Happy Feet in British Columbia

Paul Hammalian
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In June 2016, we headed out in our recently purchased Unity, which we named “Happy Feet”, for a month-long trip to the Sunshine Coast & Vancouver Island BC. We went up to BC via the Oregon and Washington Coast and spent our 36th wedding anniversary at Grayland Beach State Park in Washington. This is our preferred style of camping and a memorable park where we shall return.

As we boarded the ferry to begin our adventure to the Sunshine Coast, we could not have been happier thus far with the size and efficiency of our Happy Feet and that we were able to travel with our best canine friend, Tres! We are not fans of eating out so it was awesome to be able to cook gourmet meals in our Unity!

Our first nite on the Sunshine Coast was at Pender Harbor, where we stayed in an RV park that was right on the harbour, a quaint, impeccably kept little village. A family from the Azores Islands shared some of their catch, two salmon which they had smoked! We snacked on that for a few days! We didn’t want to leave this place but knew there were other coastal towns awaiting us. We boarded another ferry to Powell River where we stopped at a market to stock up for our two nite stay at Inland Lake Provincial Park. Our journey to this lake was the most rugged terrain we had traversed in Happy Feet, and HF did great not one issue. We just took it slow:) We parked on the lake and took a 6-mile hike around Inland Lake. This trail was meticulously maintained for hikers, bikes, even the handicapped can wheelchair around this lake. The loon makes their home on an island on the lake and their eerie call fit the surroundings! Thank you Happy Feet for bringing us to a hike we will never forget; thick, green, rainy, misty, sunny, quiet, serene, huge beautiful clouds with century-old carved images along the trail. We did bring bear spray but did not have to use it:)

After two campfire, full moon, comfortable sleeping nights in our MB at this provincial park, we headed to the further most Northern point of Highway 101 in Lund, BC. The southern 101 ends in Chile. We stayed in an RV park that was less than 5 minutes from the beautiful Lund by the Sea. What a magical village. One evening we were walking along the harbour when a woman in kilts came out from a home on the hill above us and belted out Amazing Grace on bagpipes at sunset!

We hiked a short way to the beach where Tres had a swim and watched a large sailboat come into the inlet from quite a distance away. You can take trips here out onto Desolation Sound with sparse human habitation. It is a wild region of long inlets, dense forests and towering peaks where common sights are bald eagles, orcas and otters. You can also explore this marine park for humpbacks, dolphins and sea lions. There were great little shops down by the harbour where I purchased gifts for grandkids. We didn’t even have to worry about the size of the item because Happy Feet can store a lot of goodies. I’m not sure Paul loves this aspect. He’s not the shopper I am! Go to Nancy’s Bakery and get the date bar mmmmmmm good! We spent 2 nights and 2 full days here and did not want to leave but our next ferry ride was awaiting us in Powell River to travel to Ucluelet and Tofino on the Pacific Ocean side of the Vancouver Coast.

After departing the ferry, we camped at Sprout Lake, a huge lake, where a park ranger came by and gave us pins and activity books for the grandkids. I have to bring home lots of goodies for the grandkids because after we purchased Happy Feet, they said, “Where is our bed?” We carefully explained to them that Happy Feet was our little travelling love nest and they did not have a bed in HF:) They were sad but Paul and I had planned it this way and we are having the time of our lives travelling in our Happy Feet! Traveling on to Ucelet we saw the biggest lakes we had ever seen, along with numerous rivers and creeks. We had the best clam chowder ever in Ucelet, hiked to a beach and ventured back to HF for a peaceful nights stay at an RV park on the harbour. There was an aquarium here and lots of great little shops. The route to Tofino took us along the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve where we stopped at several beaches and watched the surfers. Our campsite in Tofino for 2 nights was on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The short walk down to the ocean allowed us to walk forever on the beach loaded with sea glass and never-ending varieties of beautiful seaweed. The oysters in the small town of Tofino were the best I had ever had and there was a great craft fair going on where I purchased art & cards made by local artists. The last part our journey in BC takes us to Victoria. We pass through and stop for a few grocery items in the small quaint town of Lady Smith on the east coast of Vancouver Island. What a treasure of a town, we could live here!

After the quiet serenity of the Sunshine and then Vancouver coast, Victoria was a little bit of hustle bustle but it is a beautiful city with charm, beauty and wonderful restaurants. The tower of oysters here in Victoria was to die for. We board our ferry to Port Angeles and we and Happy Feet head to Olympic National Park.

We camped at Sol Duc and visited the fabulous hot springs, so medicinal, comforting and peaceful. In the rain forests here we saw some of the most awesome waterfalls we have ever experienced. We journey on to Kalaloch Beach, Washington, where we have a campsite on a bluff above the Pacific. We stayed an extra night here soaking in the sunshine, enjoying the rainforest fog and occasional showers before heading inland to the heat.

We got so many thumbs up or comments on Happy Feet this journey. People love HF and boy do we!!!!

Paul Hammalian

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