Almost the Whole Pacific Coast - Winter/Spring 2016 travel blog










Now that we have decided that we gathered as much information as possible about Vancouver Island, it was time to make some campground reservations. After we return to the US mainland, we will be ready to start for home, but will have to wait out the Memorial Day weekend. During our first weekend of the summer, it is impossible to stop wherever the mood strikes and the traffic is heavy. Ironically, we find ourselves here during the first weekend of the Canadian summer (the weekend before ours) and had a hard time finding a place to stay next weekend. We also wanted to make sure we were near the ferry terminal for the trip back to Washington state. While many campgrounds have sites that are large enough for us, on a holiday weekend the selection is limited. But after phoning some second choices, we will have a place to stay everywhere we wanted to go and can begin driving north tomorrow.

This morning we began the Scenic Marine Drive, a coastal route along the southwestern coast of Vancouver Island that should have provided opportunities to look out over the strait at the Washington coast we enjoyed a few days ago. While the signs said scenic and the road was near the coast, the drive was disappointing and we ended it midway. There were a surprising number of homes and buildings blocking our view and thick forest was also a barricade between the towns. We have become spoiled by all the scenic overlooks and short hiking opportunities we had in Oregon and Washington.

We did much better when we drove north to Duncan, a town that has a special identity because of all the totem poles on display all over town. The largest collection was at the railroad station and we followed yellow foot prints painted on the pavement to find the others which were tucked here and there in the central business district. It made me feel like a child hunting for Easter eggs. Each pole had a sign explaining its meaning and some information about the artist who carved it. The huge totem that had been carved into what was left of a 750 year old tree was especially impressive. Some of the poles had been commissioned by store owners. The artists interviewed them and carved the poles to represent their stories. The limited palette of colors and the unique style each artist had brought to his work was very appealing. I wonder if our home owner's association would approve a pole for the front of our house....

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