Originally, we planned on doing a short hike in Olympic National Park on our way to the ferry in Port Angeles, but we just didn’t have the time (it may have had something to do with our leisurely breakfast at Pip’s Original). Since none of us had been to this particular National Park before, we still wanted to stop in and see what sights we could. And my, my. Those mountains were breathtaking. We’ll definitely have to make a real visit when we have more than 25 minutes to spare.
After the quick visit to Olympic National Park came the ferry ride and Ironman 70.3 Victoria. After that, Nathaniel returned home to Oregon (thanks for cheering us on and making everything in our triathlon lives so much easier, Nathaniel!), and the rest of us headed a few hours north to Nanoose Bay, on the east coast of Vancouver Island.
We relaxed pretty hard for a couple of days, hot tubbing, eating, watching movies, eating, sleeping, eating, etc. But we also took a little trip to Morningstar Farm, where we did a little wine and cheese tasting, strolling, and sheep cuddling. And here’s what’s awesome about Canada: They just let us wander freely around the farm. We could pet the animals. We could enter a donkey pen. We could eat cheese and cuddle with sheep. It was the best.
After a bit of relaxation, we jumped back into the activity game with a day of paddle boarding. We found the cheapest rental close to us at Sunrise Ridge Resort in Parksville, which was just up the bay from where we were staying. So, here’s something we learned on this trip: When you go north, high tide and low tide mean way more than they do further south. Like, a mile of difference in the amount of beach you’ll see before getting to the water. So when we went to rent paddle boards at noon (low tide), we ended up having to walk about a mile out to the water. With enormous, awkward paddle boards. It was hard. And squishy.
Eric and I were slightly more experienced in the paddle board game (meaning we did it once, 4 years ago), so I gave lessons on what I could remember. We all survived, despite the numerous jellyfish and geese trying to take us down, so I think I can call myself an instructor.
The day after the paddle boarding extravaganza, we went on our backpacking trip to Della Falls in Strathcona Provincial Park. When we returned, we spent some more time hot tubbing, eating, sleeping, movie watching, eating, and hanging out with these goats at the weirdest tourist trap I’ve ever seen.
After seeing virtually no one during our whole trip in Nanoose Bay (Canada, you are glorious), we entered the little town of Coombs, and encountered hundreds of people flocking to see the Goats on the Roof. This is a real thing. There’s a little country market store (not quite as charming as it sounds) with a grass roof, which is where these goats live. And people like us come to see them.
We had to bid Canada farewell all too soon (don’t worry, we stocked up on maple cookies and adorable Canadian mannerisms to bring home with us). Hopefully there will be many Canadian vacations in our future!