The wild and stunning beaches of the west coast of British Columbia are the most special part of Canada to me. On the way to Tofino, from the first sight of Long Beach to walking for hours along the edge of the sea, every moment is pure treasure. The raw splendor of these beaches is spectacularly beautiful, whether it’s a stormy, grey day, a brilliant blue sunshine day or somewhere in between.
As a teen growing up on Vancouver Island, I was extremely fortunate to spend my summers with my parents on their sailboat (admittedly I only realized how lucky I was in my later years!). We would travel to remote areas of the west coast of Vancouver Island, and north towards Haida Gwaii to avoid the busier coves and bays closer to civilization.
Etched in my mind even 40 years later are the experiences of arriving in the anchorages of the various First Nations villages all along the B.C. coastline. These abandoned sites would be overgrown, but the totems, no matter what state of decay, nor how simple or complicated the carvings, would exude a powerfully haunting, yet stately presence. In most cases, there was no trace of paint, the silvery grey of the weathered cedar the only discernible colour, other than moss and lichen accumulating on the totems. The figures painstakingly carved into the totems were beautiful, ravens, eagles, salmon, bear, orca…..