San Juan Beach Video - Feb. 05/10

While I was on the beach at the Pacheedaht campground looking at big drift wood I took a short video. It is not sharp, but you can see the beauty of the area, and listen to the slap of the waves on the sand. You can also see why the Pacheedaht people are known as the "People of the Sea Foam".

The video starts by looking off toward the town of Port Renfrew, a place that was first established as a logging camp in the early 20th century. As I turn to look up the beach you can see the Red alder fringe bordering the sand with the hemlock/spruce forest rising up behind. Strewn over the beach are the winter's accumulation of drift logs.

The video continues panning to look along the beach toward Harris Cove where the Gordon and San Juan rivers come together before emptying into San Juan Bay. As the camera passes the mouth of Gordon Bay it continues past the trailhead for the West Coast Trail, originally built in 1907 as a life-saving trail for shipwrecked sailors. The video shows where the trail goes up along the coast, and
then continues 77km to Bamfield.

This video was taken at low tide on a calm day. Imagine high tide during a storm in the winter. People who live on the wild west coast of Vancouver Island know the sounds of giant drift logs being smashed over rocky outcrops.

The first commercial logging took place in the San Juan Valley in 1889, and rampant exploitation has continued to this very day. Vast expanses of Western hemlock/Sitka spruce forest have been liquidated and turned into wood products for the world, leaving behind an industrial wasteland. Some notable big trees and small patches of original forest have survived the onslaught and are worth visiting.

I will be visiting some of these places and posting photos and information in the future.

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