Just outside of Tofino, Vancouver Island, B.C. is Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, famous for its rainforest trails and long sandy beaches. This remote location ranks as one of most serene and beautiful hikes ever and was a highlight of our June 2015 Road Trip. The wild rocky coastline on the farthest edge of western Canada is deadly dangerous to passing ships and it remained almost unknown until 1970 when the area was designated a Canadian National Park Reserve.
It is a bright sunny day as we enter this lush emerald rainforest for our hike down to Long Beach. We walk on an artfully constructed wooden boardwalk that descends and climbs, winds and weaves above the fern-covered forest floor. A variety of old trees covered with mosses, lichens and fungi crowd the space and the foliage appears so dense we rarely see bare ground. The air is pungent with heady aromas of evergreen Qi. Several species of trees sway
above us but I am smitten by Sitka Spruce, Picea sitchensis, a straight old giant that lives
about 800 years and towers above its other tree companions. The wood of this large coniferous tree is super-hard and its needles are “spikey” = sitka. We are mesmerized by this enchanted forest as we meander on a pathway dressed in green spanning bridges over streams, climbing up and down stairs, winding around and back again as we gradually descend to sea level.
The way opens through a portal of shaded greens onto a vast expanse of white sand and surf framed by rugged mountains. It is awesome! Long Beach is a 10-mile arc of pristine beach embraced by gently rolling waves of vivd aquamarines. Although remote, Long Beach has become a world-class winter surfing destination on this “wild coast”. Miniature forested islands covered with greenery dot the shoreline.The scenery is breathtaking and divine, filled with Qi. We don’t have all our video gear but never mind, this place is magnificent. I am moved to do qigong, Following the Moon, on this beach.
On the hike back we discover this towering coastal rainforest still has secrets to share. In silent awe we wander, pausing often to admire or photograph the intricacies of this diversity of life. Time stands still in Old Growth forests, everything else is forgotten, there is only the moment, the NOW. Breathe deeply – this is a Qi moment, every cell in energetic harmony with the web of life. Then musical magic – a steady gust of ocean air suddenly blasts through the Sitka’s highest treetops and soon the forest canopy rocks and sways as if dancing in delight, the sweetest harmony sings through rustling leaves, bristling branches and massive tall trunks ever-so-slightly creaking in the wind. It’s a love song of trees, carrying the most beautiful sounds of invisible Qi winds through forest voices in the company of trees.