Our time in Tofino was a blur. It rained one day and was sunny and perfect the next. We bounced from the beach to the campsite to town and back again.
The Rip Curl Pro had everyone in a surf frenzy. The water was 52 degrees and the air was possibly colder, but the whole town came out. Dogs and kids and strange kite-powered vehicles raced around the beach in dizzy circles.
The waves were tiny. It didn’t matter, everybody was doing the contest anyways. Someone was going to win.
Some friends caught fresh salmon, halibut and prawns. We fired up a barbecue and paired the fish with grilled asparagus spears over rice. Together, we watched the sun set on the beautiful sound, snow-capped mountains peeking above the distant pink clouds.
Bald eagles soared in a purple sky. We stood on the edge of the water and it was a perfect mirror of the clouds above. The sunset felt infinite.
On a hike to the beach we followed a trail through the redwood forest. Ferns towered over us and we fell under a strange and wonderful spell. We crossed a wooden bridge and balanced precariously on a redwood tree, high above the canyon floor. The beach at the end of the trail was perfect for exploring. We raced off in every direction, climbing rocky islands in search of the unusual and paddling out to catch the tiny waves we found there.
That night we gathered around a crackling bonfire beneath a sparkling sky. The beach and the crashing surf glowed in the darkness. A wild-haired man was tending the fire in a pyromaniacal frenzy, flipping huge logs to stoke the blaze. We watched in awe and then threw fruit loops at our new friends, snapping photos of each other waving sparklers and laughing into the camera.
We didn’t want the night to end. In the morning, we would say goodbye, some of us leaving to catch ferries and flights back to the real world while Annie would continue the journey with Lady Liberty, heading into the sunrise towards Portland, Maine.
But in that one perfect moment, just before dawn lit the sky, time stood still and the bus and the bonfire and the people there were visible in other universes, a brilliant streak lighting up the night sky like a shooting star.