We awoke early on the sixth day of our trip, knowing we had 300 kilometers to cover from Tofino to Victoria with a few stops in between.
From Tofino to Victoria
We woke before dawn, made breakfast, tore down camp, and had the Town & Country all packed up by 8:30am. We drove the 40 kilometers to Ucluelet, putting us in town well before 10am when shops opened.
We killed time walking around the harbor, taking photos, and listening to the sea lions. When shops did open, we spent most of our time in Huu-Mees Ma-as Cedar House Gallery, a Nuu-Chah-Nulth art gallery located near the Whiskey Landing Lodge.
We knew we had miles to go so we left Ucluelet around 11am and drove to Port Alberni where we grocery shopped one more time.
Coombs and Duncan
We stopped briefly in Coombs as we drove through, to see the famous goats on shop roofs. But they were back in their pens (and on their pens’ roofs) instead.
We stopped for a late lunch at a roadside rest area south of Nanaimo. Everyone was pretty sick of the car at this point, but we pushed on. We got back on the road to Victoria, stopping in Duncan briefly to see the totems.
Goldstream Provincial Park
We continued on to Victoria, stopping in Goldstream Provincial Park to camp around 6pm. It was getting dark and the front gatehouse was already closed. We could find any envelopes to drop our payment into so we drove into the campground and hoped a ranger would find us (we were mostly a group of rule followers). 300 year old Douglas firs surrounded us trapping some of the mist that appeared at dusk and lending a mystical feeling to the campground. As we were preparing dinner of leftovers, the park ranger stopped by to collect payment and chat. We were one of three parties in the whole park as we neared the end of the season. With nearly the whole place to ourselves we noted that the bathroom facilities were immaculate, with a large sink outside to wash dishes.
John, the park ranger at Goldstream, was an amazing resource. He gave us all sorts of suggestions of things to do and see in Victoria, including seeing the salmon run in the day use portion of the park, climbing Mt. Douglas, and spending a day at the BC Royal Museum. We were excited to get out the next day and explore Victoria based on his suggestions.
Side note: We relied a lot on our phones for maps and to decide on places to stay, particularly on this day. We were lucky we had service.