There is a special place on Vancouver Island called Bamfield. To get there, you need to take a 4 hour journey from Victoria down a dusty, pothole-filled logging road. It's easy to get lost or pop a tire along the way. You lose cell reception pretty quickly and you have to keep a good eye out for trucks hauling massive trees... The trip is definitely a challenge and maybe that's part of what makes it so special. You have to earn the right to visit such a beautiful place.
This was the second year of Bamfield Burns, held on the Anacla Reserve at the Pachena Bay Campground. I was a part of last years Burn and had a magical experience. This year was a little different, but just as magical! The amount of people who showed up early to help set up was amazing. Not only did we have a killer stage and sound set-up, but the lights and decor was awesome at the stage as well. Everyone brought something different to the table and it was really evident once the whole place came together on Friday afternoon. If you wanted to chill, you could hang in one of the many hammocks or the giant nets that were strung from the trees! There was a shrine for our lost friend Donald (not just any skull on a stick, he was a true friend on the dancefloor) as well as crystals and candles and cards to give you guidance if you needed it. The campground was turned into a life-sized playground.
Not only was the set-up fantastic, but so were the people who attended. Everyone was generous, helpful and kind to each other. Whether people were sharing their music, their art, their poi-making workshops or their whiskey, we truely were a community for 2 days. The weather shared with us a final reminder of just how good the summer was on the west coast by giving us 2 beautiful days of sunshine which was preceded by enough rain to lift the fire bans on the island just in time for the party... is that perfect timing or what?
I came away from the Burn with so much more than when I arrived. I left with new friends from near and far, stronger relationships with old friends, a shiny new west coast inspired tattoo and a million photos to go through. So here is my gift, to you all, finally.