Wrapping up our summer getaway on Vancouver Island, British Columbia

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Okay, I promise this is my final post about our summer visit on Vancouver Island!

We arrived unscathed at Parksville on the east coast, our next stop after retracing our path across the island on highway 4.  We made it over the 18% grade again, with less stress this time since we knew what to expect.  The usually long wait at the construction area was only 15 minutes – no sweat.

C’mon Betsy, just one more time!

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Pacific Rim National Park Reserve – Ucluelet, BC

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After gallivanting around Ucluelet we focused our activities on Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, the only national park on Vancouver Island.  A parade of rental RV’s driving around its 120,000+ acres every day proved how popular it is.  The  park resides within the traditional territory of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations.

The park’s management has been working collaboratively with First Nations, who have inhabited the coast for thousands of years.  They partnered to continue the age-old practice of welcoming and sharing Nuu-chah-nulth history, traditions, and culture with folks visiting the island. Continue reading

Wandering the rugged West Coast of Canada – Ucluelet, BC

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In real-time, we’re now back in the good ‘ol U.S. of A, and I’m working hard to get caught up!

Some folks we met while traveling on Vancouver Island raised their eyebrows when we told them we were heading to Ucluelet.  They were excited for us, but then they would point at Betsy and say, “you’re going in that?”

Opinions varied on the wisdom of taking a large RV towing a car on the steep, narrow and winding highway 4, which was also undergoing major construction.  But others had done it, and our adventurous traveling friends Eric and Laurel gave us a vote of confidence as they had made the trip.  Steve figured if we crashed and burned at least he’d have someone to blame…

After asking around and doing some more research we were up for the challenge and on our way.  We made it just fine, and the drive was definitely worth it! Continue reading

Hitting Trails In and Around Qualicum Beach, BC

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After watching Orcas play in the water and hitching a ride on a floatplane mail run, we shifted gears back to our usual activities.  Our stop at Qualicum Beach was the midpoint of our island adventures, and a good place to do unavoidable mundane household chores and stock up the fridge.  Steve also had to do a little more maintenance on our aging Betsy:

He had to re-epoxy a panel under the windshield after our recent drives rattled it loose, obviously a high-tech procedure

What we liked about this area was that everything we needed was only minutes away, with little traffic and the locals living on “island time”. Continue reading

I Sea a Plane! – Campbell River, BC

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Only one route traverses north to south on Vancouver Island, so from our northernmost stop at Telegraph Cove we drove back on Highway 19.  This 120-mile journey back to Qualicum Beach was our longest drive while on the island.  Cedar Grove RV Park and Campground was our basecamp for a week of excursions and outdoor fun, the main one being from the sky.

My Honeybunch agreed to be the guest writer for this story, since he’s an aviation guy 🙂 Continue reading

It was a Whale of a Show – Telegraph Cove, BC

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Heading north out of Nanaimo meant leaving most of the civilization behind.  As the roads narrowed to a single lane in each direction, we entered the upper third of unspoiled Vancouver Island North.  Our destination was Telegraph Cove, a small village on the water surrounded by forest.

This little hamlet has only 20 hearty year-round residents, but it gets crazy-busy during the summer months as over 100,000 visitors flood in.  Fortunately our stay was near the end of the season, and things were starting to slow down a bit. Continue reading

The Heart of Vancouver Island – Nanaimo, BC

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When we arrived at Living Forest Oceanside RV and Campground in Nanaimo, two local residents welcomed us to our site.  They kept us company during our entire stay, not because we were the most fun people to hang out with, but only for the unlimited birdseed we offered.  We settled in comfortably at our spacious forested site under tall trees with lots of privacy – loved it! Continue reading

Back to Jammin’ on Down the Road – Cowichan Valley, BC

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Cowichan Valley is the region where we drove back and forth to meet Betsy’s appointed repair schedule.  Our campgrounds were at Crofton, Chemainus, and Duncan, which make up some of the communities surrounding the area.  It wasn’t a bad place to be stuck for a few extra days, as it offered many activities and gorgeous summer weather.  We even discussed coming back for an extended visit someday, minus Betsy and the border crossings! Continue reading