Everyone has a special place, a place where you have memories, where you can find peace and harmony. A place where you know you are just happy being there. For some it’s a quiet place, for others it’s a noisy place. But all of these places have one thing in common; they are places where you think of first when asked “Where is Your Place?”.
1. Who are you and how long have you lived on Vancouver Island?
My name is Brendan Muehlenberg and I was born and raised in Port Alberni, BC… well, Sproat Lake to be more specific. My dad bought 4 lakefront properties back in the late 70’s when lakefront property was the same price as a 2018 Toyota Prius. Growing up in a family with 3 brothers and 1 sister, no TV and an endless natural playground outside our front door made me into the nature enthusiast I am today. I grew up hiking, exploring and camping on the trails and mountains near Sproat Lake and Strathcona Provincial Park. We also had a 28ft Bayliner which we’d take up the Alberni Inlet into Barkley Sound, specifically the Broken Group National Park. We spent the entire time camping, fishing and exploring, which I think has translated into my love for the West Coast which is where I reside today here in Ucluelet, BC. I made the outdoors my best friend at an early age and I thank my parents every day for their decision to raise us in such an epic place (Vancouver Island).
2. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
The three fundamental pillars of my spare time consist of friends, outdoors, and fun. I try to have as much fun as possible in whatever situation arises. At home, whether it’s shooting 7 over on a par 4 or heading down to the local watering hole (Wickaninish Beach) to go surf, you can catch me outside. I love exploring. It’s getting lost on a logging road and finding the most epic waterfalls or camp spots, hiking around by foot, or heading up or down the coast by boat to find surf. Surfing was and is the biggest reason why I decided to live out here. It took ahold of me when I was 17. It’s taken me around Vancouver Island where few people have even stepped foot before.
Plus you get to surf uncrowded waves all to yourself. I would name spots but that defeats the purpose of going out and finding them for yourself. Society has become so groomed now with social media, that finding places or going out ‘exploring’ is way too easy. Out here on the west coast, it’s still very raw and uncut. So many things can go wrong very quickly. I think this deters a lot of people from pushing their boundaries, but hey, sometimes you gotta risk it for the biscuit.
3. Where on Vancouver Island is “Your Place”?
I think my place on Vancouver Island is right here, on the West Coast of Vancouver Island split between Tofino, Ucluelet and Port Alberni. It’s my home and I know it best. There’s just an endless amount of activities you can do at your fingertips right outside. Surfing, fishing, camping, exploring, hiking, golfing; this place has it all. It’s home forever. I bought a house in Ucluelet a few years ago so I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.
Be sure to check out the surf conditions on Vancouver Island on Brendan’s surf cam!