I’ve never read it. I believe it is a favourite of Old Ma PlaidCamper, and I remember seeing this title on the bookshelves when I was a child, but was never tempted – I thought they’d misspelled wolf. Oh dear… It had a gloomy cover, and Ma told me it was not really about a lighthouse. Now I’m older, and almost ready to read a story that might not be about a lighthouse, maybe I should give it a go? Also, I’m ready to believe Virginia wasn’t a wolf.
In between the rain showers and strong and stormy winds earlier this week, we went for a walk to the lighthouse. Our walks don’t always have a point, other than to enjoy being out, but this one did, Amphitrite Point! Who wouldn’t want to visit a location named for a Greek sea goddess? For once, it was the destination, not the journey, man.
Initially, the lighthouse wasn’t the reason for the walk, but it turned out all the trails and little beaches on the ocean side of Ucluelet were closed due to heavy seas washing onto the shore. Oh no! What to do? There’s a dog needing a walk! So to the lighthouse we went, to take in the view, if not the trail.
Well, we were fortunate. As it sometimes does on a day forecast to have incessant rain, the skies cleared, and sun emerged for over an hour. We could see the clouds amassing to the southwest, and a grey wall was creeping towards us from way out west, but that didn’t arrive until we were ready to depart. It wasn’t really creeping, as we found out when the raindrops hit us later, hard and fast, and we would have been soaked had we stayed any longer.
Did I mention the trail was closed for safety reasons? Don’t tell anyone, but we did head south of the lighthouse, for barely a hundred metres, to a rocky outcrop high above the busy ocean. From there, you can lean out and peek back to the Broken Islands, and across to the lighthouse itself. Again, don’t tell, but there is a bench off a short side path, and it is completely hidden from the main trail and sheltered by trees and shrubs. Facing west, it is a perfect little sun trap, and often warm even on overcast days. There we sat, protected from the buffeting winds, admiring sea birds battling the weather, and watching the waves crashing against the rocks. A bald eagle flew just over our heads. For a few seconds it seemed almost motionless, hanging there, facing into the wind before disappearing behind the trees further south. (Sharp as ever, I pulled out my camera and took a fabulous picture of the trees it flew beyond…)
The colours shifted from blue to grey as the afternoon wore on, and the heavy weather started to be felt. It was a real treat to sit and watch the changes. I tried to zoom in and capture the glints and curl of green inside a wave before it collapsed under its own weight and onto the shore. The constant heave and swell of the water further out was mesmerizing and unpredictable. Just when I thought I’d figured out a wave pattern, the ocean shifted and remade itself, tidal pull and undertow, crashing in and washing out with a roar, the booms and hissing audible above the rush of wind.
It was an exhilarating hour or so, full of natural energy, and sights and sounds to thrill the observer. Drawn to the ocean, my gaze barely went to the lighthouse, but it is quite the sight. Small and stocky, planted firm among the black rocks, it isn’t a grand construction, but it looks purposeful, doing an important job on the point.
We left when we realized that it was more than ocean spray getting our faces wet, and when the sea had no more hints of green or blue, but was as grey as the wall of cloud just offshore. The wind had never died down, and was now beginning to shake the trees with increasing ferocity – time to wander back, picking up the pace, but with one last glance back to the lighthouse. Perhaps I’ll give the book a go, now it is on my mind. Have you read it?
Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!
14 thoughts on “To the lighthouse”
Oh how I enjoyed walking along the coast with you and Mrs. PC and Scout. Great drama in the photos from the stirring storm and the raging ocean. Fun to find a secret bench, too. I just recently read “Mrs. Dalloway” and Athena just finished “To the Lighthouse” which she said wasn’t quite as good as Mrs. D. I’ve started and stopped VW before, but if you can let her do her thing, you’ll find she’s brilliant. I highly recommend Mrs. Dalloway. Thanks so much, PC, for this bracing walk along the sea. You all have a wonderful weekend–
Thanks, Jet! Happy to hear you enjoyed our little hike to the lighthouse. I’ve now added “Mrs. Dalloway” and “To the Lighthouse” to what is becoming a rather long reading list – years of reading material, and I’m useless at being unable to prevent myself adding new recommendations. The only answer is to build a secluded cabin and hide away until the list is dented somewhat. Sadly, the chances of me building a cabin are as likely as me buying that boat down in Ucluelet Harbour I’ve been hankering after.
I hope you’ve had a great weekend!
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This post earned a Bean Pat as blog pick of the day. Check it out at: http://patbean.wordpress.com.
Delighted to have been a pick of the day – thank you!
This post brought back strong and pleasant memories of walks we took on the wild pacific trail just a few years ago and I am certain we have photos of a whale taken from exactly one of your vantage points. Maybe a return this spring is in order? I hope so.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Mike, I hope you get a chance to return to those Pacific trails – spectacular in any season and all weathers! We’ve been scanning and scanning the water this trip, and have yet to spot a whale. Plenty of other wildlife, but no whales for us.
I imagine you’re still not quite at full spring yet, if the weather pattern has been anything like Calgary. Hints of spring, then more snow (snow forecast for tomorrow – then surely, that’s it?!)
Yes we have been having quite the extended winter this year we had a foot of very wet snow last Friday then it just about melted in two days of warm weather and as I write this the temps went from 65 down to 35 in two hours and very large chunks of wet looking slush are falling from the sky right now. The long range forecast does look promising however as summer has never failed to make it at least for a month or two.
Like Scout, I haven’t yet read the book, but maybe I should add V.W. to my growing book list, if for no other reason than the alluring subject matter. Lonely lighthouses in misty coastal lands can spur the imagination, for sure. Thanks for sharing your Pacific stroll, with looming clouds, bald eagle and beautiful waves like messages from a sea-goddess. Idyllic, even in the rain!
Thanks, Walt! We’ve certainly had the full range of PNW spring weather this trip, and it has been exhilarating – can’t say I’m too keen to get back to what looks like more snow in Calgary this coming week, but I guess we get to enjoy spring arriving again…
I hope you’ve been able to get out and enjoy your rivertops!
Fabulous photos and it was fun reading your post while listening to the wind roar here as another winter storm arrives, but I would have preferred the soundtrack of waves crashing against the rocks. I haven’t read the book, but it is waiting a turn on one of my bookshelves. I always love visiting the many lighthouses in our state and thank you for sharing your spectacular walk to the lighthouse. Enjoy your weekend!
Thank you! Like you, the novel is on my “to read” list, but it is a very long list. Hopefully, I’ll be lucid enough into my 90s and beyond, if I’m going to read it all…
Hope you get to see some spring weather in the coming week – maybe even get the kayak onto the water?
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I haven’t read the book but what a beautiful and dramatic walk along the coastline. You sound as much of a rebel as me. If a sign says a path is closed it’s often a case of “what sign?” Lovely post PC and I I enjoyed ambling along with you, buffeting winds and all.
Thanks, Miriam! I’m hoping when I get to it, the book is as dramatic in its own way, as the Pacific coastal paths we’ve been enjoying.
(I barely put a toe on the closed trail…)
Hope your week is going well!
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