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  • Writer's pictureHannah Bywater

Tofino - First Adventure in My Van

One of my dearest friends Taylor was working in Tofino. This is a beautiful town on the west side of Vancouver Island that is popular for surfing and living slow. It had been six months since I had seen Tay so I figured it was a good time to take my new home on wheels for a little test drive. I packed up my things from the farm and set off to the West coast of the island. The road was windy and hilly but absolutely stunning the whole way through. The stereo doesn’t work in my van so I use my Bluetooth speaker to listen to music. I rolled the windows down and sang my heart out. At some point my speaker died and I started making up my own songs and that is how I came up with the name for my van. I don’t remember what I was singing or how it lead to this name but her name is Ruthie. After a fun ride, Ruthie and I arrived to Tofino just in time to watch a beautiful sunset on the water with my sweet Tay.

I was excited to show her my van and explore with her. She took a day off to take me surfing. She arranged for me to borrow one of her friends boards and then we headed to the beach. I had never been surfing before so this was very exciting for me. I have done some other water sports back home like water skiing and wake boarding but have never been good at it. We spent the morning riding waves, well she did at least. I was falling and flopping all over the place. Regardless we had a lot of fun.

In the afternoon we went to Ucluelet to enjoy the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and have a yummy dinner at one of the popular food trucks. When we got back to Tofino I met up with a bunch of my planting friends. Tofino is a common spot for planters to come and play at the end of the planting season. It was just a short visit as they were trying to head back to their camping spot at Kennedy Lake before it got dark. Tay and I decided to join so we grabbed a few things to and made our way to the lake. The route is not well marked, you kind of just have to know where to go. My friend drew me a map but it was not ever clear to be honest. Thankfully Tay was familiar with how to get to the road but there were many possibilities to where my friends could be camping. We arrived in the dark and we were both very surprised to have actually found where my friends were camping out. Had we been one minute earlier or later we wouldn’t have seen them walking through the forest. Mostly all of us have been camping all summer long so we had everything we needed for a cozy night under the stars. Everyone has their sleeping bags laid out and were sitting around the fire.

I woke up with the sun around 6:30 and enjoyed watching it rise. When Taylor woke up we made a small little fire on the beach and waited for the others to wake up. After having a nice and relaxing morning on the beach, some of our friends packed up their things as would be leaving in the afternoon. We went back into town to grab breakfast together before sending our friends off on their next adventure. This was a nice reminder to fully enjoy and be present in good company. At the end of the planting season I was unsure if we will all be together again yet there we were. I know that this is not the last time our paths will cross. As the day went on it was full sunshine and sand. It is a constant battle to keep the sand out of my van but it’s just adding character. In the evening we all got dressed up to hit the town together. There was a big bus that had rolled into town that was hosting a party. I know that I just bought my van but I’m already dreaming of a bus. Before we knew it the sun was rising in the world is ready for yet another day. As for us, we were not. Unfortunately for Taylor and she had to work. I went with my friends Spenny and Steven to hike to the plane wreck that was nearby. That evening we reconvened to hike up to the Cox Bay look out for the sunset. We had bought some things to make a charcuterie board to have a picnic at the top. I know that I had a really wonderful time. I don’t know who decided to let me lead down, but I took us the wrong way. Like, very much the wrong way. I almost led to us off a cliff. Be bushwhacked to the right and eventually found our way back to the beach. While walking along the ocean I noticed glowing in the water. I had only ever heard of bioluminescent plankton before and for the first time was seeing it with my own eyes. I immediately took all of my clothes off and went skinny dipping in the ocean. I felt as if I was hallucinating, everything I attached turn to glitter. It was unreal. Although the water was cold, after my friends saw how much fun I was having some of them decided to come swimming as well. It was such a magical way to end another wonderful day.


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