vancouver island :: down island to campbell river.

part III :: the salmon capital of the world.

driftwood carving — campbell river, vancouver island, BC.

campbell river is the self-proclaimed salmon capital of the world, so it only seemed appropriate to eat as much salmon as possible (both times) i was in town. my first visit to campbell river was at the very start of my canadian adventure — it was the first place we stayed on the island, having arrived by ferry from vancouver and by bus from nanaimo. the discovery of dick’s fish & chips, the perfect local dive with unbelievably good food, was defintiely a highlight of the trip! nothing like finding your new favorite restaurant thousands of miles away from home! the salmon run like mad through the glacial waters of the campbell river in the late summer, and they were just starting while we were there. we decided to undertake campbell river’s most talked about, yet most illusive adventure, and snorkel with the spawning salmon.

truth be told, im not much for snorkeling — i tend to freak out with all the gear and things affixed to the face — but im always up for an adventure and plunging myself into the freezing, fast moving water of the campbell river to observe salmon sounded awesome. fully decked out in wetsuits, lifejackets, gloves and booties, we rafted down river and plunged into the swift currents, floating alongside dozens of salmon! schools of 50+ swam under, around and through us, and we maneuvered around rocks and debris, each time making our way back to the raft to warm up in the sunshine. the shore was active with fly fisherman casting their lines, kids tubing and swimming, and people sunbathing along the edge. the forest rose from the water, snow-capped mountains lay in the distance, and floatplanes soared overhead in the bluest sky i’ve ever seen.

just north of campbell river, the logging industry is active in kelsey bay — and i found it disconcerting to see the juxtaposition of flourishing forests on shore and the stripped logs floating in the bay. even more surprising was how eerie it felt to drive along the logging roads through the tree farms that felt like the forests graveyards. my first experience on a dusty, gravel logging road was a detour from sayward to campbell river — a map sketched out on a piece of cardboard by a young guy working at the gas station that helped us avoid a huge accident involving an elk and a fuel truck on the only highway on the coast. it wouldnt be until bamfield road that we’d encounter actual logging trucks blazing past us, but even without their company danger feels imminent when youre driving into a blinding dust storm on a narrow, winding gravel road!


kelsey bay.

logging road detour!

the campbell river.


love me some local beer!


* * * * *

vancouver island, 2010:

part I :: vancouver island :: telegraph cove.

part II :: vancouver island :: knight inlet.

part III :: vancouver island :: down island to campbell river.

part IV :: vancouver island :: qualicum beach to cathedral grove.

part V :: vancouver island :: tofino + ucluelet.

part VI :: vancouver island :: bamfield.

* * * * *


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