Hello Blog Readers!
I am taking a bit of time to share our trip to the Pacific Coastal town of Ucluelet, BC, right on the southern tip of a long peninsula just north of the Imperial Eagle Inlet. Our vacation timeshare company has developed some rooms in a very nice resort here, and Judy and I have been wanting to come up here and "hang out" for a couple of ye3ars now. This November it turned out to be the time. Our friends Mark and Anne Miller are with us, sharing the 2 bedroom apartment we reserved for this trip.
We arrived in the dark on Wednesday evening, having spent the day traveling from Snohomish. The trip was fine, with a zero wait border crossing (yes, zero!), a smooth ferry ride, and a nice drive. I can note just a couple of things about this trip. We stopped in Nanaimo for lunch and we ate at a restaurant called Ricky's on the outside, but RIcky's on the bill. Yes, R Icky's. I think this was typo, but you never know. The food was excellent but very slow. I mean really slow. We then shopped at Costco next door and headed out. Costco was swamped with people. What is that all about? The drive is smooth and straight until you get to the top of the pass at about 75% of the way from Port Alberni to Ukee, then it turns into a twisting and undulating ride. Judy's tummy didn't like it. She didn't barf, but I think she was close when we finally arrived. We dined in the room on Costco chicken, and celebrated getting here in fine shape. Judy was OK as soon as she could get out of the car.
Thursday dawned clear and calm and beautiful. Just outside our place is the bay, and anchored 50 yards from the shore is a green and white sailboat, which reflected perfectly in the still water. I took a slew of pictures (pun intended) and will post them here when I can get enough bandwidth on the internet. It is painfully slow here, I think intentionally. They want the visitors to "unplug and unwind" according to the literature.
After breakfasting in the room on eggs and sausage from Costco, we decided to wander around and see the sights. We traveled south, towards the end of the road, and encountered several beaches and trails. We decided to walk from Terrace Beach to the Lighthouse on the Wild Pacific Trail, and it was a wonderful walk of about 1.5 hours. On a sign near the start of the trip was a notice that this is the home of the Dromedary Jumping Slug, and keep an eye out for it. We didn't see even one, but I am very curious about any slug that can jump. We did see several excellent specimens of lichens with sporophytes, and I took photos of those. I know what you are thinking - this guy is a Botany Nerd - and you are right! We also saw lots of mushrooms, including the mandatory Amanita. These damn things are everywhere this year.
On the trail are view points every 100-300 feet, overlooking the water. And trees that have been battered by wind and rain so that their branches bend and often the stems themselves are twisted and curved. Judy took scads of pictures and posted them on FB, and generated some very interesting comments fro the those that viewed them.
We lunched at the Cedar Cafe in Ukee, which was also excellent (but slow to arrive). The waiter was a mostly local guy who was anxious to share his personal favorite trails and walks, which included a Bog Walk. After lunch we hot-footed it there and enjoyed a late afternoon boardwalk in the Pacific Rim Provincial Park nearby. This late in the season the sundrops were gone, but we did find some pitcher plants nestled among the sphagnum mats. The trees that live there were tortured looking and stunted, poor things. Note: Mark had the Chicken Pesto sandwich, which he declared to be the Best He Has Ever Eaten. The Cream of Mushroom Soup was also excellent, and featured local mushrooms.
Dinner was back in the room again, this time Costco steaks cooked on the Club Intrawest grill. Tasty and excellent. We washed it down with 2 large bottles of BC Merlot while watching the football game on the TV.
Friday morning dawned wet and blowy. The rain has been pouring down in torrents all day. We breakfasted out this morning, venturing to the Blue Moon Cafe. Another excellent meal, and this time it came rather quickly.
We drove to Tofino, about 45 minutes away. To get there we transited the length of Long Beach, again in this Pacific Rim Park. The road there was smooth and mostly straight, but as we neared Tofino it got bumpy and wiggly. Judy's tummy flopped again, and we had to slow down and take some time wandering around in a local pharmacy to let her settle down again. While in the pharmacy I met George, the Gay Pharmacist of Tofino. He and Judy compared finger nail polishes, among other topics. On the way back we stopped and watched a couple of local nuts surf the waves in the pouring and driving rain. We didn't get out of the car, but we could see them across the beach.
Now we are in the room, reading or blogging, depending on your preferences.