It comes over you quietly, like sunshine on a cloudy day. Suddenly, you're aware that, whatever you're doing, you have not thought of anything else for some time. You are immersed in this moment. It's what we all seek when we go on vacation, of course escape from the old day-by-day existence, even for a little while. And for those who have discovered the Pacific Rim, it's what makes this area special.
Others will talk about wild Pacific ocean waves lashing a rugged shoreline, about pods of whales surfacing just yards from your boat, or about catching a salmon that took 45 minutes to reel in. They'll say the diving in Barkley Sound is unpopulated and unbelievable, and the West Coast Trail is a scenic marvel. They'll talk about quaint lost-in-time villages that make you think of rain slickers and dories floating on a bed of fog. Or endless beaches of fine, white sand that darken here and there with the shadows of soaring eagles. But you don't have to listen to them.
And you'll be sitting in a canoe, watching black bears forage on the shore, when it happens. Or lounging in a hot tub while the sky turns fierce with a blooming winter storm. Or strolling silently up a moss-soft trail. Suddenly you'll realize that you haven't thought of a single thing but what you're doing in ... well, quite a while.So come to the Pacific Rim. Immerse yourself, and wait for the unexpected. Catch Highway 4 at Parksville/Qualicum Beach, and you'll reach Port Alberni first, then Long Beach, where you can turn north for Tofino, or south for Ucluelet. You can take a ferry at Port Alberni, down the Alberni inlet to Ucluelet and Bamfield. You can reach Bamfield by unpaved road from Port Alberni and from the Cowichan region on the southeast coast. There are flights from Vancouver and Seattle, and boats from Port Renfrew. No matter how you cut it, it's a great trip - and an incredible destination.