Saturday, November 10, 2007

Three days in Tofino

One of the best things about having friends from out of town come visit is that it forces you to get out and explore your own backyard. You get to play tourist and discover all of the wonderful, amazing things right here at home.

Like Tofino, for example. My friend Steve announced that he would be spending a week in Vancouver after a long stint in Afghanistan. He wanted to go somewhere where he could just unwind and relax. After a few emails back and forth, we settled on a road trip to Tofino.

I've been up and down both sides of Vancouver Island more times than I can count but I've never been to Tofino. I'd heard it was a bit of a tourist trap and best avoided in the summer. But the beauty of going to Tofino at the beginning of November is that we had the whole place to ourselves. The town was deserted, the beaches abandoned, the trails empty.

Of course, we were never really alone. There were lots of signs warning us about cougars and bears in the area. We were walking along the beach when we looked down and noticed very fresh bear prints in the sand heading in the same direction. We quickly took a few pictures of the prints before turning around and walking in the opposite direction. This is about as close as I want to come to seeing a bear in the wild.

There were also a few surfers braving the cold, cold water.

The whole trip (the drive, the ferry ride, the time spent in Tofino) was a nice reminder that some of the most beautiful places in the world are right here at home.

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