Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Beauty of Vancouver Island by Katherine Pym

Pacific Inlet on  Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
I've visited the BC area of Canada a few times. As an American who lives in the Seattle area, you'd think we'd pile in the car and visit several times a year but life got too often in the way.

We have friends who live in Port Alice, located at the bottom of a deep inlet on Vancouver Island. The map shows it only a finger width away, but in actuality it took two solid days to get there.

Vancouver Island ripped from mainland
If you look at Vancouver Island on the map, it's slightly askew, ranging from Southeast to Northwest with an archipelago of San Juan Islands scattered between it and the mainland. The border of Canada and the US slices through the San Juans. Vancouver Island is near the Cascadia Subduction zone and must have ripped off the mainland during a massive, plate tectonic earthquake (my theory anyway).

We had to take a ferry and even though it's quite a thrill to travel that way, it is time consuming, what with the lines and the wait. We landed at Sidney BC (a wonderful place with so many bookstores-heaven!), went through customs and kicked the petal to the metal.

We headed north, and more north and even more north than that. As you get into the wilderness, there are fewer roads. You can't cross from one side of the island to the next due to a mountain range that seems to march up the center of the island. Lakes abound. Pacific inlets cut deeply through the landscape. Wildlife peeks at you from the fence strung along the road.

Sea Otter
Once we reached Port Hardy, which is as about as far as you can go in a car, we headed back south again. Black bears crossed in front of us. Eagles perched on the high branches of trees.

We meandered on a narrow road with twists and turns, crossing the island toward the Pacific Ocean. Fur trees towered overhead. Every once and awhile, lakes would shimmer beyond the pine fronds and thick trunks. At nightfall we reached Port Alice, a tiny town nestled between the inlet and the mountainous foothills.

Bald Eagle
It was almost dark when we pulled into the drive.  Our friends and dogs bustled out of the house and helped us with our bags. 'We'll go fishing, tomorrow,' Nick said. 'You'll love it,' Sue added.

The next day dawned calm and breathless, the inlet glassy. You could hear sounds travel from miles away. It was beautiful, breathtaking. We clamored onto the boat and motored the length of the inlet to open sea.


Coming July 2017

The story of Sir David & Lady Kirke of Ferryland, Newfoundland, a saga of sorts that begins with David and his brothers conquering Québec, and ending with Sara as North America's foremost female entrepreneur.


  1. Lovely description of Vancouver Island, one of my favorites.

  2. Past Winter Harbour , out to the to the great wide open,

  3. I've been to the Island once, spent a week in Victoria and traveled around from there. Spent a whole day on Salt Spring Island and loved it. Great photos too.

  4. Lovely post. Makes me want to put Vancouver Island on my bucket list.

  5. Many years ago I lived on Vancouver Island, went to business college there. An Idyllic life, with memories I'll never forget. Great post Katherine

  6. Funny how we both zeroed in on the astonishing geological facts of the region. Canada, our neighbor to the north, is a fascinating and astoundingly beautiful country.