The Juan de Fuca Provincial Park feels like the edge of the world. It's not all that isolated from civilization, and is definitely not the most remote place I've ever been. However, the way you get there, and where you come from, makes it feel like you are ceding control back to the powers of nature. As you drive up Vancouver Island from Victoria, British Columbia, the road quickly narrows, and becomes known simply as "West Coast Road". It seems as though its sole purpose for existence is for transporting timber back to humanity. And then, when you near Port Renfrew, it simply turns inland. If you want to go any further north along the coast, you need to find alternate means of transportation, such as boat or plane. It feels as if this is the point where the humanity decided "OK, this is enough, we don't need to go any further." This feeling only adds to the beauty of Botanical Beach (which is located near where the road turns inland). It is the reward at the end of the journey. The beach is replete with tide pools that house normally-hidden treasures of the ocean, as if in convenient display cases. The forest, not to be outdone, seems to have saved its most beautiful trees for the coastline. The result is one of the most stunning combinations of land and sea that I've ever visited.
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February 1st, 2013
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