Jessie and I on the pier at Tofino just before the skies opened up again and brought winds up to 140kmph. Photo by Al Smith
It’s 7pm on Wednesday, March 02 and I’m on a ferry heading back to Vancouver. The last few days took Jessie and I, and my friend Al Smith, to Tofino. I made a few photographs with my iPhone but mostly the gear stayed in the bags. This last 3 days was a trial run, a chance to take Jessie for a spin, to see if I’d forgotten anything, to tweak my packing, and to make sure things like my camp stove worked (it did) or my roof-top tent leaked (it didn’t). Jessie made the whole trip both ways with grace, and tackled some insane weather to do so. What I most wanted was to come back with some faith in Jessie, whom I’ve had for not even 3 months yet and never yet driven more than 50 kms at a time. I’m coming back to the city I still call home with a wet tent and tarp, and renewed confidence in this truck that’s meant to take me and my gear across this continent.
The weather in Tofino was insane and I got a ton of emails and notes asking if I was OK. Thank you so much for the concern. We fared just fine, and that alone encouraged me – if Jessie and I can endure those winds and rains (and snows and hails and rivers that once were mountain highways) then I’m confident we can make it through anything. It was the perfect trial run. And if you find yourself in Tofino, find a restaurant called SOBO. I had a bowl of salmon chowder that was good enough to move to Tofino for. Amazing. Bought a bag of granola I’m looking forward to digging into tomorrow morning too. One of the pleasures of these journeys is small surprises like a great bag of granola or a can of freshly roasted and ground coffee from a small roaster in the middle of nowhere. It’s in the early mornings waking to the sounds of wilderness, and making my own coffee. It’s in not knowing where I’ll be next and traveling as light as I’ve done in years. It’s in a rare feeling of contentedness and creativity that I’ve missed in living in the city and filling my schedule to bustin’.
Tomorrow I pick up Dave Delnea and we head south. I’m sorry to say we may be skipping Seattle entirely. Initial plans called for us to head south via the Olympic Peninsula but we’re both feeling the desire to get some miles behind us and photograph a few places in Oregon and Northern California a little more deeply than we will be able to if we plan to cover too much ground. Washington will have to wait for another time but if my last few years has taught me anything it’s that my photographs, and my creative process, fare better when they aren’t rushed – when they’re allowed to go a little deeper than wider.
I’m looking forward to getting some images online, but for the first time in ages I’m not allowing myself to feel pressured to create anything. Might just take a breath now and then, take a few days to relax before getting out the cameras.
If you’re in Seattle and were hoping for a meet-up, I’m sorry it didn’t pan out. Dave and I were meant to be on the road three days ago and we had to cut a few things out, Seattle just happened not to make the cut.
It’s going to take me a couple days to get into a rhythm on the road, but this blog will still be the same place you know and love. I promise not to make it a trucking blog, though it’ll certainly have more of a consistent travelogue flavour than it’s had in a while. I’m picking up a Virgin MiFi device and a SIM chip for the iPad so I’m hoping to blog once every 2 or 3 days, show a few photographs and keep you up to speed on my journey – photographic and otherwise.
Next stop the Oregon coast. Any must see spots, places I absolutely need to eat, stay, or photograph?