Day 16: Tofino to Comox



Waking up in Tofino around 11 am felt great-I had needed the sleep, and the campground didn’t seem strict about it’s checkout time. Bear said that the heart was still on the sand, but didn’t quite have the impact we had hoped for, so we skipped walking down to check it out. He had already been up for about 5 hours now, and had taken time lapse photos of the sunrise and tide. He was hungry and I was hungry, so we  headed into town.

There was a great little restaurant overlooking the harbor, and their breakfast sandwich special hit the spot. Well-fed and watered with hot coffee, we hit the road to cross over the island and continue north. Doing this stretch of road during the daylight was a treat, because the curves weren’t as scary and the trees and rivers were so beautiful. What an incredible island this was! We stopped many times along the way to take pictures, and especially loved Sproat Lake. We walked down by the water’s edge and hung out for a while, sipping coffee and smelling the roses. Literally. My favorite rose of all time, what I call the “Prairie Rose” was growing everywhere and smelled just like it did in my childhood.

Oh Canada, you are beautiful. We stopped for gas again in Port Alberni just as the rain was about to come down. We already felt like locals when we pulled up some chairs under the awning of the gas station and ate the other half of our breakfast sandwich and sipped coffee from our thermos. I think we stayed there for at least a half hour while it rained, watching the locals gas up and chatting with the station attendants. What a great town! We loved it yesterday, and we loved it today.

Fueled up inside and out, we got back on Highway 4 and headed east. We met up with the 19A and went north, and were already hungry again. I’m continually amazed at how much energy it takes to ride motorcycle like this! It’s a full mental and body workout, and Bear & I have already lost a bit of weight. We shared a bite at a diner and were going to continue our drive, but some locals next to us recommended their favorite campground near an Air Force base. We thought we ought to, since it looked like it wanted to rain again, and headed over there.

This had to have been the best-kept secret of all time! The campground was immaculately kept, with very clean bathrooms and showers and plenty of hot water. The price was the most affordable yet, and we were so glad we listened to the local recommendation! Our campsite was right next to the water, up on a rocky bluff. There was a little pathway down to the rocks where Bear set up his camera for a very long time lapse of the sunset. We set up the tent, and it was so early and nice that I decided to go for a drive and pick us up some cheap cold ones. My bike wasn’t as heavy without the top luggage, but I kept my side bags on. It was fun to ride with less weight, and I had a smile on my face as I rode through camp to the exit. I was a little surprised when I saw that a gate had been locked across the road, and was about to turn around when I noticed there was a side path around the gate. It was just about the same size as the side path around our gate back home, and I looked at it and thought, “I can make it through that!”

So I rode forward, off the road, onto the dirt walking path, and started through the gap. Suddenly I was lurched and tossed onto my side, and I jumped up and turned off of the bike. I felt so foolish as I stood there, looking at my bike on the ground, and the campers looking at me. I tried to lift my bike up, but it was wedged between a post and a boulder. I had obviously just caught my side bag on the rock and it bounced my back end to the side, making me hit the post and tip over. What a bummer!

Two men ran to my aide, and helped me lift and move my bike back to the road. They asked if I was OK, and I said yes, just feeling foolish, and I shook their hands and thanked them for the help.

As I rode to the store I was so grateful that everything still worked as it should on my bike, but I was shaken up and feeling so bad. I didn’t want to jeopardize our entire journey just to fit through a fun little gap, and I told myself I would stick to the roads from now on. When I got back to our camp, I immediately found and told Bear. He asked if I was OK, and if the bike was OK, and he assured me that I was being way too hard on myself. “Think of how often others have fallen over on their bikes, and at much higher speeds than you! Our bikes are built for things like this, and it’s OK.”

I knew he was right, but sometimes my ego gets the best of me. I never like making mistakes, especially mistakes in judgement, and I was having a hard time. I realized that I needed to offer the two men who helped me out some cold ones as a “Thank You”, so Bear & I walked down and re-introduced myself. We ended up chatting for almost an hour, having such a great time!

I realized as we left that if this is what it took to meet some lovely people, than it was worth it. And did you know what the two men’s names were? Bruce and Wayne. I thought it was pretty fantastic that Batman came to my rescue tonight 🙂

Back at our camp we took lots of photos and video. I turned on the radio and we danced around our fire. This campsite was amazing, the jets and helicopters flying overhead added to the appeal, and we really loved the adventure we were on.

What a great place to be, here on Vancouver Island.


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