The Cleanest Line

Backyard Adventures: On Lone Cone

Backyard Adventures: On Lone Cone

Jul 21, 2009 July 21, 2009

IMG_1328 A few weeks ago some of the folks from the California office cruised up to our part of the coast. Glen Morden, one of Patagonia’s product designers, is a transplanted Canadian, so he was piloting the minivan as they rolled across the Island and into town. They showed up on a typical Tofino day—thick cloud, sheets of rain and fun little wind-groomed waves at Cox Bay. Glen and I used to be cursed every time we surfed together, but after a few hours of waves on that first day it seemed that our luck had finally been lifted.

Editor's note: Today's post comes from Malcolm Johnson, editor of SBC Surf Magazine and author of the Patagonia field report "Not a Soul in Sight." For more musings and music recommendations from Malcolm, head over to his blog.

From then on, the rest of the week in Tofino turned out to be pretty grand. The sun came out, the weather warmed up and the Californians caught some lovely slabs of fish with the guys from Jay’s Clayoquot Ventures. There were a few swims in the clear water of the Sound, and we managed to work a trip up Lone Cone into the schedule—one of the two main peaks on Meares Island, it’s a great upward grind that leads through some of the lushest old growth on the coast. It’s a bit of a burn for the legs, but the view you get from the top is always worth the work.

[The folks in the forest on Meares Island. Photo: Jeremy Koreski]

We set off for Lone Cone on a weekday afternoon, piling into boats for the short ride over to the docks at Kakawis. Set into the forest at the foot of the mountain, Kakawis is the former site of the Christie Indian Residential School, one of the many institutions in Canada that separated First Nations children from their families in a century-long attempt to merge them into white culture. It was one of the last of the schools in Canada to close, and the site has now become the home of the IMG_1382 

[Looking back towards Tofino. Photo: Jeremy Koreski]

It’s a good life up here, and it was great fun that week to have some of our friends up from the south. It’s always good to see where you live through the eyes of others, and it’s always good to be reminded of what we have here. The real value of the Sound isn’t in its resources, but rather in what its human and natural communities can show us—the great simple lessons of an ecosystem living in balance with itself. Here’s to taking only what we need and leaving the rest to grow.

Many thanks to Jeremy Koreski and Sarah Davies-Long for the boat, the floathouse and the generous hospitality.

–Malcolm Johnson

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