Adventure in Tofino

In Landscape, Photography, Travel by Bob Wild

adventure in tofino and ucluelet

I wish more people felt that photography was an adventure the same as life itself and felt that their individual feelings were worth expressing. To me, that makes photography more exciting

Harry Callahan

MarveVacation_2016-9961You must have seen the movie ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ or ‘The Hangover’ one or two, well! You see the story is nothing like that. At least once a year my buddy Marve flies out from Winnipeg to Vancouver Island and that’s where the adventure in Tofino and Ucluelet starts.

His plane arrives at noon we do the best buddy thing shake hands bump shoulders, then head to the car and go directly to the liquor store. No not what you think, were are not filling the car full of beer and liquor. Marve selects a bottle of wine, and we head off to visit my 90-year-old father before going anywhere else. Yup, the adventures begins with visiting my 90-year-old father. 🙂

Then were off like a herd of turtles driving my brand new truck to the other side of Vancouver Island. Heading towards Ucluelet and Tofino. But hold on there are some stops along the way the 2 1/2 hour drive is more than likely going to take us four hours.

Our next stop will be in 45-minutes, how do I know, we always have to stop at, yup you guessed it, Coombs BC, were are going ‘Goats on a Roof.’ Yup, it has live goats living on top of the store and wow it’s always packed with tourist, Why? It has unique things, so why do we stop there, because it carries smoked salmon, salmon jerky, candied salmon, salmon everything along with cheese, and crackers. Once we’ve got the items we need for lunch, were off to Creekmore coffee roasting. Marve’s espresso level is getting low, and he’ll soon need a top up. Once he’s got his coffee, and I with my London Fog were on the road, now heading to Little Qualicum Provincial Park picnic site for lunch.
What’s for lunch you ask? Well, we just purchased a whole-lot-a smoked salmon, cheese, and crackers in addition to, this year I’ve brought a surprise fresh crab and prawns along with a bottle of wine from Black Creek Winery.

There we sat and at the park in wild woods of BC eating fresh crab, fresh prawns, smoked salmon with wine and cheese for lunch. What could be better than that in the great outdoors?

For the rest of the road trip to the Black Rock Resort was pretty well uneventful. And now that we have checked in at the resort nope no time for rest, we did say this is an adventure. What the first thing Marve want to do, nope not drinking, Nope not sits down and relax, nope it’s off for our first of many 10 km trail runs. The Wild Pacific Trail runs (pun intended goes around the resort. )

MarveVacation_2016-9899Okay by this time you’re wondering what the heck, where is the adventure part. Well, up at dawn, out the door, can you MarveVacation_2016-9875guess where we are heading? Nope! Marve needs an espresso so off to the Barkley Café to grab a coffee then off to the Relic Surf Shop. So here’s the interesting thing, as I walk into relic shop with my goPro in hand I’ve never seen so many people ducked behind the counter, get out of the way of filming, shake their fist at me, okay boys, “I get it, I will turn it off.” Maybe :-). I cannot recommend these guys enough they were a “hoot” right from the beginning. If you are going surfing at Long Beach, I highly recommend the Relic Surf Shop. Once fitted with boards and wetsuits, it was off to Half Moon Bay for four hours of surfing and fun. Before were allowed to go in the water our instructor Patrick from Quebec, which I believe is a strange place to be from for a surfing instructor, not many places to surf in Quebec. But oh my, did he have a great sense of humor and his instructions were almost perfect. Both Marv and I were riding, yup standing up on the boards within the first hour. Although it was a cloudy miserable day the waves were not too big, and I can guarantee all had fun.

Next came lunch, so off to Tofino, unfortunately, the Wolf the in Fog, which is one of the ten best restaurants on the Island was of course packed. Therefore, we decided to eat but at Sea Shanty Restaurant and it was awesome!. After Lunch no time to tilly-tally it’s off to hike Schooner Cove Trail. Now if you’ve never heard of this trail, it’s located at the North end of ‘Long Beach” and is mostly Boardwalks, about a kilometer of wooden steps, and paths. It’s a quaint little walk, very scenic through lush rain forest and over gentle meandering stream’s which finishes at a sandy beach. The next time you are in Tofino, you must hike this trail it’s fantastic. Takes about 20 minutes each way, and it comes out to a bunch of islands and at low tide, you can walk over to the islands.

20160701_150116Day two ends with another 10K trail run along the Wild Pacific Trail. Did I tell you it’s July 1 its’ a long weekend and all the restaurants in Ukee were booked. With a little bit of work and patients we did finally managed to secure a reservation in a nice little restaurant, and for the life of me I can’t remember the name, but it’s across from the Barkley Cafe coffee shop. They took our names and while they said it would be a 45-minute wait, we do what we do best, Yup it’s another opportunity to hike the Wild Pacific Trail. We went for a hike, told you and it’s an adventure weekend. The restaurant had great food, even better service, Marve and I ordered way too much, eat way too much, good thing we did that extra hike. We’re not done yet. You see we walked to the restaurant, on the way back we stumbled upon another section of the Wild Pacific Trail we had not seen. So off we go again exploring.

Dock at Ucluelet

Day three starts off with a rush. First, Marve need a coffee then breakfast, but wait, why is the restaurant closed, it says opens by 8 AM we have a three-hour drive back to Campbell River. We are going salmon fishing. Why is the restaurant closed, we never did find out?

The weather for most of our visit in Ucluelet and Tofino has been cloudy with rain, typical weather for this side of the island, but as we head back guess who shows up, the sun, just our luck. So the trip back is pretty well uneventful, except for being hungry, we arrive about an hour early at Painter Lodge, which is what they want. So we check-in then head off to the pub, and in the meantime, the sun goes behind the clouds the wind starts to blow, and now it’s drizzling outside “again”.
Russ is the name of our guide. Oh man, he was a hoot he pegged us right away we didn’t care about catching fish we were just out for a good time. Just like Gilligan’s Island, it’s a three-hour tour, and so we head out towards the south end of Quadra Island. It was a bumpy, rough but not as bad as the fishing trip in Ucluelet last year, were the guide was constantly on/off the throttle of the motor.

Sitting in a boat bobbing up and down is not my idea of fun, But Marve like salmon so we go fishing every time he’s in town. It took about an hour before our first bite. Now I’m the camera guy, and who catches the fish, me, so sorry no video, or pictures. But I do believe it was an 11lb spring. After landing the first and no bites for another 30 minute, Russ the Guide pull in the lines heads over to east side of the island. Yes, I’m not telling you where these fishing holes are Russ would shoot me. Truth-Be-Told I cannot remember the name, so Russ your secret is safe with me. Around the 20-minute mark guess who get another bite, yes it’s me. As I play with the fish, Marve realizes in the other line, and I can hear him talking to the guide, saying there must be seaweed on the line this is way to hard, and he keeps repeating way to hard. As I work my line, I hear Marve screams “what the hell is that?” Hooked by the tail is a shark, AKA dogfish. See Marve you didn’t get skunked you caught a fish, just not one you could take home :-). So after three hours of sitting in a bobbing boat, we came away with 25lbs of salmon. A perfect way to end another adventure weekend

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