Weekend With is an ongoing Instagram series that features people we like photographing places we’d like to be. Follow @thecut on Instagram to join in, and tag your photos with #weekendwith when you travel somewhere new.
Taylor Roades is a photographer who splits her time between Vancouver and Vancouver Island, the 290-mile long island full of beaches and creative communities that sits alongside mainland British Columbia in the Pacific Ocean. Her photography focuses on science, natural history, and conservation, which makes the island — which is full of history and wildlife — a perfect subject for her. “It’s home to some of the last old-growth forest on the planet, and though the population here has grown to about 750,000, it is still very wild,” she tells the Cut. Scroll down for her photos of the island.
“I’ve lived on Vancouver Island on and off for the last five years, and there is nothing that gets my heart racing like a road trip down Highway 4 to Tofino/Ucluelet in the early winter. It’s a four-hour trip that starts at the largest city and ends at the Pacific Ocean.”
“In 1941 after Pearl Harbor, an airbase was established in Tofino. At the end of the second World War, Royal Canadian Air Force Canso 11007 crashed shortly after takeoff in the thick of the rain forest. The plane was never recovered (the bush was too thick) but all 12 passengers survived. Now, visitors can take a short but extremely muddy hike off the highway to see the wreckage.”
“Tofino is home now to one of the only surfing communities in Canada. Wetsuits are mandatory because even though snow at sea level on the island is rare, temperatures are just above freezing.”
“Orca whales have found a home here, though populations are declining. Humans are having the greatest impact on their habitat.”
“Vancouver Island is the warmest place in Canada. In the winter it rains but rarely snows, and for me there is nothing that I love more than a bit of a soggy walk down to the beach.”
“The island is home to more than 1,000 recorded caves. Some of Canada’s longest and deepest cave systems are found on Northern Vancouver Island, because it is covered with karst rock.”
“I always think about a John Steinbeck quote when I think about how much I love the island. (He’s talking about Montana but the sentiment is the same.) ‘For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with this place it is love. And it’s difficult to analyze love when you are in it.’”
“The Puntledge river is my favorite place to search for fossils. These I just found off the side of the road, but I know that Mike Trask and his daughter Heather discovered the long necked Elasmosaurus under 12 feet of solid shale within miles of these.”
“Sea lions off the coast sunbathing.”