Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Vancouver Island in a day

"Serious Coffee". Hey, somebody get this chain franchised south of the 49th Parallel, and it may actually force Starbucks to start serving coffee ... serious muffins, too, I had to ask for a box.

Nanaimo's busy harbor hardly seemed interesting as a kayaking place. Given advice, I turned the Ion north at 1:50 pm for a four hour drive to Telegraph Cove and Port McNeil.  On a whim, I took the Oceanside Route to go local, get away from the four lane concrete rivers for a while ... sundown isn't until, what, 9 pm or so.

Discoveries on the back roads --

All the roads I traveled on were in excellent condition. Pretty impressive, given climate and heavy truck use by the lumber industry, eh?

In Courtney, A&W Canada is offering a 20 oz. cane sugar root beer with sweet potato fries! Could it be the same in the USA? I haven't been to one in years, but this root beer tastes like I'm ten years old again.

A sign in Parksville advertised the "Brigadoon golf course". Okay, both Scottish heritage, but does the course only appear when the PGA tour is in town? Slightly different connotation of walking through the heather, also.

Along both the Trans Canada Highway and the local roads -- small blue roadside info signs about ten cm square marking Artisan shops, with a white tag underneath for the kind of art -- pottery, quilting, metalwork, dance, and so forth. Slightly larger ones mark the B&B's ... and the wineries get much larger boards, brown and white. Flashy USA style billboards are rare outside the cities.

Cyclists coexist with 90 kph (55 mph) traffic along narrow margins. I wouldn't, but it works for them.

Hitchhikers also, mostly solo. No safe way I could see to stop and pick them up, even if I had room.

Stark and strangely shaped peaks, deep valleys ... Telegraph Cove looked much better as a kayaking venue. All closed up by the time I arrived, unfortunately.

After a Thai chili wrap at Gus's Grill, I refueled and headed back at 7:35, adding another four hours to a long and enjoyable day, wishing I had more time and marking off the things I wanted to see next time.

Seaplane takeoff Nanaimo harbor

Does anybody know what time it is?

Port MacNeil

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