Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tofino - Day 3

Our Mini got broken into yesterday. In hindsight I think I heard it happening from my office but at the time it was likely occurring I thought it was the AT&T service guy being particularly rough with his van which was parked a couple of houses down (doors slamming, cursing, etc.). Because this is an epidemic in our neighborhood, we know never to leave anything of value in our car. Whoever it was rifled through the glove box, stealing Alan's parking quarters, threw our maps around, and generally just cased the joint looking for more to steal but otherwise all was well. They didn't dent the car or break the windows so I guess we can be thankful for that.

As you saw from my last post about the subject, I'm more than over it. How do you combat crime when the police can do nothing and your neighbors are so PC that they're afraid to hurt the thugs' feelings? What do you do to make a difference? Our neighbors have a tendency to propose bake sales and drum circles as the solution. That's great if that's your thing (it's not ours) but what does that really do to curb the crime? So far nothing.

But I digress ...

For the past few years, every time one of our neighbors was mugged, or their house was burgled, or a visitor was harassed, I'd tell Alan that if that ever happened to us we were out of here. But how do you leave when you're $125,000 under water? We can't just walk away. That's our version of the American Dream - living in a house we love in a neighborhood that makes us afraid. Because that's such an ugly reality, I'm going to instead focus on my Canadian Dream and post more pictures of Tofino.

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On Day 3 we took advantage of the national park pass we purchased the day before (good until 4 p.m.) by hitting up another hiking trail. This time we drove down to Pacific Rim National Park and parked at a trailhead near the Esowista housing area where several of the First Nations people reside. This trail is similar to the Rainforest Trail that we hiked last year in that the majority of it is a boardwalk in the rainforest. Unlike the other trail though this one doesn't go in a loop; instead it takes you down to a Schooner Cove, a remote, secluded beach at the beginning of Long Beach. 

One of the things I really wanted to do on this trip was visit the tide pools and see the ocean life that lives there. I'd seen pictures other people had taken of bright green sea anemones, starfish, crabs, etc., but on our last trip we didn't see any of that. We were lucky to arrive at low tide so the tides were wide open for exploration. 

Speaking of low tide, apparently the tide comes back in very quickly here. On the hiking map there was a special note about this cove that said if you walk out to the island (pictured above) make sure you leave plenty of time to walk back because the tide comes in very quickly. While we were there the tide did start to come in, but it wasn't drastic. 

After watching a couple of dogs frolicking on the beach for about thirty minutes we hiked back to our car and drove into Tofino to buy fresh crab from one of the local shops. Last year we stopped at Trilogy Fish Co. because they have a 3 for $30 special. When we walked into the shop there was a young girl behind the counter and she seemed a little nonplussed to have customers. She didn't have the crab ready and told us that we could come back in an hour. Of everyone we met and interacted with for our entire trip, she was the only person that even gave off a hint of crabbiness. (You like what I did there?) I had seen a new shop in town that had a big FISH sign so we drove there. We walked in and were greeted promptly and courteously. The shop proprietor talked to us a bit about the difference between buying live crab or having them kill it and clean it. We chose to let her do the honors given her obvious expertise. 

Back at our hotel before settling in for our crab fest, we walked down to the beach - beer in hand - to walk to the other end of the bay and explore the tide pools over at Crystal Cove. 

Before sunset, we steamed the crab, grabbed a bottle of wine and sat on our porch to eat what has been the most delicious dungeness crab we've ever tasted (and that's saying a lot seeing as how we live in crab country and eat our fair share from Christmas to St. Paddy's Day). These suckers were BIG and because they were so fresh the meat still held a hint of the natural brine from the ocean. And it was so juicy!

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