so this past weekend was the west coast weekend of waves. oh yes. khurue and i packed up the bus and drove out after work on friday. i was scrambling to get out of town by 2:30 in order to not have to drive in the dark, but we left late and ended up having to drive about an hour after dark. ah well, at least we were through the mountains. which, by the way, i had forgotten about. hmm. i just thought it was all valley to the west coast of the island. but nope. there was snow up there folks! i am kind of a stickler for following rules (well, in some ways) because if i do, then i don’t have to worry. but in not thinking about the mountain passes, i forgot about the possibility of snow. which meant copious signs reading rv’s, trucks and buses must carry chains from october through march. as silly as it may be, i worried i was going to get pulled over and asked if i had chains with me (i did not). well, i got over it, figuring if i had to turn back, it wasn’t a big deal – not like crossing the rockies carrying all of my possessions headed for a new home.
the bus traveled wonderfully and the land was beautyfull. i got to enjoy it even more on the way home with daylight. it astonishes me that i am astonished by the beauty here. i mean, i have seen it all before. but i am thank-full for this too: to still be able to be grateful. to not yet be taking for granted. hopefully i never will. the trees here tower, they go on and on. there is a cedar tree in tofino over 800 years old. think about that. really. in 2001 it was deemed hazardous and slated to be cut down, but two people climbed up into it for over a month giving the townsfolk time to mobilize and save it. it is now supported by a network of steel cables and girders. there are many more surrounding between 1500-2000 years old, but those i didn’t have the pleasure of seeing.
we camped at the mackenzie beach resort, about a 5 minute bike ride into the town proper. the resort was lovely and rustic. it was pretty much a treed pot-holey campground, with a pool, hot-tub and showers, that was surrounded by other campgrounds, and backed onto the ocean. at 35$/night, it was not bad for a couple of nights and i appreciate the peace of mind (and toilets) that campgrounds afford. while camped there i was rhapsodizing to myself about how much i loved the itinerant life – parking my home, and then biking around and exploring from wherever home-base is for the night, but i certainly couldn’t spend that on a regular basis. i spent most of my time on the beaches, watching the waves, watching the surfers, collecting shells and rocks and seaweed and barnacles!!!! i lOVE barnacles. geez. how cool are THEY? the morning was for mackenzie beach, then i biked to town on the oh-so-awesome bike trail and gazed out at the mountain-islands in the sound. then i picked up some fish and chips to bring back to the beach to eat. then i biked out to chesterman and walked it’s shore on the receding tide. they have surfboard carriers on their bicycles out there. they look like awesome lumber carriers to me too. the vancouver mountain film festival was playing in town that night, which i hemmed and hawed about going to, in the end deciding it would be inspiring, so pulled myself away from the hot fire and good radio (tofino has the best local radio! it went from MGMT to the supremes to sublime to sting!) and took the chilly ride into town, all bundled up warm. at that point i was guessing they might be sold out, but not being committed to going, i didn’t want to get a ticket earlier in the day. i figured i’d at least get a nice night bike ride out of it, and i did. i sure loved that ride into town. bicycles are so versatile. they can get you anywhere, you can park for free and they are fun to ride! i was probably extra excited to be riding around after all of my car commuting to nanaimo. no films for me that night.
just being in my bus home in a different spot felt good. even if it was night and i couldn’t see out the windows, it felt different. i sure do love traveling. what a blessing to be able to move. and to have such a beautyfull marvellous fascinating world to move through.
the drive home brought the white stuff falling, everyone was driving as slow as i was! snow has the most cozy-making feeling. i am going to miss that here in the forest of rain.
*ps. khurue has become an expert travel cat! i am so impressed with her! upon leaving winnipeg she meowed for so long at initial departure. then as the journey progressed she would only meow when we came to a stop and she wanted out. this trip she didn’t meow once! as soon as the bus started up she jumped up to a high place and hunkered down for the ride. i’m not saying she was happy about it, but more like resigned and with the knowledge that everything will be ok in the end. then when we got there i let her out right away – sans leash – and she went exploring and knew where to come home to when she was done.