are all evocative of the mood of that weather-y coast. The picture of the remains of a ship is particularly striking.

  16. How wonderful to be on the water,Lorrie, it sounds like a proper adventure and your photos are gorgeous. Glad you survived the Graveyard of the Pacific and came back to tell the tale... :-)

  17. Lorrie, you do live in a magnificent part of our world. I love each and every photo and so enjoy hearing about all the many details.

    I wish you the best during this school year. Having been in the public school system of Virginia Beach for 32 years, I well know the many issues facing teachers and staff. However, the virus will certainly add new issues. Prayers for the safety and well being of everyone.

    Have a great week.

  18. Your photos are beautifully atmospheric and I'm very glad that you didn't encounter any wolves, bears or cougars. I do love it when you take us on these picturesque outings, thank you. x

  19. Prayers to all, back to school this year especially
    Beautiful photographs. The breath of scenery fills the soul with such fresh air, I can't imagine what it is like to live in a place where everywhere you look, there's a painting.

  20. Hello. Thank You for the beautiful photos, Ive never traveled to your part of this world, so many scenes all different and nice. our area (central IL) is all fields, corn, beans,pumpkins, watermelons all the shades of green are beautiful. Pray the school year is ok for all. Pattitatts

  21. Although the weather was inclement I am sure that you all had a lovely relaxing and happy time together. The misty atmospheric weather was proved to be perfect for your photo showing the Graveyard of the Pacific - it wouldn't have looked at all right if it had been a bright sunny August day.
    Hope that your return to school goes well for everyone.

  22. Loved your photos. The sea is beautiful in all ways. I hope your school year opens up fine. We open on Wednesday. The kids go in person 2 days and then remote the other three. I have to say I am glad I am not having to deal with it. You take care. Kit

  23. It does feel like summer is waning, especially in the morning hours. Glad you could enjoy this adventure with some of your kids and grands. Packing up sounded like frantic fun. I've seen how Vancouver Island has it's very rugged remote areas from the show Alone. Hope the school year goes well for you.

  24. You live in the most stunning piece of the world. I love seeing your pictures as you travel around there. I can imagine the school year will be a bit of a challenge this year. Take care!

  25. Lovely photos! The inclement weather would have driven me home early too.

    Is your school doing in-person teaching, virtual, or a hybrid model? Best of luck!

  26. We loved visiting the Wild Pacific Trail, and I have lots of photos of the lighthouse.

  27. oh wow! Soooo moody and gorgeous!! I will have to add that to my visit list!!


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