A summer road trip on Vancouver Island, British Columbia

I have been to Vancouver Island many times. And every time has been fairly routine – gone to a city to visit a person, had some food and drinks, walked around, drove to another place and took the ferry home.

But if there’s one thing I’m learning as I spend more time with this handsome, adventurous ginger, it’s that nothing about him or us is routine. So when we went across to Vancouver Island for the first time together I knew it would be unique.


We don’t often play by the rules – we like to sleep in our car, and set up lunch spots in inconvenient places, which I think is incredibly fun. In example, lunch spot number one, (above), was off of a short overgrown trail on the road from Sooke as you drive towards Sombrio. We admired an unusual dark fog lingering over the water. We’re still not sure why it was black. (help?)


We’d heard of Sombrio Beach. It’s meant to have great surf for Western Canada, and it’s somewhat remote location deters it from being a complete Tourist spot. Backpacking our gear in we landed an epic camp spot high enough on the rocks that we could see far in either direction down the beach. Pano view to the max.


If you haven’t heard, there’s some pretty unique waterfalls along Sombrio and the Juan De Fuca Trail. I won’t say too much about them, aside from the fact that they’re awesome. I’ll just let you go and explore.


Eager to continue on (and the incredibly nice weather was a sure bet for limited surf) Rob and I made our way to new places on the island.


After what felt like the hottest day of the summer (42 degrees Celsius) on the interior of the island, the sun was setting and we were pondering where to sleep. We often don’t think about where we will lay our heads until the very last moment – thinking that far in advance could strongly adjust what we do in the day. It’s not now, so why think about it now?

Unconventional lunch spot take two (above), we were perched high on a logging road in the middle of Vancouver Island. Cooking chili on a camp stove and making a place to sit on a cut down log, we watched as one of the prettiest skies took form above.


Making our way over to Tofino, to of course check the surf for my Australian surfer boy, we were sorely disappointing with the price for an actual campsite ($50 – wait, am I getting a dinner served to me too?) so we were on the hunt for a free place to sleep. We’re not too shy to set up a tent in a parking lot or some other odd space, but we were hunting for something special. Half an hour and a few logging roads later, we hit the all-time jack pot of local-ish sites. (I will not be telling you where 🙂 )


Unconventional lunch spot, exhibit 3: an old bridge in the middle of nowhere. This one was probably my favourite this trip.


We quickly discovered that Ucluelet is much more the pace of life that we enjoy. The Spirit trail that runs along the coastline for several kms has you feeling as though you’re on some isolated island – until you see other people on the trail. We biked it, although I’m not sure you’re supposed to. But hey, we’re rebellious like that.

Although the surf wasn’t great and we slept in parking lots, this Vancouver Island experience was unlike any other I’ve ever had, an unknown adventure with no clear destination, just an intention of fun.

I guess it could be the company too, I’ve heard that helps. 🙂



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