Pacific Ocean Bamfield Beach
Traveling British Columbia And Vancouver Island, Canada
The next day we had already bought and paid for two spare tires and some bulk oil when we found out that the Prince Rupert / Vancouver Island boat trip was going to be too expensive. We changed our plans. We headed south to the city of Vancouver. That night, when we camped in another campground (a free one), we met this dude who filled us in on the new Vancouver Island. It had been four years since I had been there, and, according to this camper, Long Beach had been turned into National Park. You had to pay to get in, and the entrance to the park (that long, winding, gravel road that I remembered) was now a paved highway. The guy told us about another beach. “If,” he said, “instead of following the road to Longbeach, you turn left at the fork in the road by the river, you will end up in Bamfield.” That sounded like a plan to us. He couldn’t tell us much about the place. The road to Bamfield was gravel, however, and he said, “West of Bamfield is the Pacific Ocean.” That was good enough for us.
The road south, just before Vancouver, followed a river through a
canyon. It was extremely scenic. When we got to the city, we boarded the ferry for the short ride over to the island. On the boat Mike met a chick and scored some weed at the same time. The chick was on her way to Longbeach. When we told her what we had heard about the place, she wanted to go with us instead. Mike and I didn’t have a problem with that.
The guy back at the campground was right; the sixty-two mile road to Bamfield was a restricted gravel road. The restricted part meant that logging trucks had the right of way. It was already late, and
everybody wanted to get to the ocean, so we decided to avoid the
logging trucks by traveling at night. The road I remembered from
traveling to Longbeach four years ago was a whole lot worse.
Unfortunately, though, by traveling at night, we missed all the
It wasn’t hard to find the ocean, but I’m not sure we found Bamfield. After waking up the next morning, the ocean was exactly what we had hoped for, a huge stretch of deserted beach. The weather was gray and cold, not unusual for the coast. The surf was about one or two feet high and after a delicious breakfast of eggs and sausage (a promised special treat to ourselves), we walked down the beach and set up a more permanent camp. The afternoon brought with it a little sun, but the wind and dampness had everybody appreciating the fire.
We basically had the comforts of a log cabin. Our fire was situated in
a driftwood niche, which also doubled as makeshift walls. The
imaginative cook that Bev turned out to be was also appreciated. She was equally gifted as our mistress. She was an extremely
happy-go-lucky person. She wasn’t a beauty queen, though.
We stayed on the beach for two days. We would have stayed longer, but reality kept creeping into our humble abode. Actually it began the very first morning we arrived. We were more or less greeted by the Indian who told us we were camping on Indian Reservation Territory and had to pay for our truck to park on the reserve. “$1. per day,” he said. We had no problem with that, but later, when I walked up to the Indian’s house, another Indian held out his hand and said, “That will be $3. please.” It turned out to be “$4. a day for camping and parking on the reservation. I guess we could have kept paying, but the more we thought about it, the more we figured we were being ripped off (and the Indians weren’t friendly either), so we decided to leave the beach after two days. We left the same way we arrived, like thieves in the night. We saved a day’s fee that way.