The Port Renfrew Affair

As life moves us and changes day by day, as it always does, and I get a renewal notice from WordPress that the annual 25 bucks is due again for showing my nice address, this blog may be put to a (perhaps for the time being) stop. It is just that there is not much alone time these days and that is when I do my photographing. Under those circumstances it is fine to maintain a Flickr site but as far as my blog goes there hasn’t been enough time to maintain it right for quite a while. So unless things change once again there may be a few more posts before it all winds down on this website.
At any rate my wife, Frankie, and I needed to get some coolness, sea air, and sea breezes, and for that we went to the west coast of this island. The east coast’s sea, which I live on, is kind of like an inland sea and has a totally different feel, temperature, and smell to it. We drive straight across the Island on what used to be logging roads. I remember these main logging roads being closed to the public during the week. One time as I was exploring there during the off limits time on my trusty 400cc Honda two fully loaded logging trucks sandwiched me in. Eating dust and with a few inches to spare front and back between my bike and the trucks it took me 10 to 15 km to extricate myself from that embrace. I have been more careful with those truckers ever since. Yes there was adventure when driving these roads less than 20 years ago but now the road is nicely paved.
One tree I like to show is a gigantic spruce. When the treeists brought in their legions to cut down every tree they could find, one tree was left. This was during the “forests forever” days and that phrase was turning sour when I arrived here in the sixties. There must have been some worries about that big old spruce wanting to escape because there is a fence around it now and it isn’t going anywhere.
Spruce
Spruce
The beach most easily accessible in Port Renfrew is Botanical Beach. Even though there are tidal pools here it is not really the best beach for tidal pools. Sombrio Beach, among the easy to access beaches around Port Renfrew, is nicer for that. Botanical Beach is at the end of the Juan de Fuca trail and right above it starts the West Coast Trail. Here is one photo to show where I approached that beach this time. What I like about this photograph is its westcoastness. Botanical Beach
At the water’s edge stands the Port Renfrew Hotel. The hotel burned down some years ago. I stayed there a few times every year from the early seventies till the mid nineties of the past century. Mostly the finishing inside out was cedar but the walls between the bedrooms were paper thin and every sound from the next room could be heard like it was happening in your own bed which, by the way, creaked at the tiniest body movement. One night I listened to my neighbours fighting and swearing, physically fighting, during the first half of the night. During the second half they made up and out. The bar below the bedrooms could be heard as well. Close your eyes and you’d think your bed was in the bar. The separate bathroom had a humongous bath in it and all that, everything in the rooms and bathroom was always spotlessly clean, for $25 per night. Of all the hotels I have stayed in this one is among my favourites. After the fire the place was rebuilt. The second floor with the rooms is now history and the main floor has become a canteenlike pub and a dining room, just those two areas. Ceilings go up now to the roof. Overall the rebuilding has been done nicely especially the preservation of the outside looks.
Port Renfrew Hotel
Port Renfrew Hotel
Port Renfrew and area is known as Victoria’s playground (not as in Victoria the lady but as in Victoria the capital of British Columbia). The area is as beautiful here as anywhere along the Vancouver Island west coast. It gets of course very busy with people on beautiful days but when the sun disappears even for a short time the people tend to disappear as well and that is when I start thinking about visiting Port Renfrew and its beaches.

Advertisements