I took a little vacation after my successful and enjoyable Burning Road Tour. Believe it or not, playing 15 shows in 21 days and driving all over Southern BC wasn’t a holiday. Yes, I saw some sights, I had a lot of fun, met a passel of cool people, and it was tiring too. So I went camping at Pachena Bay on Vancouver Island.
First, here’s a map so you know of where I speak:
Pachena Bay is on the west coast of Vancouver Island, at the end of 84km of logging road out of Port Alberni. It’s just outside of Bamfield, which is one of the prettiest little towns you’ll ever see:
As you can see from the Pachena picture, it’s a sheltered bay looking out on the Pacific Ocean. If you go straight out you’ll eventually hit Hawaii. It’s the edge of the continent!
I had a great time, sitting and staring at the fire, walking on the beach, not doing much else. Had a couple of days of great, sunny weather, then it turned all west-coasty, which actually isn’t too bad if you have a big enough tarp and enough firewood. I learned that it’s drier on the West Coast when it’s raining than when it’s simply misty, because the mist gets everywhere, everything is wet. Paper towels soak up water from the air, towels do too. Pillows, bedding, everything is damp. When it’s raining at least the spaces between the drops are relatively “dry!”
That said, it’s classic West Coast weather, unlike weather anywhere else, and it’s pretty awesome.
The West Coast holds most of the remaining 3% of original rainforest that hasn’t been logged, and if you’ve never experienced true rainforest I highly encourage you to do so. It’s primeval, very alive, unlike the tree plantations we’re mostly familiar with. It’s an ecosystem that has evolved in harmony over eons, where everything has a place and a role in a funky celebration of life.
One great way to experience the area is to hike the West Coast Trail. I mention it because my campground was at the northern end of the WCT, and I saw several hikers either prepping to go, or finishing their treks. It’s considered one of the best hikes in the world, and I can well imagine that’s so. If you’re in tiptop shape and an experienced hiker the WCT would be a fabtastic trip. If you’re past that kind of fun, sitting around the fire in Pachena Bay isn’t a bad substitute!
My one caution about heading to Bamfield and Pachena: drive slowly. Like, 40km/h unless you have a big tough truck. You can make it fairly easily in a car, just be aware that it’s a rough, active logging road, and you’ll get shaken and stirred!
Vancouver Area Show Next Week!
I’m the featured artist at next week’s BC Songwriters Showcase in beautiful downtown Langley BC. It’s a long-running showcase series that has featured some of the Lower Mainland’s best talent over the years, playing original music only. I’ll be trotting out my new songs, including Burning Road, Great Together, Going & Coming, plus a bunch of my old standards. There will be a special version of Red Hair!
Details: (also available on Facebook here.)
When: Wednesday, October 17, 7:30 – 8:30pm.
(There’s an open mic after, bring your instruments, or just hang out and enjoy some of the delightful talent we have here in the Lower Mainland.)
Where: NY Grill & Bistro, 20204 Fraser Hwy., Langley. Map.
Why: Great music and excellent food! Come a little early, enjoy dinner at the NY Grill, the food is excellent.