Summer 2021 - mid-Vancouver Island
As our summer draws to a close, I thought it would be appropriate to document some of our activities during this "Covid" summer.
Before we left Comox, we walked our favourite walk along the beachfront to Point Holmes. This gravel walk is great for Jen. While she cannot use her wheelchair, there are many benches to rest on. On a good day, it's out to Point Holmes and back – just over 2 km round trip.
The morning of May 1, we broke camp at Cape Lazo and took a leisurely 54-mile drive to Whiskey Creek campground – just off Hwy 4 on the way to Port Alberni.
On the way we stopped at our favourite coffee spot in Union Bay and enjoyed our morning coffee.
As intense as the fire was (notice the trees), some of the patio umbrellas survived.
Mother Nature is truly amazing.
During a drive to our post office box in Courtenay, I noticed this addition to the rear of an SUV while waiting for a traffic light. I thought it was pretty cool. I would have loved to have seen it in action. Couldn't help but make you smile.
Summer 2021 here in mid-Vancouver Island was spectacular. Warm, sometimes hot, sunny days with very little rain.
Unlike last summer, we had very little smoke from the mainland forest fires.
Many afternoons, we would stop at the waterfront somewhere in and around Qualicum Beach. We'd spend a delightful hour or more reading our books and admiring the views.
On my morning bike rides, I'd pedal around this small new development on the way to Hwy 4. While the mountain views are spectacular, I would not want to face the arduous task, nor the cost, of landscaping all this bare land. Reminds me of our place in Nanoose three decades ago.
In May we drove the short distance to Little Qualicum Falls provincial park. We've been here many times, and it is always a treat to watch the river pour through the gorge and over the falls.
Somewhat sad to say we were there for the summer. Yes, we had thought about travelling as we did last summer, but Covid was/is still a world-wide concern. With Jen's compromised immune system and our ages (we are still teenagers!), and even though we are fully vaccinated, we decided that staying put was a best option for us.
So interspersed with "normal" activities like grocery shopping,
laundry, paying the bills, and shipping book orders, we did manage
to do some interesting things.
We love the spring, especially when the rhodies start to bloom.
Here is our site (#1) at Whiskey Creek.
During our frequent walks on the boardwalk in Parksville, all sorts of creatures (and things) were seen flying in the skies overhead.
Also a First Nations sculpture.
At the waterfront park is this statue of a former mayor.
We drove into Nanaimo a couple of times during the summer. I wrote about this sculpture earlier, but I think it is worth a re-visit.
Not only was it a gas station, but it also was a convenience store. I'd pick up milk
when I went for my bike ride – the Coop was my turnaround point. But the really
sad thing was that the Coop had an ice cream bar to die for. Everyone knew to stop
there for an ice cream on a hot summer day.
As I write this the land has been entirely cleaned up and levelled. It will be
interesting to see what the new Coop building will look like if they decide to rebuild.
One day during a visit to Parksville, Jen found a new skirt.
On a trip to Woodgrove Mall in Nanaimo, we happened upon this metal art display.
Some really nice metal work. Obviously cut out on a CNC machine, but the true art
is in the "finishing".
One afternoon in June, I was sitting outside the rig when I heard a siren, then another, then they became almost constant. They sounded so close but being in the trees such as we are, I did not see anything (like smoke, etc.). As it turned out the Coop gas station just a short distance from us on Hwy 4 was on fire.
Apparently, the owner of an older camper van was filling his tank when a bystander noticed gas pooling on the ground. Very quickly, the gas caught fire and the camper van, two other vehicles, and the gas station burned to the ground. I took these pictures the next morning.
For a day or two in mid-August, we had a little smoke blow in from the mainland forest fires.
Some areas of the Parksville Community Park, where we frequently stroll the boardwalk, could be anywhere in the world.
Just prior to the Labour Day long weekend, our girlfriend Donna came to visit. One day we drove to Port Alberni (to pick up my new collapsible ladder for the rig) and show Donna around. Down at the wharf on a beautiful day, it's hard not to think you are in God's country.
Seen in a store front. Too true!
From our "local" blackberry patch, just around the corner from the campground, I couldn't resist sharing "Blackberries with Lemon Curd". Here's a link to Jen's recipe for Lemon Curd.
For quite a while now, Jen has been using her lite-weight travel chair to go for walks, etc. "Junior" works fine but does not have the capabilities of her big chair.
It was time to get her chair out of storage and install a couple of new batteries and a battery cut-off switch. I should have done this years ago, but like everything, sometimes it takes time to determine what was draining the batteries. Not so obvious when were in the house and the chair was plugged in each night. But since we've been travelling, it has not always been easy, or convenient, to charge the chair each night.
Anyway, suffice it to say, the cut-off switch eliminated the battery-draining problem.
As Jen has her big chair back in service, she is using it more often so we outfitted it with a few accessories: A place to store items including water bottles (hanging off the left armrest, a coffee cup holder (off the right armrest) and a tablet holder. Here's the happy lady herself.
We are looking forward to returning to the Comox Valley in a few weeks.
If we do anything exciting over the winter, I will write about it.
Until then, stay healthy and safe.
In summary, summer 2021 has not been nearly as exciting as travelling beautiful British Columbia, but it has still been nice to visit our local communities and enjoy the company of good friends and neighbours.
Just in case you haven't found a map, here's the general area:
We walked around the wharf shopping area.