Monday, 22 September 2014

Dream Boat

Technically it's a float house, not a dream boat but that's beside the point. Whatever you want to call it, it is still one of the coolest places I've ever been. I can't disclose the location of this cabin but I will say it's on a Lake on Vancouver Island. We heard about it through a friend of a friend and decided we had to check it out for ourselves so we borrowed 2 canoes, loaded up our vehicles and set off.

After about an hour of driving, we pulled off the road into a small dirt clearing and launched our canoes. It was a beautiful sunny day and we weren't exactly sure where we were going so we took our time and enjoyed being out on the lake. The float house is situated between two islands and is hidden from view until you're very close to it.  After about an hour of paddling we managed to find it and all our expectations were surpassed.

The tiny cabin sits right off the edge of an island and there's a deck/dock out the front and some other smaller floating docks. Inside are two big beds, a table, chairs, wood-stove, and a little area equipped with anything you could ever need (for a few days at least). Pots and pans hung on the walls as well as photos and Old Lucky Lager Ads. Outside there was also a working BBQ and a battery-operated radio that just so happened to be set on the best oldies rock station.

Besides a short canoe trip to watch the sunset, we just hung out at the cabin the rest of the day. I have no idea who owns this float house, but there was a guest-book to sign so whoever is responsible for building this paradise is kind enough to let others use it (as long as they leave it as they found it). So if you ever do find it please leave it in good condition so that I can go back and enjoy it again !
just around the river bend...

~dream boat~

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Vargas Island

We're not in Kansas anymore

Vargas is an Island just a 10 minute boat ride away from Tofino. Rumour had it that there was a beach you could sometimes surf at when the conditions were right, so 6 of us decided to spend the night there to celebrate a friends birthday. Since the guys were all bringing surfboards they boated straight to the beach where we were going to camp. However, there wasn't enough room for all of us in the boat so they dropped myself and 2 other girls off on the other side of the Island and made us hike there (we didn't really mind...).

A small wooden sign reading 'Ahous Bay' marked the trail-head so we cracked some ciders and embarked on our adventure. The trail takes you to the other side of the island but you go through so many different types of eco-systems and vegetation. It is really beautiful. There are warnings of wolves on Vargas so we were a bit spooked at times but luckily had no encounters. About an hour later after walking through bogs, boardwalks, wooden bridges and bushwhacking we arrived on a deserted beach.

The only instructions we'd been given were to keep walking right along the beach and then look for hanging buoys in trees that marked the connecting trails. The three of us continued our trek for another 2 hours. Alternating between walking along wild beaches to weaving though thick overgrown trails, crawling under fallen trees and climbing over intricate root systems. Eventually, a little tipsy, we arrived at our destination and saw that the boys were already surfing.

The rest of the trip was very dreamy but basically this is what happened :  we ate, we drank, we explored, we saw a sunset that lasted for hours, we got buzzed by a float plane, had a bonfire and went skinny dipping in phosphorescence.  A lot of other amazing things happened that day and continued into the night but me explaining them wont do any justice... you'll just have to experience Vargas for yourself ;)

pathway to paradise

meeting new friends along the way

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Lone Cone

This past summer I was fortunate enough to live (and work) in Tofino, a place with no shortage of camping or hiking spots. One of these hiking trails takes you to the top of a Mountain called Lone Cone. You can actually see it jutting out of Meares Island when you look across the inlet from town. Once you get to the top of Lone Cone you are supposed to get a beautiful view of Tofino and the surrounding area.

All summer long my friends and I talked about hiking it and we finally got organised to do it at the end of August or "Fogust". This summer the weather had been quite pleasant and the fog would usually burn off by mid-day (if there was any). The particular day we'd planned to hike it was foggier than usual, but it was our only chance and we were optimistic that the fog would be gone once we got to the top. The 7 of us chartered a boat for $30 each and it took us across to Meares Island. When we got to the Lone Cone dock we followed red flag tape to the trail entrance. The beginning of the trail was pleasant enough, we traversed through a boggy area on makeshift boardwalks and beautiful greenery. But then the trail started to go up, and up and up and up... I won't go into much detail because I don't want to discourage anyone but it is a very steep trail.

After 2 or so hours we finally made it to the top but to our dismay the fog was still there. We were literally surrounded by a white wall. Still hoping the fog would lift we ate our snacks and tried to stay occupied. Unfortunately after 2 hours of waiting the fog had still not budged so we packed up and headed down the Mountain. My legs were shaking the whole way down but finally we made it to the bottom and took the boat back to town where we celebrated with Tacofino and a group nap. I would definitely recommend Lone Cone as a hike if you're up for a challenge but make sure you do it on a clear day !

Trail to Lone Cone

"View" from the top