The highway cuts across the forested spine of the island and was our route from Nanaimo on the island’s east coast to Tofino on its west coast. Short of using a boat or plane, it is the only route between the two.
The scenic route some 124 miles (208 kilometers) long, twists and turns past spectacular mountain peaks, stunning lakes, many power lines and concrete road barriers; the latter two, every shutter bug’s bane.
Come along as we set out on the Pacific Rim Highway:
We took a break from the highway at Port Alberni a deep port city some 51 miles/82 kilometers from Naniamo. We drove to its Harbour Quay, a delightful mix of tourist accommodations and industrial businesses.
Directional signs pointed towards the Chase and Warren Estate Winery and Emerald Coast Vineyards, but those we tucked away in our ‘future trip’ file.
One place we couldn’t resist was off in the industrial looking area of the Quay – Home of the Cod Father. The clever name got us in and the display case filled with smoked salmon was a feast for the culinary senses. . .teriyaki, lemon and honey, some spicy concoction . . .the selections far too many. We finally chose two types and set off for our destination.
By early afternoon we were approaching the west coast – the sky had turned heavy and gray, the ‘highway’ narrowed and coiled:
But by late afternoon, we’d arrived in Tofino where they obviously didn’t want anyone confused about being at the end of the road:
If You Go:
Thanks to Tourism Vancouver for the excellent map showing the route of the Pacific Rim Highway. (It is also called Highway 4).
The route is a beautiful one, but not for the faint at heart or those who have a fear of being on road trips.
The warnings we had received were on point: the twists and turns make it a slow go. Sadly, we passed two accident scenes – one on our westbound trip, another on our eastbound. One was an upside down car and another was a car smashed into a tree trunk. . . and both, even more sadly, were on straight stretches of the highway!
That’s it for this Travel Photo Thursday so head over to Budget Travelers Sandbox!