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Super, Neighbours in British Columbia: Storm Watching and Fishing in Tofino 1 of 4 - Getting There

Welcome to the latest series of Super, Neighbours blog posts where we highlight incredible travel destinations in British Columbia! For my most recent adventure I was invited back to stay at the absolutely wonderful Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino which I

For my most recent adventure I was invited back to stay at the absolutely wonderful Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino which I brought you to a little over a year ago (HERE are the 6 posts on that trip). My previous trip was taken a little too early in the season to get a good storm watching experience in so I was excited to be able to visit again and witness some real storm action as well as check out the renovations they've done to the Pointe building there.

I might have mentioned it before but in the past I thought that "storm watching" was some sort of elaborate hoax that was cooked up by the tourism industry and meant to trick people into visiting Tofino during the slow months. It only took one trip there to reverse this thinking, and now after a few years of visiting this great Vancouver Island town I've come to view storm watching season as my absolute favourite time to visit.

Welcome to the latest series of Super, Neighbours blog posts where we highlight incredible travel destinations in British Columbia!

Totally unpredictable weather during this season means you could wake up to a beautiful sunrise in the morning followed by torrential rain in the afternoon and head high waves that you can watch crash down from the comfort of your room or near the rocks that they dramatically break upon. It. Is. Awesome.

And the fishing part of this series? I promise it will be the next level beyond what you're expecting. Blake from Cleanline Sportfishing took me on an adventure I will never forget.

But I'm putting the cart before the horse here because first I need to take you on the great journey that is the Getting There post! BC Ferries was kind enough to get me and my car onto a ferry so that I could experience what is arguably better than flying, and that is the journey from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo by ferry and then a drive across the entire width of Vancouver Island through some incredible scenery. It starts with marine views like this one below, shot from the ferry.

ferry ride to tofino

Once you get into Nanaimo you head North, through Coombs (or "Goats On A Roof Country" as I call it, which I'll bring you to in a future series) and some other small towns. Not too far into the 3 hour drive you'll start seeing signs for Cathedral Grove, which is an incredible piece of rain forest that you can admire on the way through or get out of your car for a quick stretching of your legs. Below is pictured one of the trails that's a quick ten minute loop with a bathroom at the end, or the beginning, depending on how you look at the "loop"... or depending on how bad you've got to go.

cathedral grove trail

I went by myself on this trip so I don't have a 3-year-old child to illustrate the size of these trees like I normally do, bust rest assured they are hundreds of years old and massive. So massive and old that they're often falling during a windstorm, so be careful!

About midway you start to climb to a higher elevation, and you would be advised to have snow tires installed if the weather calls for it. The road also takes many twists and turns throughout almost the entire trip. SO much, in fact, that when I'm the passenger I stock up on ginger candies because I get carsick.

Look really closely at the bottom left and you'll see something I saw for the first time on this trip: Roosevelt Elk! Though they were introduced to Alaska in the 1920's the Roosevelt Elk are almost entirely exclusive to rain forests in the Pacific Northwest, and they aren't a common sight, so keep your eyes peeled.

Something I always see when I drive to Tofino is this tiny lake that's at about the 3/4 mark. A little known fact about me is that I keep a spincasting setup in the trunk of my car at all times just in case I come across a body of freshwater to throw a line into.

While this little trout that I caught and released was fun it is NOT the fishing I'm talking about in the title of this post. It is not the mind-blowing, absolutely mind-numbingly fantastic experience that I had with Cleanline Sportfishing. We'll get to that in a later post.

And a few hours later we're in Tofino! Contrary to what your instincts might lead you to believe, an Extreme wave hazard is a good thing in these parts during this season.

All told, I put 460 kilometres on my car from Mount Pleasant to Tofino and back with a little bit of sidetracking. The photos of the nature above are just a sampling of one of the easiest drives on the eyes there are. You don't even have to get out of the car to enjoy it the way I did, you can simply take it in as you drive.

Stay tuned for Part 2 when I show you around a newly-renovated room at the Wickaninnish Inn!

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