Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wednesday 22nd July 2015…you need refreshments this is long!!!!!

As I thought I had no Internet last night so this is a post of my two day trip to the wild and rugged west coast.  If Vancouver Island is not on your destination bucket list before today it should be after seeing some of these sights…a truly amazing Island!!!

So let’s go bakc to yesterday and I was loaded up and out the door by 8.30am for the  drive which is just over 2 hours.

I passed this ladies dress store on the way and I am still not sure if I approve of their signage!!!

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The drive is on a single lane twisty road with wonderful views and stopping places..

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I pulled into here to see the small river

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The fence here is covered with locks

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I think the significance is lovers locking in their hearts to each other..this is the first one I have seen in Canada…when I was in Spain last year on the Camino they were everywhere from small villages to the big cities!!!!

Love lock

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

 

A love lock or love padlock is a padlock which sweethearts lock to a bridge, fence, gate, or similar public fixture to symbolize their love.[1] Typically the sweethearts' names or initials are inscribed on the padlock, and its key is thrown away to symbolize unbreakable love, Since the 2000s, love locks have proliferated at an increasing number of locations worldwide. They are sometimes treated by municipal authorities as litter or vandalism, and there is some cost to their removal. However, there are authorities that embrace them, and that use them as fundraising projects or tourism attractions.

I stopped at the Visitors information Centre and bought my parks pass getting my senior discount..interesting sign outside….

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A few minutes I was in

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and my accommodation for the night.

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As you know I nearly always stay in airbnb places but could not find one here so I booked this through another lodging site Booking.com and a good job as there were no vacancies anywhere this coast is a huge tourist attraction area.

It was a little expensive at 130 dollars as most places here are but what a lovely cabin but it did need a female companion ….

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I unpacked and then went out on the first of three hikes…

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The first was a loop trail through beautiful forest

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did not see any of these

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The trail then skirted the cliff to with views to remember!!!

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The second hike was a return walk on the cliff top…

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Heather and Kirby’s oldest son Ben, is a top ranked kayak guide and with his girl friend Mia, they are working out here for the summer….it is a huge responsibility he takes families out of 4 day kayak trips…..Heather had sent a care package for me to bring them and luckily enough Ben had just arrived back at the base from one of his trips!!!!

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In the parking lot!!!!

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I arrived back at the cabin around 6 o clock and relaxed and had dinner and then at 9pm went out for another short hike to

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This was a trail down to the beach

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Enjoy these!!!!

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It was lovely came home and had a

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Tea cookies and a movie!!!!!

It is now 9am and I had a great sleep had breakfast and writing this as I do not need Internet…..and then I will continue when I get home tonight!!!!

Ok now 9m and back home in Nanaimo…so let me tell you about today….

Had a really good rest and had breakfast and read a newspaper and then on the road by 10am…

My first hike was here

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This was a short trail to the lonely beach

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This is where I was heading the owner of the cabin told me about it….a very hard trail to follow and I am not sure I was in the right place but I also think the tide was not right because I could not see a blow hole but where this shot below was taken every few minutes I could hear a tremendous roar and thumping of water..

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I then drove about 20 minutes into the provincial park it reminds me that I live in a bi lingual country!!!

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On the internet I had researched this below and wanted to go on the hike but the staff at the  information center refused to give any information saying they did not want hikers going there as the trails are so easy to get lost on but that was a challenge to me…

How a WWII bomber crashed in Tofino — and how its Canadian crew lived to tell about it

  • Photo credit

    Gary van der Leer/Victoria Flying Club

'We were a lucky group'

Plunging 300 metres a minute, 12 Canadian armed forced members struggled to survive a crash months before the end of the war

Tofino and its magnificent Long Beach, a serene playground for surfers, hikers, whale-watchers and nature-lovers, was Canada's front line during the Second World War, buzzing with bombers overhead, ready to bomb any enemy attacks approaching from across the Pacific.

"During that period, there were military posts up and down the beach, and it was covered by barbed wire, ready to repel any invasions from the Japanese," recalled Renee Wissink, manager of resource conservation for the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Decades after that war, one of the military conflicts we pause to remember in honour of the war dead on Remembrance Day Monday at 11 a.m., it's hard to imagine the fear of war on Canadian soil.

But an airfield was hastily constructed at Tofino after the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbour and radar stations cropped up along Vancouver Island's west coast, including at a now-popular tourist stop, Radar Hill.

A reminder of that wartime activity not listed in official tourist guides is buried deep in the woods, accessible only by a tough hour-plus slog through a boggy marsh: the wreckage of a Canso bomber, a Canadian-made flying boat that crashed into the side of a hill in February, 1945, just months before the end of the war.

It had a crew of 12 on board, as well as 3,400 litres of fuel and four 100-kilogram depth charges intended for enemy submarines. All on board survived the crash, but the plane did not. It's been in the bush for the almost 69 years since, salvaged of its valuable parts and covered in graffiti.

"It's still pretty much intact," said Gary van der Leer, chief mechanic for the Victoria Flying Club, who has made the "treacherous" trek through the bush and bog to see the wreckage more than once. "There's not much corrosion on it."

But gone are its propellers and the two bubble or "blister" windows that van der Leer said were most certainly carted off by aviation buffs or those who knew the original parts would fetch thousands of dollars from those restoring wartime bombers.

He said it's sad to see the graffiti, but "you can't stop kids from doing what they do."

None of that detracts from the feeling that washes over him when he catches a glimpse of Canada's military history.

"You get kind of an eerie feeling when you come across it," he said. "You think, how does this plane go from flying to ending up stuck in the side of the hill?" It's a scene, at least for the immediate future, accessible only to those hardy enough to attempt the hike, as Parks Canada decides what, if anything, to do with the plane.

On Feb. 10, 1945, the Canso 11007, with pilot Ron Scholes and 11 crew on board, including one female air force member, took off from Tofino, after repairs to the port engine, to fly the two hours back to Coal Harbour farther north on Vancouver Island. It was dark and late, 23:00 hours.

"Seconds after lifting off and before we had single-engine flying speed or adequate altitude, the port engine lost power," wrote crewman Lance Lake in a document provided by the Victoria Flying Club.

Scholes attempted to return to the airport with the remaining engine on full throttle, but Lake could "vividly remember" the controls showing them dropping 300 metres a minute before the plane hit the trees. Scholes expertly sent the plane into a full stall to slow its crash into the trees, a move co-pilot Lace Knechtel called in his written account "sheer guts" and the reason they weren't killed, considering the half-ton of explosives on board.

"We were a lucky group, with only a few broken bones, some cuts and many bruises," wrote Lake.

But the nose and starboard engine were ripped off in the crash, and Lake found himself standing next to flaming wreckage and watching fuel gushing out of the ruptured tanks.

It was Knechtel who put out the starboard engine fire with an extinguisher, a "heroic action (that) saved all our lives," wrote Lake.

Unable to raise anyone at the Tofino airfield on the hand-cranked radio and reluctant to send up a distress flare for fear of igniting the gas fumes, the airmen fashioned a tent out of parachutes in a nearby clearing to await help.

In the early hours of the next day, they heard a plane starting up at the airfield, and Lake launched a flare from a safe distance.

They then watched in amazement - and fear - as the rescuing plane dropped a parachute flare in response. They would later recount their incredible luck at how it missed hitting anything flammable.

The crew were rescued by a ground team 11 hours after the aircraft crashed and the army later returned to the site to remove the depth charges and detonate them, creating a sixmetre crater that remains as a waterfilled hole today, and to retrieve the electronics and machine guns.

Parks Canada agrees the plane is an important wartime relic that can teach Canadians about the role the West Coast played in defending the country against enemy attacks (although he said the only attack on Canadian soil was the couple of shells fired from a Japanese submarine at Estevan Point, north of Tofino).

It has registered the spot as an archeological site as a formal record of its existence, but you won't find any Parks Canada information on how to find it.

Parks Canada doesn't encourage people to see the wreck for themselves because hikers can - and do - get lost. They also damage the bog and face danger on the walk along the narrow shoulders of the busy highway between Tofino and Ucluelet that hikers need to walk to access the route.

However, Parks Canada has marked the trail with pink flagging, signs and ropes, to try to reduce the number of times (still two to three a year) they get called out to rescue the lost.

And it recognizes interest in the crash site and is "exploring options" on how to provide information about the site for visitors or even interpret the hike by making it accessible, if it ever finds room in its budget, said Wissink. A display on the plane may be added to the Kwisitis Visitor Centre at Wickaninnish Beach.

"We are worried about the integrity of the aircraft and if people learn about its role in Canada's military history, hopefully there will be a greater respect for it," said Wissink.

He said the Canadian Museum of Flight in Langley years ago expressed interest in reclaiming the fuselage to restore the bomber but plans got bogged down because of costs and logistics.

Museum manager Terry Brunner, who once attempted to make it to the site but turned back because of rain, said the museum has no plans to recover the plane, which he said serves as an unofficial cairn to Canada's fallen soldiers.

"I think it's best left where it is," he said.

Van der Leer agreed, saying, "It's the only way to really appreciate what it must have been like for the crew to be stuck out in the middle of nowhere after the crash."

"It's been preserving itself quite well," he said. "I think it's going to be there for a long time."

 

So I found the turn off for the trail and it was straight into thick forest

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someone had gone to a great deal of trouble to mark the trail with ribbons and rope and a good job too otherwise the trail would have been impossible to find….after over an hour I saw the sight way in the bush

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Then the big water filled hole where they exploded one of the bombs…

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These shots I think are amazing…

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Over the years I have had my lunch in some incredible places but to sit here and eat and drink and to let your imagination run wild……how on earth did they all survive…this truly was an experience I shall not forget!!!!

The hike back was hard as well but very enjoyable!!!

I then went into the town of Tofino I like one of the art galleries there

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Roy Vickers is a First Nation artist and I love his work his vibrant broad strokes and usually if you look closely into the work you will see a face or an animal somewhere amongst the subject….

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The above images were taken off the Internet…..

I then drove down to another hike on Schooner cove..this trail was different it was all boardwalk leading down to the beach!!!

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Always love the yellow arrows….

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Big expanse of beaches in both directions!!!

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So that was the end of my hikes and then the long drive home!!!!!!

Had a really nice two days and I think you may agree that this island is not too bad……

Hope you enjoyed the long post!!

Yashi Kochi!!!!

4 comments:

Croft said...

Norma's parents used to live on the beach near Green's Point so we spent a lot of time there. When the area became a National Park her parents were forced to sell their waterfront acreage to the government and moved to a house near Ucluelet. At the same time BC Tel had to vacate their microwave site on Radar Hill and I had the job of dismantling the site so I lived in Tofino for a couple of months back in the early 70's. I think it rained every day I was there.

The last time we were back there was to spread her dad's ashes on his old beach. It is a beautiful area to visit but as you discovered, very expensive! I knew about the downed aircraft but did not know it was still there.

Thanks for the memories!

mexicokid said...

it was very interesting to see the sight and yes an awesome area we are lucky to be so close cheers les

living.boondockingmexico said...

$130 a night! Imagine if you had a Roadtrek! Vancouver Island is a place we want to return to.

mexicokid said...

Roadtrek now there is a thought!!!! les

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