How many different types of getaways can you think of? There’s bonding with girlfriends at the beach or golfing with your buddies on a trip to Florida. But what about group getaways? No, I don’t mean group tours; instead, I’m thinking about trips where a group comprised of friends and strangers bonds over a common theme. That’s exactly what Alan and I did when we traveled to Ucluelet, B.C., for Black Rock 2013 sponsored by the Vancouver Island Region of Porsche Club of America.
First of all, how did we find out about the Black Rock 2013? Alan enjoys browsing websites of PCA clubs for events that are even remotely close to our Montana headquarters. We’ve discovered it’s a fun way to see areas that are new to us while meeting fellow car enthusiasts. Remember last year’s road trip on the Selkirk Loop in British Columbia with Inland Northwest PCA club out of Spokane, Washington? So, when Alan contacted Carolyn Hoare, one of the Black Rock 2013 organizers, about our participation in Black Rock 2013, Carolyn said, “come on over,” and a road trip to Vancouver Island was born.
After a drive across southern British Columbia and a few days enjoying Nanaimo—with the lovely Inn the Estuary as our headquarters—we met Carolyn and her husband at a PetroCanada gas station just outside of Nanaimo for the drive to Ucluelet on Vancouver Island’s West Coast. A couple of other Porsche drivers joined us along the way. After getting to know each other over breakfast at Pescadores Bistro in Port Alberni, the beautiful part of the drive along Highway 4 began.
If it’s a sunny day on Highway 4, stop to take photos. The weather on Vancouver Island is changeable. The drive back could be in rain and mist (it happened to us).
At Black Rock Oceanfront Resort in Ucluelet, we joined 140 participants and 75 Porsches from Canada and the U.S. for a weekend of bonding over cars. All Black Rock 2013 events were optional, but attendees had their choice of safety school, road rally on a dedicated course plus a show and shine on Saturday morning, not to mention exploring the wild Pacific coast in Ucluelet.
But Black Rock 2013 is more than just a fun event where car enthusiasts bond over sports cars. Over the weekend, participants donated $5,200 to the Ucluelet Volunteer Fire Brigade at Friday night’s salmon bake on the beach and also Saturday’s pancake breakfast. During the Saturday evening banquet, RMCP Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock received $10,200 from auction proceeds proving that participants know how to do good and have fun at the same time.
When Alan and I said goodbye on Sunday morning, we left new-found friends with the promise to see them again at Black Rock 2014.
It doesn’t require Porsche ownership to bond with a group. If you have a hobby or interest, I guarantee that there’s a group dedicated to promoting it. Conduct a Google search and you’ll see what I mean.
Read the rest of our Road Trip to Vancouver Island articles to create your own itinerary to this lovely part of the world.
Do you have a favorite group travel experience? We hope you’ll share it with us in the comments section. So far, we’ve enjoyed photography workshops and sports car club events but we’re happy to add to the list.
This article is part of the ‘Group Getaways: Memorable Travels with Family and Friends’ travel blog round-up. Visit More Time to Travel for more stories on fun group getaways. You just might discover a new way to travel.
A boomer travel and lifestyle authority who is exploring the world one activity at a time. Besides writing and publishing My Itchy Travel Feet, she also writes about boomer travel for My Well-Being Powered by Humana, Make It Missoula and is the author of New Mexico Backroads Weekend Adventure.