Our First Trip to Vancouver Island
From: Melanie
Date: Mon, 05 May 1997

Tofino Drift Wood (*)

Dear Friends,

We (Tomo, Linda, and I ) went to Tofino, Vancouver Island, for three days in April and walked for MILES on various beaches. It was Tomo's and my first trip to Vancouver Island. We expected awful weather because it had been sunny the week before so we were due for rain. And we got it the first day, major wind and rain. Fog too, so we couldn't see anything on the drive down. We got to the B&B and immediately braved the elements - out to the beach. We got completely soaked. Tomo and I, being Long Beach novices, had only one pair of pants each (now wet) and I was wearing sneakers (now wet).

Yippee! Yes we're dumb. But despite the wet, the beach was cool: pounding surf, raging wind etc. Not as powerful as the Atlantic, of course... OK, OK, I won't compare it to home.

((Wheeeeee! -->))

Anyway, we hung everything around the room and lit a fire in our pot belly stove - BUT the raging wind sent all the smoke back down the pipe and into our room. Lovely. So we had the door open all evening, trying to air ourselves out, and it was a wee bit chilly. Tomorrow's forecast? Wind and rain. Yippee.

The next day (after the storm) was amazingly sunny and warm. But before we went out to explore, we went to a local co-op and bought RUBBER BOOTS for Tomo and me so that our feet wouldn't get wet anymore. And my God, that was a smart move. Those boots were excellent! You can walk right into a tide pool or wave without a care in the world. Highly recommended.

(( No problem at all, HA HA HA! --> ))

Then, we went to Long Beach and walked for what seemed like miles, and it was!! The danger of that place is, you just keep going because it doesn't seem like you've gone far, but you have! Way too much exercise for poor old Tomo and me.

((<-- We walked 500 miles (approx.)))

But Linda is like this:

Come on guys! Let's just go to that point!

Let's just climb these rocks to see what's on the other side!

(More of the same)

You're like an old married couple!
(We ARE an old married couple!)

Come on!! Just one more kilometer!

and so on. The poor girl was some disappointed with us, and I'm sure she won't be planning another vacation with us! But she's travelled with us before, so she should have known what to expect. Anyway, we walked ahellovalota Long Beach, Florentia Bay, and Schooner Cove.

On the third day (another sunny one, God loves me), Linda and I went on a whale watch / hotsprings experience. Tomo wasn't up for it so he stayed in Tofino.

sl&eagle.jpg((<-- Sea Lions and the Coolest Eagle))

Many hours in a zodiac, smashing through the waves (somewhat similar to a roller coaster, or four wheelin' in the rock quarry when I was a teenager), briefly spotting a spout of water which is then lost behind a swell.

Actually, although the whole whale thing was a bit of a disappointment (it's better in Nova Scotia), the trip was a blast. We saw sea lions, a hellova lotta beautiful coastline, and did a great hike / walk through a forest to a secluded natural hotspring. And we saw bald eagles too. Quite a "nature" day.

crab.jpg While we were gone, Tomo went to the market and bought a couple huge crabs which he and Linda feasted on that night.

((<-- Yum!))

And on the fourth day, we came home (sigh). It was a great trip, really refreshing, I didn't think about work once! And the not smoking was relatively easy, although Tomo and Linda were consumed by guilt, and tried to sneak out for cigarettes when I wasn't looking. As if I wouldn't notice and rub in the guilt as much as possible!!

Nine weeks without a smoke now. I'm not quite as tense, but I am occasionally visited by fits of overwhelming rage or melancholy. Just my body's way of trying to influence my decisions. I've also had the occasional dream in which I am smoking. Heaven...

(( Humongous mussel rock and
super rubber boots equipped woman
--> ))

Hugs and Kisses, Mel


(*) 'Tofino Drift Wood' by Mr. "Papa" Hasegawa