Aug 19, 2008

THE TIMEKEEPING OF WHELKS AND WHALES


UCLUELET–BAMFIELD – "Did we miss the ferry?" The question bursts out, breathless.

The top-hatted kid grins. "Nah. We can leave whenever you guys want."

Welcome to rural Vancouver Island, where natives mold time like Play-Doh. Infuriating as this trait can be, the Seaway "Express" also stopped the boat so two gray whales could spritz our southern hides.

Six feet away, the aquatic mammals roll onto their sides and peer up: dinner-plate eyes curious. Whaddya y'all doing up there?

"Good omen," I whisper. "Gonna be a great trip."

One of these days I'll learn: Optimism, like punctuality and dry laundry, should be checked at the door of the West Coast Trail...

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