August 17-18, 2015 – Port Alberni (continued)
Monday we took the dogs to Ucleulet which is 96 km (58 miles) west of Port Alberni where we hiked the Lighthouse Loop of the Wild Pacific Trail. Cody’s leg is getting better every day and he is putting weight on it most of the time (he is only holding it off the ground when he is walking fast or running). It is cool and foggy here which makes for nice hiking. The 2.6 km Lighthouse Loop trail winds through the rainforest. This bent branch with a stump under it caught our attention.
The trail had many “tree tunnels” which were fun and cool to walk through.
The views of the coast were beautiful even through the fog.
Throughout the hike we could hear the fog horn from the Amphitrite Point Lighthouse. The original wooden lighthouse was built in 1906 after the shipwreck of the Pass of Melfort in 1905. The lighthouse was destroyed by storm waves in 1914 and replaced by the current lighthouse in 1915.
This was a great short hike and Cody and Camille both did great and enjoyed the rain forest. We stopped at the Tattooed Beaver – serving dam good BBQ, a Canadian twist on southern comfort food. We ordered pulled pork sandwiches and took them to a park for a picnic with the dogs – the sandwiches were wonderful!
We next drove north to the Pacific Rim National Park and hiked the South Beach Trail – a short 1.5 km trail. This beautiful totem was at the beginning of the trail. The bottom is a bear with a salmon, the middle a whale and the top is an eagle.
After hiking the forest fringe past a couple of coves, we get to beautiful South Beach. We walked along the beach looking for shells. The dogs love beaches and were happy to run around smelling all the good beach smells.
When we finished this great hike we drove north to hike the Schooner Cove Trail. The fog has lifted and the sun is shining. This beautiful 2 km trail goes through a mature rainforest and over two streams.
We hiked down a series of stairs and ramps to get to beautiful Schooner Cove. This small arm of land was soon an island as the tide started coming in.
Schooner Cove is the north end of Long Beach – a long stretch of white sand and is a popular surfing beach though the waves were small today and we saw no surfers. We spent some time walking along the beach and found a couple of shells. Again, the dogs enjoyed sniffing and smelling everything on the beach.
Another great hike – even though it was short it was work going up and down all the stairs. Camille and Cody both got tired and slowed down before we got back to the Jeep. We drove into Tofino for some ice cream before our drive back to Port Alberni.
When we got back to the park, we found that the refrigerator had finally died. We had plugged in the small refrigerator before we left, so it was ready for us to transfer food over. Not everything would fit in the smaller refrigerator so we got ice to put in the big refrigerator and will use it like a cooler. We are glad we thought ahead and bought the small refrigerator.
Tuesday morning we called Camping World and ordered the new refrigerator - it will be installed after we get to Tacoma, WA the first week of September.
In the afternoon we went to Stamp Falls Provincial Park where we walked a short distance from the parking lot to these nice falls. Even though there is a fish ladder built to the side of the falls we could see salmon jumping at the base of the falls. Hopefully, they will discover the fish ladder as we don’t think any fish could get past these falls.
At the top of the fish ladder was a pool where we could see several salmon resting in the calm water.
We hiked downstream a short distance and the deep gorge was beautiful.
We next drove to Sproat Lake to the Martin Mars Water Bomber Base. These planes were originally water borne troop carriers in WWII and after the war were converted to water bombers. These forest fire fighters can carry 6,000 gallons of water. This plane is getting restored to its original navy colors and markings and will fly to Florida to be displayed in a museum.
The Hawaii is still active and waiting to be deployed. There was a huge Prevost motor home parked by the dock. The young woman showing us around said the Prevost is where the pilots stay when they are deployed – not roughing it like the ground firefighters.
We have enjoyed our stay in the Port Alberni area despite our refrigerator problems.