Hot Springs Cove – Returning after 25 Years

My husband and I recently celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. We decided to return to our honeymoon spot, Tofino, BC to celebrate together. On our honeymoon, my husband had arranged for us to go to Hot Springs Cove, a natural geothermal spring which is unique as the hot springs flow down a series of pools and meet the Pacific Ocean. The ocean tides flow into the pools cooling down the hot water. You can reach Hot Springs Cove via boat or float plane, docking about 2 kilometres away from the Hot Springs and reaching it then via a beautiful boardwalk trail through the forest.

Twenty five years ago, Tofino, was much less discovered and Hot Springs Cove was not yet popular with tourists.  We were much less prepared for outdoor adventures at the time and I was ill prepared for the slippery boardwalk leading through the coastal forest. I remember slipping and sliding and falling several times along the way.  But the Hot Springs were free of other humans and we had an enjoyable time in the mineral waters. I have looked fondly back on these memories over the year.

So, it was with great excitement that we set off, this time on a float plane to Maquinna Marine Park. It’s a 15 minute plane ride to the Park and the views are spectacular, and really this is the way to go if you can do it. We arrived midafternoon which was great because many of the charter boats leave by about 3 pm and so most of the tourist were leaving as we were walking in. This way we could spend some time enjoying this amazing place on our own.  It’s rare that you can return to a beloved spot years later to still be blown away by it’s beauty. I’m so grateful we could go back and thrilled to spend time there with my one and only 25 years later.

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Gorgeous boardwalk
Blue Jay
Stellers Jay along the way
Later
Our float plane leaving

Hot Springs

Hot Springs Cove
My husband enjoying a soak in the pools

Come Away With MeThat's What I LikeSerenity

Lennard Island Lighthouse
Lennard Lighthouse

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My Top Photos for 2015

I’m a little behind on this, but what another awesome year we had as a family! We were fortunate enough to travel a great deal and had a lot of fun along the way. Here’s some of my favourite images along the way.

Waves

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. - Albert Camus
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. – Albert Camus

Stargazing

Spirit Island has been on my bucket list for a while now, and so I was thrilled to be able to visit it this summer. It's a gorgeous spot to say the least and it was made even better as I was able to go there with a few of my favourite people!
Spirit Island has been on my bucket list for a while now, and so I was thrilled to be able to visit it this summer. It’s a gorgeous spot to say the least and it was made even better as I was able to go there with a few of my favourite people!

Solitude

An explosion of epic colour as seen this past summer at Quadra Island, BC. f
An explosion of epic colour as seen this past summer at Quadra Island, BC.

Playground

Overlander Falls on the Fraser River in Mount Robson Provincial Park. For those interested in the technical. This is a four shot panorama. I used a Lee Filter Little Stopper to obtain a 13 second exposure to smooth the water.
Overlander Falls on the Fraser River in Mount Robson Provincial Park. For those interested in the technical. This is a four shot panorama. I used a Lee Filter Little Stopper to obtain a 13 second exposure to smooth the water.

Overlander Falls Trail

Kinney Lake along the Berg Lake Trail. A little piece of paradise.
Kinney Lake along the Berg Lake Trail. A little piece of paradise.

Peaking Through

We made a quick stop at Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park near Parksville, BC. With all the rain we've had lately, the water is really raging through the canyon. It was difficult keeping my lens clear at this misty falls!
We made a quick stop at Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park near Parksville, BC. With all the rain we’ve had lately, the water is really raging through the canyon. It was difficult keeping my lens clear at this misty falls!
A beautiful morning at Alouette Lake in Golden Ears Provincial Park.
A beautiful morning at Alouette Lake in Golden Ears Provincial Park.
Radiator Springs in California Adventure, Disneyland.
Radiator Springs in California Adventure, Disneyland.
"How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains! - John Muir
“How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains! – John Muir
Beautiful morning light dancing through my frame!
Beautiful morning light dancing through my frame!

Cryptic Message

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Buttle Lake in Strathcona Park on Vancouver Island at first light. f
Buttle Lake in Strathcona Park on Vancouver Island at first light.

2016 is looking like a slower year travel wise, but we’re looking forward to more local adventures on Vancouver Island. Thank you for following us along the way!

Lush Forest to Secluded Beaches

Schooner Cove in Pacific Rim National Park is a great afternoon adventure suitable for families. It features:

  • Rainforest
  • Beautiful secluded sandy beaches
  • Tidal Pools
  • Box Island
  • Wildlife
  • Waves
  • 2 kilometres one way with 336 stairs

Park at the well marked parking lot off of the Pacific Rim Highway (4) about 16 kilometres south of Tofino. Start off on a relatively easy two kilometre trail. The scenic hike wanders through lush rainforest before arriving at a spectacular beachfront area. You will pass giant cedars, a number of small gullies and over a few bridges spanning small creeks. Near the end of the trail you will pass a 600 year old sitka spruce. As you get closer to the beach the rolling sounds of the ocean will greet you.

The pristine beach offers amazing views including rocky outcrops that can be accessed at low tide, so check your tide charts before arriving. A long day of exploring awaits you as you walk south along the beach to Long Beach which is a 10 kilometre expanse of beach. Allow a lot of time, because you will love exploring this area!

If you plan to stay to watch the sunset, remember to bring a flashlight as the densely forested trail back to the parking lot gets really dark!

 

PACK LIST

  • Rain gear
  • Jacket
  • Good hiking shoes or boots
  • Camera
  • Lunch
  • Water
  • Flashlight if staying past sunset

Enjoy!

Tall Tree Adventure

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Yes, we are THAT family! What do I mean? Well, the other day I was spending time with a close friend and she was explaining how her husband will spend a full day trying to search down a big tree in a forest, even after the fun factor has waned for the rest of the family. A big tree, she lamented! I laughed and said “I totally get it!” I was, of course, taking the side of her husband for we are THAT family.

I’m blessed with a husband who is crazy kind enough to agree to my crazy ideas. You see, when I see something cool on the internet, I want to go see it for myself. So, that starts the planning process if it is feasible, not dangerous, and is something we can do as a family, including our four year old. Those are the parameters. So, when I suggested we go find the tallest Douglas Fir Tree in the world, and we happened to be in the area, my husband again said, “why not!”

So we set off, but I’m not sure what I was thinking. It was my husband that read the disclaimer about the road which reads:

“**Please take note regarding driving to the Red Creek Fir: The
gravel logging roads from Len’s Main are rarely maintained or
not maintained at all. Use at your own risk. It is recommended that
you have enough gas, a spare tire which is in good condition (and that
you know how to change a flat tire). It is always wise when travelling
in the backcountry to let someone know where you intend to go and
when you will be back. In the event you have car trouble, stay with
your vehicle. It is best to visit the Red Creek Fir in the morning as the
road is rarely travelled after dark. Those driving rental cars should be
aware of rental contracts regarding travel on logging roads. This route
is not recommended for vehicles with low clearance (compacts, sub
compacts, sports cars etc.) SUVs, Pickups and 4x4s are best!!”

For anyone who just has to see it for themselves, here’s some directions.

So, it’s REALLY not suitable for cars! Take my word for it, you really are better off in a truck or SUV. It is bumpy, rocky and clearly not passed very often, as there were branches down along the way that needed to be cleared. My husband didn’t complain even though he had to clear the roadway from fallen branches. So, if you are going to go, bring some gloves or a chainsaw or something to clear the road. My husband had his gardening gloves but it was getting ridiculous after a while, and I even questioned whether it was a good idea! But, we pressed on, and my husband got a good workout.

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Trailhead
Trailhead

So was it worth it? Well, you can judge it for yourself, but this tree is huge! We remarked how it is a marvel that it was even spared from being logged! In addition to this awesome old growth Douglas Fir, there are giant cedars that are awe inspiring! Along the road way there’s a really cool creek which cascades straight down. Truly impressive! A fun adventure for the whole family and another wonder of creation!

Red Creek Fir

Red Creek Fir

Big Tree

Photo credit: Malia Cole
Photo credit: Malia Cole
Photo Credit: Malia Cole
Photo Credit: Malia Cole

Giant Cedar

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Creek

West Coast Vancouver Island

I still haven’t had much time to dig into my shots from Port Renfrew and area on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Life is like that some time. It’s the balance of responsibilities of life.

In the meantime, here’s a couple shots. The first one is Fairy Lake Bonsai presented in landscape orientation:

Fairy Lake Bonsai

The second shot is from Sandcut Beach which is just past Sooke, BC between French Beach and Jordan River. It’s a place that I’ve wanted to go to for a while having heard how awesome it is from friends and also fellow photographers. So, on a lovely spring morning we set off to explore. It’s about a 15 minute from the trailhead to the beach through forest. Once you hit the beach, the falls I’m showing here are to the left about 10 minutes down the beach. I could stay at this spot all day and I’ll definitely return to Sandcut Beach!

Sandcut Beach

Fine art prints available at my WEBSITE.

Waiting For a Friend

We live about 2 hours away from Port Renfrew, but we haven’t really spent much time out that way, so we planned a quick little get away with the family to explore and do some day hikes in the area. I can’t wait to dig into the photos, but in the meantime here’s one of my favourite spots. I’m a sucker for a lonely tree.

Waiting For a Friend

“Waiting For a Friend”

My friend Shelagh saw this shot and shared that she wrote a song about a lonely tree that goes “All the lonely trees, just waiting for a friend, to take their picture. I love the way they stand”.

Prints available at: http://goo.gl/VReeO4