Since the previous day had been so cold and wet we really had not had time to explore the Tofino/Ucluelet area of Vancouver Island. The forecast offered some faint hope so we decided to stay for one more night at the current campsite and do some more local sightseeing. This also means a few good Curbside Classic finds including a Subaru surf wagon. And rain. Lots of rain.
The map for today is not very dramatic. We did that distance there are back but by far the least riding with the exception of the ferry day.
We unfortunately we woke up to rain. Lots of rain. My buddy’s tent was flooding a bit from the water on the ground. I had put mine on a bit of slope so it was better off. Not a whole lot of photos since the rain was coming down. It was only about 7C (45F) which was a shock after the 32C+ (90F) of up north. As we figured out what to do the rain slowed so we decided to stay local for the day hoping for improved weather. Our campsite was on the marina which was nice (photo from the day before).
There was a hike near a lighthouse at the edge of town so we figured we would try that. Walking in the rain beats riding in the rain with non-functional rain gear. Here we finally had some amazing views of the ocean.
The lighthouse was built starting in 1915 and was finally automated in 1988. A keeper’s house remains but is no longer occupied. On the positive side the rain had now shifted to a slow drizzle. I had a couple temporary plastic poncho style rain coats that keep me dry (or at least no more wet).
A staple of BC roads, the Japanese market Mitsubishi van, was parked in the parking lot at the conclusion of the hike. This one is the Space Gear version.
The rain gained a bit of strength again. While riding back I tried my plastic temporary poncho both on top of and under my bike jacket. Neither was terribly effective.
Back in town we found a yuppie sort of bakery. The food was … edible. This Land Rover pickup was spotted from the window was the highlight of breakfast.
A left hand drive, second generation Toyota MR2 is a rarity in Canada due to their high relative cost when new. Most are right hand drive imports from Japan.
This Colorado plated GMC Rally Six van far from home. A very Canadian colored paint job though.
Next up was Tofino which is a popular tourist destination that I have heard many positive reviews of. It is only a 40 km or so ride away but I was incredibly cold by the time we got there. The winds from highway speeds, being soaking wet and barely above freezing temperatures are not conducive to comfort. An older Acura Vigor in nice condition plying the streets here.
I bet a real character lives here. I love the “Beware of Grandma” sign out front.
In Tofino vehicular traffic is allowed on the dock … so we did. A fellow tourist was stunned that I had driven my bike from Alberta. As usual he was stumped as to how old the bike was.
Plenty of art galleries to be found as we walked around town.
This Toyota Crown Majesta is an usual Japanese import. The fuzzy dice hanging on the rear view mirror is a nice touch.
A 1986 Subaru GL 4WD station wagon is an interesting take on a surfer’s wagon. The Peugeot wheels are the same bolt pattern but give a larger diameter than stock.
Tofino is known for its surfers but on this day only a few were out due to the cold weather. Plus it was raining … again.
A cell phone camera does not do justice to a beach but trust me it was both scenic and lovely.
Back at the campground for the night we had a feeble fire that night due to the general wetness of the wood. We had to place the wood around the fire bowl in an attempt to dry it out. Our boots were also placed by the fire with a similar hope. Tomorrow we would move on from this soggy place.
The full trip log:
Road Trip: Part 1 – Preparation and Starting a 4,500km Road Trip on a 250cc Motorbike
Road Trip: Part 2 – Best Laid Plans on a 4,500km Road Trip on a 250cc Motorbike
Road Trip: Part 3 – Making up Time – 4,500km Road Trip on a 250cc Motorbike
Road Trip: Part 4 – The Miles Pile On Up North – 4,500km Road Trip on a 250cc Motorbike
Road Trip: Part 5 – Heading for the Coast – 4,500km Road Trip on a 250cc Motorbike
Road Trip: Part 6 – A Coastal Ferry Cruise – 4,500km Road Trip on a 250cc Motorbike
Road Trip: Part 7 – Vancouver Island and Rain – 4,500km Road Trip on a 250cc Motorbike
Road Trip: Part 8 – Rain, Rain and More Rain – 4,500km Road Trip on a 250cc Motorbike
Road Trip: Part 9 – Back to the Mainland and Two Becomes Three – 4,500km Road Trip on a 250cc Motorbike
Road Trip: Part 10 – Riding Nirvana – 4,500km Road Trip on a 250cc Motorbike
Road Trip: Part 11 – World’s Largest Collection of Brill Trolley Buses – 4,500km Road Trip on a 250cc Motorbike
Road Trip: Part 12 – Beer, Dune Buggy and a Ferry – 4,500km Road Trip on a 250cc Motorbike
Road Trip: Part 13 – Finale – 4,500km Road Trip on a 250cc Motorbike
Soggy camping – yuck! It is a shame that you got such bad weather in such a beautiful spot.
You’re braver than I. At that point I would have said screw camping, gotten a hotel room and spread everything out inside it.
My personal government conspiracty theory is that Ontario deliberately sells fire retardent fire wood in campgrounds to prevent forest fires. In coastal BC there is probably no covert government help needed. 🙂
One of my great memories of my motorcycle trip up through the PNW, BC, Yukon, Alaska etc in 1987 was a wet evening in a campground near Dawson Creek. A fellow wandered by and watched as we struggled with lighting wet wood. After a few minutes, he said “I’ll show you it’s done, eh” – and promptly walked away. He came back a minute later with a gas can and tossed a big splash on the wood. Then he threw a match on it and “Whoosh”, we had a good fire that night.
We could have used him here. My plan to use the tiny tent came apart a bit here as I had to sleep with my gear piled on top of me so it didn’t get wet.
Lots more great memories David. My dad and grandfather were both born in Ucluelet, and my great grandfather was one of the original settlers. His old place was across in the harbour in your view from the bakery.
We spent time in Ucluelet every summer until I was about 19, and just returned for a visit two years ago after a 20 year absence. Although we had 28 degrees and sunshine for a week, I certainly felt your pain about that west coast rain.
And yes, Mitsubishi and VW Vans, Subaru wagons, and marginally road worthy RVs are the order of the day.
Love the series. Thank you
Cool, so your grandfather arrived in Tofino 50,000 years ago, with the first settlers.
Canucklehead, thank you – should read “one of the original non-Indigenous settlers”
Mrs. M and I are planning a trip to Tofino and some other locations around there next summer. Unfortunately she does not want to drive out there from Edmonton. Sigh…
I appreciate your pics very much and admire David your willingness to travel such a distance on a smaller motorcycle. Rain is gloomy enough travelling by car. On a motorcycle absolutely miserable. Two thumbs up to you sir!
The drive from Edmonton on Highway 16 and through British Columbia on Highway 5 is truly bucket list stuff.
…or, my personal favourite route: through Prince George, down why 97, then hwy 99 through Lillooet, Pemberton, Whistler and Squamish. Spectacular.
Watch this space …
Wet camping is the worst. Especially on such a lovely trip!
Interesting about the RHD MR2s being more common than LHD versions — I never would have guessed.
Here in Virginia, MR2s are still relatively common, and while RHD Japanese imports are become more of a frequent sight, they’re almost all vans, SUVs or Skylines… I’ve never seen a RHD version of a Japanese (non-SUV) car that was actually sold here new.
Your trip is really amazing, and in a beautiful part of the world. I’m a bit jealous of your trip except for the part about the rain.
I’ve done a wet motorcycle trip like that, a million years ago. My rain suit was as okay as a rainsuit gets, but wet boots. Wet boots for days. I can live with a foggy full face, and wet gloves eventually warm up but I never got my feet warm and dry. Another highlight of the trip using a canvas pup tent for the two of us. Ever full of useless facts, one night lying in the tent in the rain, I told my traveling partner – “Don’t ever touch a canvas tent, or it will leak where your touch it.” His natural and predictable response was, “Oh really?” as he reached up and touched the tent above his face. It started to drip on his nose….and gradually spread. It was a long, long night.
Oregon called- they want their rain back.
I spent a weekend in Tofino in early December with some friends a few years back, and we got the full gamut of west coast weather. It was almost the perfect combo.
Day One was sunny & probably close to 10C
And Day Two was pretty much the opposite. Hard to pick a favourite, but we weren’t camping or on motorcycles.