Vancouver Island

Rover the vagabond dog pokes his head out the window to look at all the other vehicles on the ferry from West Vancouver to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island
On the Ferry to Vancouver Island

I’ve been on a boat before, but I never imagined there was one big enough to float our den-on-wheels! Along with a bunch of other cars, trucks, and even a couple of big semis! Driving inside the big boat was scary, like being in a tunnel. When we stopped, Tom got out of the truck and walked away! I thought he was going to leave me alone for the whole trip! But, he came back a few minutes later and said “We’re in luck, they have a pet area.”  We walked around the boat for a while, then went to sit down with the other doggies.

That’s when all the noise started. The big doors on the boat closed with loud squeals and bangs. Everything echoed through the huge metal halls. And I could feel the engines through my paws, too. It was almost as bad as a thunderstorm! I crawled underneath Tom’s seat and would’ve stayed there the whole trip, except Tom didn’t feel like sitting very much. We got up and walked around the boat again, and I greeted lots of people. That made me feel better.

When we got to the island, it was only a short drive from the boat dock to our campsite. That’s good, because we got to sit and relax for a while. The next morning, we drove north and camped at Telegraph Cove for a few days. Tom went on a boat to see some whales, but they don’t allow doggies on that boat. Phooey!

A float in the Port McNeill Orca Festival Parade depicts an Orca from Port McNeill traveling around the world
Port McNeill Orca Festival

But, I did get to go to the Orca Festival in Port McNeill. It was just a few miles away, and Tom needed to get some food. When we got there, they had all kinds of little tents set up outside. People were wandering around everywhere, and even some other dogs!

Pretty soon, everybody lined up along the street. They were having a parade! I’ve never seen a parade before. I was worried about all the commotion at first, but it was okay. There were even some doggies in the parade! I wanted to go march with them, but Tom wouldn’t let me.

Vancouver Island is a big place. If you’re not near the water, it’s easy to forget you’re on an island. We even went up some big mountains, to Strathcona Provincial Park. It reminded me of Colorado, and it had lots of great hikes. There was a really pretty lake just a short hike from our campsite. We went there almost every day!

Rover the vagabond dog enjoys the sights and smells of Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia
Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia

I think my favorite place was Butchart Gardens. Not many places like that allow dogs, but they even had special drinking fountains for us! There were a lot of people, and we had trouble moving around sometimes. But, there were also lots of little places with benches and chairs, so we could sit down by ourselves. I loved smelling all the flowers, and butterflies were everywhere!

Too soon, it was time for us to ride another boat off the island. I wasn’t so scared this time. Tom found a spot where we could sit outside on top of the boat, and it wasn’t so noisy. When we stopped and drove out, we were back in the United States. Of course, us dogs don’t really care what country we’re in. People love us everywhere!

Rover the vagabond dog frolics in front of a giant elk statue standing on a platform with the words "Strathcona Park". The statue is made from laminated cedar boards harvested from around the area.
Strathcona Park Portal

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