Monday, April 21, 2013
Had a nice sleep in till about 8AM and then started a busy day of sightseeing the coastal area between Fanny Bay and Courtney/Comox. This area is both old and weathered because it was once the heart of a booming lumber industry and coal mining so there are lots of traces of these industries in the countryside and in the layout of the towns. However, now the area is home to a large senior population and immigrants from Alberta (so I'm told) who have sold off their lucrative land rights to oil companies and other speculators and walked away with a ton of money. Why not? These costal towns are wonderfully safe, cozy and picturesque with the sea in front of them and the incredible snow capped majesty of peak upon peak of the BC mainland mountain range. Then behind them rise the stunning Beaufort Range of mountains that are the spiny backbone of the island. The atmosphere is both wildly pristine and modern with all the latest technology available and Comox just to the north is home to the regional hospital as well as the Air Force base.
Hilary and Bruce took me to their first home here on the island in Royston just south of Courtney where they lived and raised the two boys right on the sea shore. With good reason my nephew Stuart declared that he would never leave this kind of natural beauty behind for the big city lights…and pollution, crime and crowding.
Speaking of Stuart one of the highlights of the day was meeting this wonderful giant for the first time in person. We had a lovely lunch together at a local pub near their old house in Royston and, true Canuck hockey fan that he is, he presented me with a Vancouver Canuck #33 hockey jersey (H. Sedin, the captain.) My grandson Anthony and he would have a wonderful time dissing one another's teams and loving it. He also presented me with a Vancouver prof soccer shirt. I am looking forward to spending more time getting to know both Stuart and Grahamme when we are returning to Victoria next Sunday.
Saw lots of the sites and panoramas surrounding Courtney including a distant shot of the glacier that sits high above the Comox Valley. Even better views of the mainland coast and majestic peaks that line the horizon. The Royal Canadian Snow Snowbirds are performing out of the Comox Air Base and are a sure harbinger of spring for the locals. Hope to see their show tomorrow.
Also took a walk on my own down to the beach at low tide. It is all rocks and boulders, no pretty sand beaches stretching for miles. Loved the walk through the pine forest along the shoreline. The air is so pure and scented with heavenly pine perfume. Sleeping comes easily after a long day in the car and walking around this lovely neighborhood.