Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Return to Gold River (2017)

We visited the pier at Gold River after an absence of 13 years. We were hoping to catch a ride on the Uchuck III  to Nootka Island. Sadly this was a case of poor planning on our part. I was dismayed to see that this beautiful spot is still an industrial site. At least the air quality has improved since my first visit in 1974.
One view from the view
Now the location of Western Forest Products. Judging by the lighting I'm guessing that this operation runs 24 hours a day.

What a view

The landslide was evident in 1974. My wife told me bears would migrate down the scar.

There are risks of course

Noisy but better than the pulp mill of the 1970s

Gold River

Site of the former reserve, now a parking lot for tourists

Former Reserve

Flashback to 1974. How would you like this in your backyard? Personal observation, it STINKS!

Pulp Mill 1974 which did pollute the water

My wife and her folks. We saw Joey on our 2017 trip

Meeting the family in 1974.

Roberts Memorial Provincial Park

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While we were staying in Naniamo I took the opportunity to visit some of the nearby Provincial Parks. One of these was the Roberts Memorial Provincial Park, which features a walk through the forest to the shore.

I was most intrigued by the erosion patterns in the sandstone, reminded me of bones

A view from the shore

I saw a familiar sight on the forest floor on the path when I spotted a patch of Indian Pipes (Monotropa uniflora). These are common in New England and I was happy to see them in the Pacific Northwest.

The  forest

While I was there I saw some picnickers and a family catching crabs

A path among the ferns

A magical place

NIAA Fireworks

The skies were on fire on Saturday at the New Ipswich Athletic Association.  As in years past the fireworks were provided  by Mike DeBlasio. Mike is the owner of DeBlasio Masonry Inc., a masonry firm that deals with difficult and challenging projects. Mike’s company has done many repairs and restorations of  historic building in Boston. He like fireworks and does a great job. His team has been doing these shows for 19 years.

Some big ones being wired for the show

Preparing the show in the afternoon

Lots of preparation required



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Snowshoes for Tofino?

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Low tide at the Tofino Botanical Gardens. I didn't attempt to walk out to the nearby island because I understand  that I might get mired up in this mud.

It looks solid doesn't it?

This is where snowshoes might come in handy

I love this view

And I love this view

Wedding Anniversary at Combers Beach

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I was bit surprised when I visited Combers Beach in Tofino in the early morning and saw a woman in a wedding dress carrying a camera and tripod. Her husband was carrying a large photo and was also dressed for the occasion.

I learned that they were celebrating their second wedding anniversary by taking a self portrait of themselves holding a photograph of their first anniversary which shows them holding a photograph of their wedding.

I've been married 43 years and I think if we tried this the photo would look like a view down a long tunnel. I wish this couple well and since I didn't get any contact information I hope at some point they see this posting through the magic of Google and social media.

The bride dressed in typical beach attire

Finding footing amid the driftwood

Happy Anniversary to these folks

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Google Saves the Day

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I ran out of reading material while traveling to visit family in Vancouver Island and realized I needed something to read on the plane ride back home. I asked Google to show me a bookstore near me was directed to a funky used bookstore in Nanaimo. The proprietor was helpful when I asked for a book for a plane ride. I settled on Lake Wobegan Days by Garrison Keillor which was just what I needed as we sat on the tarmac at O'Hare for an hour.

Mural on wall at the Arbutus Bookstore 

Arbutus bookstore in Nanaimo, BC

Long Beach (Tofino, BC)

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Before I left Vancouver Island I wanted to see the Pacific Ocean. We made the 3 hour drive along the narrow roads through mountain passes to get to Tofino, a very popular tourist destination. Long Beach has miles of beach and is popular with surfers. It was a beautiful day when we visited.

The sand is fine and hard packed. When I visited in the 1970s the beach was a parking lot full of campers. I was pleased  to see that has ended.

Floral display

Miles of sand and water

This couple from Montreal asked me to take a photo with a Polaroid camera. I decided to take a photo of my own with the hope that somehow they will see it

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Stanley Park Totem Poles (1946 and 2017)

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My parents celebrated their honeymoon in Vancouver. Among the photos was this one of my dad in 1946.

Note the Thunderbird House Poles on left and right. They were carved by Charlie James in the 1900s. These poles were used to support the main bole of the longhouse. (January 1946)

In the center is a replica of the original Thunderbird House pole. It was carved in 1987 by Tony Hunt. The original pole is in a Vancouver museum. (July 2017)

Danger Everywhere

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In spite of these warnings, I managed to stay alive.  I do admit to being worried about being hit by a logging truck while in pursuit of a giant fake caterpillar.

MacMillan Provincial Park was used as the setting for several movies. I learned that the movie producers left behind several props including a fake caterpillar. Can you spot it?

I risked my life and limb and the life of my guide Angie WyseSeward for this stupid FAKE caterpillar. There were logging trucks racing by us at 80 KM/HR. It was terrifying.

"I did not want grampa to walk by himself so away I go. Steps away from semi trucks and cars doing at least 80km by us all for a picture. LMAO of a caterpillar that was left in the trees by some movie film. Tourist or what! He even had gravy on his fries" ~ Angie's comment

It is a three hour drive to get away from the coast


I didn't even consider it

This is why

Fire, Fire

Bears, wolves, cougars, poisonous plants and drowning danger

Appear Large

A cougar claw is an impressive thing to see