Nearly a month ago, I took a trip to Vancouver Island with my fiancé, Laura, and two good friends, Ben and Makenna. We drove over 600 miles in four days—each one filled with as much adventure as we could pack into it. It was an unforgettable journey with some truly great travel companions. Along the way, I took plenty of photos and video. Below are some of my favorite moments and the stories associated with them.
Hope you enjoy.
We left Seattle immediately after getting some coffee and food for the road, bound for Vancouver. Once we arrived, we went to Stanley Park—a massive public park located right on the bay which offers views of the mountains behind the city and ships waiting patiently on the water. We explored this area until dusk (which came early that time of year) before moving on to our Airbnb.
Once we arrived at our apartment, which was located near the popular downtown neighborhood, Gastown, we took a moment to relax and unwind before heading out for food and drinks at Earl's Kitchen + Bar. Despite our intentions, we did not stay out too late. We ended up crashing fairly early in our apartment after a long day of travel.
The next morning, we woke up early and fueled ourselves with coffee + doughnuts from the 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters before catching the first ferry to depart from Horseshoe Bay, Bound for Nanaimo, Vancouver Island. It was raining heavily, but that was to be expected, so we took a stroll around the deck of the ship as we passed by Bowen Island. We checked out the on-board "gift shop" where Ben and I each got (yes, matching...) K-Way rain pullovers. After that, we found ourselves a corner where we could catch up on sleep and take advantage of the wifi to plan the route we would take once we made berth.
Upon arriving on the island, we started driving right away toward our destination which was located in Port Renfrew, on the south-western coast. This was the rainiest day we would experience during our four-days of traveling, but we didn't mind as we would be spending a large portion of this day in the car.
About half-way through our drive (1.5hrs), we reached the comparatively large town of Lake Cowichan. Here we were able to get groceries, beer, and a deck of cards. As we left town, we were itching to get out of the car and do some walking around. We decided to check out the nearby Honeymoon Bay on Cowichan Lake. We stumbled upon a beach area called Lily Beach. To get to the waters edge, we walked along a stream which was surrounded by trees with bright green moss hanging low from the weight of the constant moisture. We didn't stay out long because of the rain, and in the dense fog, we could hardly see across the lake.
On our way to Honeymoon Bay, we had driven by a view of the lake that was really too beautiful to pass up. We needed to get a closer look. Initially, we tried to park along the shoulder and walk to a point where we could check it out, but it was really too dangerous because the road was narrow with large logging trucks frequently passing by. We abandoned that plan and decided to ask permission to go down a driveway that seemingly went back into the area we wanted to see. Everyone hears that Canadians are exceptionally nice, so I tried to keep that in mind as I approached the stranger's door. To sum up the conversation that took place, I'll just say the the stereotype holds true. We were allowed to go down the driveway which led to a large campground where the folks in the office told us how to make our way down to the lakeside. The scene was even more beautiful up close. We watched as fog came and went—at times nearly covering the entire wall of forested cliffs that were mirrored against the surface of the water.
We arrived at our rental cabin in Port Renfrew just before dusk. As you might be able to tell from the photos, the rain did not let up, so after unpacking the car, we hunkered down indoors for a while—happy to finally be in a place that we could call home for more than 12 hours.
That evening, we broke out our Canadian whiskey, enjoyed a steak dinner that we grilled under the cover of our deck's awning, played card games with ridiculous drinking rules, and ended up in the hot tub where we recounted the day's events and looked forward to the adventures to come in the days that would follow.
Well look at that, you made it to the end. Personally, I find it a bit strange that anybody would care to look through these photos as I cannot help but feel that posting my personal vacation photos online seems like a wholly self-indulgent endeavor.
That being said, since you did make it to the end, I hope that you were able to find some joy in looking through these images and stories. Please feel free to let me know if there's anything in particular that you liked or if you want to know more about any specific part of the trip.
Photography is a lot of things for me—it's a way to make money, it's an outlet for creativity, but maybe most importantly, it's way for me to capture memories that I would hate to lose to time.
To those that support me, thank you.
To be continued.