Sunday, May 20, 2012

BACK ON VANCOUVER ISLAND FOR THE SUMMER


When we last reported in, we were in Hope.  Well I’m happy to report that our trip the rest of the way was uneventful and Aileen is very pleased with herself for bringing the pickup all the way.  We are parked at brother Charlie’s for a couple weeks before we move on again.
The next day, Thursday, I was up early and drove down to Duncan to go up Mt Prevost where I hoped to get some decent photos of the Cowichan Valley and Duncan.  It was a nice sunny morning but the terrible haze in the valley destroyed any hope of getting any good shots.  The wind was blowing to the north so the Crofton pulp mill wasn’t to blame.  Perhaps it was Victoria smog blowing in?  I decided I would spend the day in the area and come back for the evening light. I drove up to Lake Cowichan, Honeymoon Bay and Youbou and got the dogwood and stream images along the way.  Later, I went to Subway for a six inch sub for my supper and took it up Mt Prevost.
I went back up the mountain even though the sky was beginning to look ominous.  I expected it would be like the day before where it clouded over in the afternoon then cleared at supper.  I ate my sub at the cairn mostly huddled under a tree as it commenced to rain.  I gave it over an hour before giving up.  The sky just kept getting darker and darker from southwest to northwest.  I used the wipers most of the way down the mountain and had them nearly on full went I got onto the highway from Herd Road.  I finally drove out from under the cloud at Ladysmith where it was very sunny and it had been sunny all the time from there to home.   I don’t know if I can fit another try in or not in the next ten days as I understand the road is closed from June 1st until late fall.  The weather forecast is not great for the next several days.  The mountain is a municipal forest preserve and they are paranoid about fire.
Aileen managed to get the stiches removed from her nose surgery at the Parksville walk in clinic late Thursday.  The doctor was very impressed when she heard it was our doctor who did the sutures as she thought it must have been a plastic surgeon to have done such a nice job.
On Friday, I got my ATV out of it’s hidey hole shed here at Charlie’s and was impressed to have it start right up.  It has been sitting there since last August.  Now to find somewhere to ride it.  It seems that all the logging roads that give access to the local mountains are gated. Unfortunately, most of the timber lands in this area are private rather than government owned so they can get away with blocking access.  In the areas where there is an ATV club, it appears they have worked out joint use agreements that allow the club to borrow a key for the day so members can ride the miles of wilderness roads.  However, there is no club here.
Aileen and I went to the Coombs Country Opera on Friday evening and enjoyed some great music and singing.  It is sort of like a coffee house where the performers get free admission and the audience pays $5 each.  It was a pretty good deal as the music went on til 10:20 after starting at 7 pm.  The musicians were local and from neighbouring communities up to an hour’s drive away.   This was the last one of the season and they hope to see it come back in September but only if they can find a new MC and some assistance for the sound man.  It has been going for 35 years.  It has been well supported over the years by the Coombs Old Time Fiddlers group but they are losing members at a fast rate.  The lady who plays piano with the fiddlers is just about to turn 95 and has been playing piano for 91 years!   Her husband, on a fiddle, is 93 and every time he missed a note, she sent him a dirty look.  I think the youngest fiddler on the stage was 83 and she just got remarried recently.     
We were off to Duncan this morning so Aileen could go to the church she likes to attend when she can.  After lunch, we went to Crofton and visited Jean, sister of Carole, whose celebration of life we attended recently.  I took my thumb drive with Carole’s celebration pictures and Jean downloaded them to her computer.  We played around with the Canon XSi that she inherited from Carole and I was able to show her several tricks with the programming and how to find the shooting info on the computer.
We have a busy week lined up with Tuesday being another acupuncture appointment for Aileen in Victoria followed by lunch with friend Bev and later, a visit with son Richard and maybe Georgia.  Then on Wednesday, we plan to go to the Sunshine Coast and visit one of Aileen’s aunts in Sechelt who she hasn’t seen for at least 24 years.  We will stay over one night as there are two ferry rides each way and because of the two ferry rides, the motor home will not be going.  We can stay in a motel and dine out for a lot less money than paying the ferry pirate’s fees.

 The twin peaks of Mt Prevost which rises nearly 2500 feet above the surrounding land.  The war memorial cairn is on the right peak

From a different angle the cairn is slightly more visible

Here's your trusty photographer. The first green fields in front of me are the farm where I was raised.  It is now part of a large golf course.  The city of Duncan is in the left center, but nearly invisible in the haze.  It isn't even 9 am yet

This cairn was erected in memory of the locals who died in World War 1.  Plaques were later added to celebrate those who died in World War 11 and Korea


This lichen on a rock looked like a face to me


Some dogwoods along the way.  The dogwood is BC's Floral emblem


I like shooting moving water

Here's old grumpy having supper.  Shortly after this, I was huddled under the tree on the right trying to stay dry

Here's the leading edge of the storm that spoiled my shoot.  For those who read Rick and Paulette's blog which is on my side bar, they live just to the right of the upper right body of water which is Cowichan Bay