Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Why we went to Vancouver Island

[Travels in Canada]

Vancouver Island undoubtedly offers some rigorous hiking and backpacking opportunities, but I prefer it for its walks in the forest that feel like you've entered a fairy tale.


You drive past the occasional storybook house (this one reminded me Howl's Moving Castle) and down roads that wind through the forest.

howls moving castle DSCN8416

In the forest, the trees look like ones you've read about in Tolkein.


You want to leave breadcrumbs on the path to make sure you can find your way back.


There are magical mushrooms growing on trees...



... Tree Stumps of Unusual Size ...

DSCN8287 DSCN8286

... Unusual plants and flowers ...



... andfelled trees that were really old.

(I counted 150 rings before my mind blurred)

You cross a rickety "why don't you go first" suspension bridge...


... and this amazing log footbridge with hand-cut steps, that I'm pretty sure is one fallen tree trunk over 100 feet long.

log bridge

Inevitably, your path takes you down to a beach. It may be rocky or sandy, but it has huge driftwood logs and tree stumps and even the occasional piece of boat.

DSCN8079 DSCN8064



Don't get me wrong -- I love hot, sandy tropical and near-tropical beaches where you can swim and body surf and sleep in the sun. But I also love cool gray misty beaches.

DSCN8320 DSCN8323

If we had the technology to podcast smells, I would podcast the smell of this beach. It's a smell so fresh (with just a hint of salt brine) that it made me realize that the beaches I'm more used to -- in populous coastal areas -- are maybe not so nice. I had come to think of beach smell as a sweet, pungent "under the boardwalk" smell. But I eventually realized it's also a nasty-old-plumbing smell and a broken-sewer-line smell. Basically, beaches in populated areas of the U.S. -- Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, lots of the Atlantic coast -- smell like sewage. Undoubtedly because there is sewage and high levels of the kinds of bacteria that gather on sewage.

All the more reason to escape to the Island of Magical Trees.


Stunning photos. Next time you go, take me with?

emhssa - (EM-sah) a word of deference for a female of superior rank.

qwwhz - a surprise test about bees.
the mushroom photo is to die for.

ygfeyryg -young celtic fairy
Great pics!
I'm inspired to visit my favorite places ever: the Redwood National Park.

Beautiful pictures.
Such gorgeous pictures!

My verification word is a real word: "sunny"
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