The Many Tides of Tofino

Text and photographs by Mary L. Peachin

Nov./Dec. 2010 Vol.15  No. 2

Gorging on salmon, the alpha black bear  had Thornton Creek’s prime fish catching location. Perched on a boulder, she eyed schools of spawning Coho salmon migrating upstream. Patiently, she scanned the ripples. When the tide rose, exhausted fish would be at paw’s length. Feasting to bulk up for winter hibernation would be easier.

Off the tourist beat, the creek side boardwalk surrounding Thornton Creek Hatchery is “Do it yourself” bear viewing. Posted on a barb-wired chain link fence a welcome sign cautioned, “If you encounter a bear on the walk, enter our gate quickly, but do not let the dogs out!”

Fortunately, we did not have any unwelcome encounters.

Continue reading »

Desert Leaf: Baffin Island’s Arctic

Written and photographed by Mary L. Peachin

Ice sustains life in the Arctic. Spongy tundra, sparsely vegetated by dwarf-size flowers, large-flowered wintergreen, fireweed, Arctic poppy and willow, berries, and fungi, covers the mostly barren land. Where sea and land clash, ice pack and flows, and pressure ridges drift with the occasional iceberg. These large freshwater ice formations are thought to have calved from glaciers on Greenland’s ice shelf.

Continue reading »

Heli-Fishing in the Great Bear Rainforest

Text and photos by Mary L. Peachin

September/ October 2010 Vol. 15.  No. 1

Bear Eating SedgeHey, grizzly! Grabbing his bear spray, fly fishing guide Logan Wilkins shouted, “Patricia, start walking slowly down the beach…now!” Resting against a fallen tree trunk at the beach’s edge, river riffles muffled Logan’s words. Pat’s view of the grizzly standing on the log peering at us from its sanctuary in the rainforest was blocked by the immense tree. Oblivious to any danger, Pat instinctively responded by crouching slowly up the beach toward the river. The bear reacted to Logan’s command by retreating into the forest. Continue reading »

Las Rutas de El Salvador

Las Rutas de El Salvador

July/August , 2010   Vol. 14,  No. 10

Text by Mary L. Peachin with photos by Mary L. Peachin and David Lovitt

Turismo Somos Todos Y Es Tarea de Todos, El Salvador tourism is for everyone and a challenge for all.”

El Salvador Nahuizalco man with iguana on head

El Salvador Nahuizalco man with iguana on head

El Salvador, known as the “Country of Eternal Smiles”, is Central America’s smallest, most densely populated republic. Today’s happy faces no longer portray the brutal and terrifying 12-year civil war. Following the long and bloody revolution, which ended in 1992, peace has brought tourism to El Salvador. The country has become a destination where locals now warmly welcome visitors. Travel between El Salvador’s states, known as departments, is considered a short distance or as locals say, “Only forty minutes away.”

While many tourists carry surfboards or fishing rods, the introduction of culturally interesting day trips or “rutas”, which feature handicrafts, volcanoes, Maya archaeology, a colonial city, and a guerrilla outpost museum, are attracting a new genre of tourism. Continue reading »