a cathedral of trees

Last month I told you just a little of the first part of my trip to Vancouver Island and the West Coast. I never took you any further but this week I would  like to take you to the West Coast. For those of you who don’t live in this part of the world, Vancouver Island runs North-South along the west coast of Canada, just north of the border with the US.

Here is a tourist map of the island.


We drove from just north of Parksville, halfway up the east coast, across the middle of the island, through Port Alberni and along the Pacific Rim Highway (4) to Ucluelet. It was quite beautiful driving through the mountains. Here’s a photo of one of the waterways along the highway.


Stopping on the way to Ucluelet


The Resort

We were aiming to get to our resort in Ucluelet at around dinner time. We made it just as the sun was setting and in time to make it to the grocery store. We stayed at a funky place called the Terrace Beach Resort near the beach of the same name and the light house. The resort appeared to be designed to look like one of the old fish packing plants but with more charm. The central buildings were up on stilts on a hill. A number of little cabins were built into the hill, lower down, and connected by wooden walkways.

Our unit had a hot tub on the deck (not too much chlorine – yay), along with a BBQ. Inside, we had a very efficient kitchenette equipped with most everything we needed to cook some very nice meals. The bedroom was up in the loft and we had an electric fireplace and a flat-screen TV in the living area. We spent our evenings binge-ing on the DVD series ‘Six Feet Under’, which neither of us had seen. You might say that we dosed ourselves with ‘death’ and it was very entertaining indeed.


The beach was a short walk from the parking lot and the loop trail around the lighthouse park was just a little further. We did it before lunch on our first day there. It  took us just over an hour to walk – well worth it. Along the way we found evidence of the original wooden roads. In the early days, it was easier to build roads of readily available logs than anything else. Now, most of them have rotted away. The lighthouse is no longer staffed and the shipping traffic has all but disappeared. The area off the coast used to be called the Graveyard of the Pacific, explaining the need for the light house.

Along the Pacific Trail

I’ve put together a few pictures from my trip. I am a fairly new photographer so they represent what I was able to photograph of what I found beautiful. I’m sure you can find better professional photos if you go looking. I came home from this trip feeling that I had been ironed. I am not a religious person but I felt closer to Spirit while I was standing among the trees, walking along the great expanses of sand and ocean and sky, and nestled in the little coves behind the shelter of the silvery logs. My problems felt small compared to the quiet grandeur of the great trees.


Almost moon-like terrain near the Amphitrite Light House


We spent most of our time on the west coast walking the trails. We kept our walks to 1-2 hours and took our time.


A dinosaur look-alike of a dead tree in the bog

The bog walk was one of the shortest walks on the trip but one of my favourites. It was as if the trees and plants were miniaturized and spread out. There were lots of birds who were unafraid of humans and it was incredibly quiet and peaceful. The fragile bog ecosystem was protected by having visitors walk on a wooden boardwalk, making it feel a bit surreal; as if we were floating.



An 'intimate beach' with logs washed in from the great Pacific Ocean

We pulled up a log and had a packed lunch in the sun. I couldn’t resist collecting a few stones and shells. Funny how we like to transport these in our luggage from one place on the earth to another. Whatever possesses us?



The ocean does its work on the rocks and smooths the rough edges off our stressed selves

The cathedral of trees keeping worldly problems in perspective

Floating above the ground

Dying but not dead - art in the forest



Where does one end and the other begin?

Once you've walked down, you have to walk back up again!

Between here and there

Long Beach from the edges

Late afternoon on a 'little' beach

The logs could almost be made of silver

The many faces of a tree


Sculpture in Mother Nature's Gallery

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little sample of my stay on the West Coast. Suffice to say that I highly recommend it as a restful and rejuvenating destination.

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