There are a lot of beaches to check out between Sooke and Port Renfrew. To get to most of them you have to walk through beautiful forests (downhill all the way, some of the uphill walks on the way back were a killer on the thighs!).
A collection of a few of my favourite pics taken while walking in the woods…
We were traveling from one inlet to the next, and passed this old cannery on Princess Royal Island. It spooked me and stirred that part of my imagination that thinks of scary movies. It would be a perfect location. Remote. Lonely. Old buildings and all the things that could have transpired inside. One stark lightbulb left turned on in the house perched up in the hills. Located on the edge of a forest and all the creatures that inhabit it…both real and imagined. Still gives me the willies to think about it!
Oh, and if you look closely in one of the pictures, you will see a gentleman at the top of the ramp (just under his clothesline), who lives there full-time. He’s the only resident. I don’t think I’d last ten minutes there.
If you do a search on Butedale Louis you will find many interesting stories by people who have stopped at Butedale and experienced his warm hospitality. It’s pretty fascinating stuff! There was even a book about him published in 2001 called Louis’ Place: Taming the Bush, so I’m going to have to try to find a copy (luckily I work at a library so it shouldn’t be too difficult).
Unlike when you are out for a hike where bears could be present and you want to make as much noise as possible so they know they are sharing the forest, when you are bear watching from a zodiac or other boat the goal is to be as quiet as possible. Many times we’d turn the motor of the zodiac off and just float along a river and keep our eyes opened for signs of a bear (or two) along the forest edge or in a meadow of wildflowers. Sometimes there were seven of us in the zodiac, sitting silently, hours at a time, cameras poised, just taking in the scenery.
Sometimes you start to see interesting shapes, some that look odd forest creatures or animals.
It may sound boring to some people, but it really was part of the whole experience. Your mind is free to wander and you become very relaxed (or at least I did, I’ve never meditated, but I’m pretty sure it was a lot like meditation).
The seaplane trip from Prince Rupert to Hartley Bay was 45 minutes – I’m generally not prone to motion sickness but we hit a few air pockets that had my stomach in my mouth, but I managed to pull it together and continue taking pictures from the plane.
I can’t say I loved the seaplane part of the trip (especially because on the flight back to Prince Rupert when I went to put on my seat belt, I grabbed one that wasn’t attached to anything! Turns out it was an extender so a larger person could attach it to the regular seat belt, but still it was a little disconcerting initially!).
Once we landed at the dock, and met Trish and Eric and their crew member, Eloise we were off on their 54 foot boat, the Great Bear II to begin an eight day trip through the Great Bear Rainforest.
Once we were anchored in our first inlet, we put all our gear on (rain jacket, rain pants, rubber boots – the last two we had to wear anytime we were in the zodiac) and took the first of many trips in the zodiac. Our first experience was a short hike in a forest preceded by a bear safety talk on the beach.
A shot of the boat, Great Bear II from a distance.
My next post will have pics of a three year old Grizzly Bear…
“I have always found thick woods a little intimidating, for they are so secret and enclosed. You may seem alone but you are not, for there are always eyes watching you. All the wildlife of the woods, the insects, birds, and animals, are well aware of your presence no matter how softly you may tread, and they follow your every move although you cannot see them.”
– Thalassa Cruso
I was looking for quotes about forests and nature and found this one. This is how I feel when I’m walking in the woods. I’m well aware that I’m just a visitor passing through. These are pictures taken at the Wabasso Camground in Jasper National Park. It was a nice campground, about a half hour drive from the town of Jasper, close to Athabasca Falls and Mount Edith Cavell (I’ll post pictures of both at some point).