Vancouver Island: The Pacific Marine Route & Campbell River

The wild west coast of Vancouver Island

The Pacific Marine Route

This day Travelers Six and Twelve and I headed out to drive part of the Pacific Marine Route. This is a scenic drive that takes you lets you view various part of the Juan de Fuca, Haro, and Georgia Straights, allows you to visit Juan de Fuca Regional Park, and see impossibly tall old growth trees, numerous ridiculously large slugs, and the occasional surfer and maybe a whale or two.

The fare at Tomi's Home Cooking, Port Renfrew

We headed toward Lake Cowichan and then through the mountains to the west coast and Port Renfrew. In Port Renfrew we had lunch at Tomi's Home Cooking. This place is GOOD. Their were burgers the size a giant pumpkins. And there were cookies the size of human heads. The mushroom soup was great. The service was excellent. And they have free wifi.

Heading down the trail through temperate rain forest.

Left, Kelp detail, Right: pits in stone made by sea urchins
Botanical Beach

We then headed into Juan de Fuca National Park and to beautiful Botanical Beach, famous for its tide pools. We hiked through ever dripping rain forest and I got my first look at banana slugs. Then we sat on driftwood and watched the waves roll in and the light far out to sea shift through offshore rain storms. A blue heron perched on a bed of kelp far offshore and many harlequin ducks slipped through the surf closer to shore.

Blue heron standing on kelp

Banana Slug

A tree growing in a circle, Juan De Fuca Trail

Click to play movie.

Then Traveler Twelve and I almost explored China Beach. The old growth forest down to the beach is awe inspiring and I saw more of the amazing, oversized slugs that love the rainforests of the west coast of North America.

Traveler Twelve providing scale to the surroundings.

The temperate rainforest of the Pacific Northwest are dominated by Western Hemlock, Western Red Cedar, and Sitka Spruce.

We stopped briefly in Sooke to watch surfers and sea birds play in the waves though we were subjected to the most amazing bombardment of bugs I've ever experienced.

Surfing near Sooke

Campbell River

Traveler Twelve made pancakes in the morning. Then Traveler Six and I drove north along the east coast of the island to the town of Campbell River. We were staying at Brown's Bay Resort in one of their floating suites. This is really a cabin with a couple of apartments located in the middle of dock. It was one of the more unique and interesting places I've stayed. There's also a floating restaurant next door that is well worth going to.

The Floating Suite at Brown's Bay. If you get motion sick you may want to find other accomodations but Traveler Six and I very much enjoyed the experience. 

We explored the town a bit and visited the rather very interesting Museum of Campbell River. Back at the floating suite we watched ships passing by.

Campbell River Pier

Brown's Bay at night.



  1. wow!...this is a great post/blog..really enjoyed this one!


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