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The end of the road

My parents were excited for me to head to Tofino as they had traveled there in the early 70s when it was a funny mix of hippies, draft dodgers, fishermen and First Nation people. It was literally the end of a dusty, dirt road far off the beaten path.

It’s not like that anymore, that’s for sure.

Tofino has been found.

I spent several days camping/hanging out in Ucluelet and Tofino, drinking beer, eating any kind of food out of food trucks that was available (tacos! oysters! fresh fish and chips!), hiking around, and seeing some epic sunsets, because, as it turns out, when there are forest fires all over the PNW, the sunsets are amazing.

Hands down - the best fish and chips I have ever had - and probably the freshest. So. Good.

Hands down – the best fish and chips I have ever had – and probably the freshest. So. Good.

 

Beach hike in Ucluelet

Beach hike in Ucluelet

 

Freshly shucked oysters in Ucluelet out of a truck. Why didn't I get 5x this amount!?

Freshly shucked oysters in Ucluelet out of a truck. Why didn’t I get 5x this amount!?

 

 

Sunset in Ucluelet

Sunset in Ucluelet

 

After leaving Ucluelet I camped at the National Park site -- this was our private beach. No, it didn't suck.

After leaving Ucluelet I camped at the National Park site — this was our private beach. No, it didn’t suck.

 

End of the road.

End of the road.

 

Eating dinner on the beach

Eating dinner on the beach

 

My last sunset on the beach

My last sunset on the beach – on the west side

From Tofino, I hitched a ride back to the center of the island. Those hills, with no shoulder, were not worth riding.  And plus, I got a ride with this super cool guy Sheldon who lives in Ucluelet and was headed to Port Alberni to get materials to work on the house he is building (swoon!). We chatted the whole way out, exchanging stories of travel and adventure and were fast friends.

He dropped me off in Cathedral Grove so I could check out the big trees – and then since it was early in the day (amazing how fast you can go when not pedaling your own way!), I rode out to the other coast to spend my last night on the island.

Big trees

Big trees. This was by the side of the road – so it was me and RVs and harleys.

 

Slightly in awe of this old growth

Slightly in awe of this old growth

Goats on a roof. This is a restaurant that might have made itself solely by having goats on the roof. Seriously.

Goats on a roof. This is a restaurant that might have made itself solely by having goats on the roof. Seriously.

 

An east coast sunset. Well, east while in the west.

An east coast sunset. Well, east while in the west.

My campsite on the east was the first time I ran into fellow bike travelers. There were at least 4 of us there! And all sorts of fun people to talk to – including a woman traveling by bike for the next month (and we had the same bike!) and an adorable young couple with two (also adorable) kids who had lived in Brooklyn for a few years. The four of us talked late (you know, like 9 or 10) in the night before we all went our different ways the next day.

From there, I rode into the Nanaimo to get on a ferry, head to West Vancouver, catch up with a friend for beers and dinner before catching a plane back to NYC.

All told, the trip was about 380 miles – some hard days, some really easy days, but mostly a great experiment in learning to travel by bike.

yes please.

yes please.

 

 

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Amazing!

    October 9, 2015
  2. Lutye #

    The people you met, this bit of heaven in the Pacific NW, and you being a part of it, taking us there. Thank you. The eats along the way, mouthwatering.

    October 9, 2015
  3. Carol Kushner #

    I agree with Sarah and Lutye. I vicariously experienced this trip–the beaches, sunsets, food, everything– through your words and photos.

    October 9, 2015

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