The last time my boyfriend came to visit me in Canada it was the end of winter. The poor guy had never seen so much rain in his life. He could tell that Vancouver Island was a very beautiful place, but it can be hard to enjoy if you’re not used to rain. So this year he came in the summer and I wanted to show him as much of this beautiful island as I possibly could!
Stratchona Provincial Park:
This first thing we wanted to do was to go on a road trip up island. For those of you who don’t know, it takes approximately 8 hours to drive from one tip of Vancouver Island to the other. (Traffic and your speed will affect the time.) My boyfriend and I decided to go to Strathcona Provincial Park, which is half way up the Island and the biggest park on the Island.We stayed at Ralph River Campground. Which was a very nice campsite! They put a lot of work into the grounds to make sure it is nicely groomed and yet still feels like you are in the wild. Most of them are quite private and you hardly see your neighbors. Although we did have a chipmunk as a neighbor who kept throwing pine cones in our vicinity. Also, look at my new car I bought! Isn’t she purdy?! Since I can’t live in Germany right now I figured having a German car is as close enough.
We went to Lower Myra Falls, which was stunning!! The hike down to the falls isn’t long or hard, but it is quite steep. Water comes from a small valley and falls into Buttle lake. The water was the most beautiful turquoise colour and so clean and inviting I had to jump in, but oh my it was freakin’ COLD! There are so many amazing hikes to do at Strathcona Park! We wanted to do them all. Unfortunately, I had just hurt my ankle the day before leaving so I couldn’t do any intense hikes. It seems like at the park they only have short 15 minute hikes or 6-8 hour hikes. There was one that was about 3 hours long to Upper Myra Falls, which we decided to do. The hike itself was really nice! It wasn’t too hard or steep and was very scenic. At parts you had to squeeze under huge fallen trees and between giant boulders. There was a small bridge at some point and wooden walkways. At the end of the hike you are rewarded with this waterfall. (I’m not going to lie, after seeing Lower Myra I was kind of disappointed.) Lots of people carved their initials into the wooden railing or the nearby trees. Max and I were going to, but then we saw one that was already made perfectly for us. There was no way we could make one that could compete.
Shawnigan Lake Quarry:
I also wanted to show Max the “Quarry” officially called Kingzett Lake. (But everyone knows it as the Quarry.) It’s kind of a hidden water hole that not too many people know about. It’s most popular for younger kids who have beach tailgate parties, people dirt biking or locals walking their dogs. Two of my other friends had never been up there so I decided to make the hour long mini road trip. The Quarry actually used to be a limestone mine. When the mining stopped, they stopped pumping out the water. Two years later the hole filled up leaving a 80 feet deep, 20 acre beautiful lake.
Juan De Fuca Provincial Park:
My boyfriend also really wanted to go to Botanical Beach in the Juan De Fuca Provincial Park. We started our adventure at Botany Bay, climbing on the rocks and running from the waves. There was one spot that was almost an island that you can wander about. We went out to the farthest point which was a huge rock protruding from the water. You actually had to race waves to get to it. On our way back we noticed a bunch of people standing around looking at something, and in the distance I heard Max say something but didn’t hear what. Naturally, being me, I was obvious as to what was actually going on and I looked up to see the mama bear and her two cubs came who came down to the beach. We had to wait for them to wander off so we could leave because they were walking right in the path of the exit, Which I was totally okay with because the cubs were so adorable, watching them stumble around the rocks and climb around.
After a little snack break we hiked down to Botanical Beach, which is famous for its tidal pools. When the tide goes out you can observe the tide pools, all of which have unique ecosystems. Unfortunately, when we went the tide was at its lowest point at 7pm and the sun set at 7:30pm. We arrived around 6pm which was okay, we got to see some of the pools. Our intention was to wait till later to leave, but this massive fog wall rolled in and I got scared and had to leave. During the foggy drive home and seeing the leaves starting to change I got really excited for fall and the upcoming trip I have planned. I have one more post that will conclude my summer posts and then on to my exciting new adventure!