After photographing what had to be the most fun-filled wedding of our 2006 season (lawn bowling anyone?), Vince and I drove up island and parked ourselves in Campbell River (Salmon Capital of the World). It’s about 3.5 hours drive from Victoria if you stick to the Inland Highway. We meandered a bit.
We chose a run-down motel on coast of the Discovery Passage. The mattress was acceptable, the room clean, and the view the best – overlooking Quadra Island and in the background the Coastal Mountains on the mainland (and oh, wow, on the mountains – made Vancouver Island’s Mt. Washington look like an anthill)! We actually had an older tree from 30 to 50 ft away from our balcony that bald eagles like to perch on and trust me, there was no lack of an eagle to watch. At one point a Stellar jay made its presence known (if you ever hear one, you’ll never forget its call), great blue herons hunted along the shoreline and an otter made a brief appearance.
We hiked a little in Elk Falls Provincial Park, mostly just to see the falls (pictures to be posted later) and then walked along the shore of Campbell river (the actual river from which the town gets its name) watching the men (no women seen) fishing for salmon. No catches that we saw, but lots of people trying. ‘Tis the season, you know. We also visited the local outdoor shop and watched a regular stream of men coming in for their fishing licences. Explored the Discovery Pier where the fishing trawlers dock and did a bit of shopping at the mall. We considered an adventure tour (torn between just whale watching or trying for a grizzly bear tour), but ultimately elected to wait till next year (Thanksgiving weekend often marks the end of a lot of the tours).
Woke up Monday morning to fog horns. The fog rolled in during the early morning hours and it was great. Haven’t seen fog like this since we left Ontario! Vince escaped for about an hour to try and get some good fog pictures while I tried to sleep some more.
Our trip back home was a little longer so that we could take the Oceanside Route Highway and then skip across a small highway to Coombs, BC (famous for its “Old Country Market” store with “Goats on the Roof” – no joke, goats live on the roof of the building). The goal was really to visit the World Parrot Refuge – http://worldparrotrefuge.org/ - truly a spectacular place to visit. Wendy and Andy have established a true sanctuary for parrots – and if you visit the website you’ll learn more about the sick, injured and traumatized birds they take in. I was fortunate to be given the permission to hold Rudy (ahem, that was given permission BY Rudy) AND get a kiss from her, an African Grey Parrot – Rudy, apparently, is VERY selective about giving kisses!!! I met Joey and a few of the other special needs birds – just loved every single one of them. Wendy and Andy are doing an amazing thing with this sanctuary – I would encourage any support you wish to make to them.
I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!