We had originally planned to stay two nights in Campbell River, but lingered for one more since the holiday weekend made finding another spot today further south a challenge. The campground owner couldn't have been nicer and spent ten minutes giving us a personal talk about all the wonderful things there are to see and do here. We have seen and done everything she recommended that sounded at all interesting and must say that our two night estimate was probably about right.
However, we have managed to have a nice time here nevertheless, largely because of the efforts of the local Rotary club and some great weather. I have already blogged about the new suspension bridge the Rotary funded to provide easy access and great views of the waterfall at Elk River Provincial Park just out of town. They have also funded a massive fishing pier that rents poles and bait to people like us who know nothing about fishing, but would like to give it a try. The pier had raised seats for the fishermen, cleaning tables and you could walk it for free (unlike Florida). Today a group of geezers were on the pier doing Tai Chi. The Rotary has also funded a paved bike trail along the waterfront, complete with explanatory signs about the town, its history and what's going on in the water in front of us. The trail is interrupted every so often by little parks full of flowers with picnic tables. Most of the bike riding we've seen here is much too hilly for the likes of us, but peddling along the water front was just our speed. The shore is littered with driftwood nearly everywhere and those gnarled chunks of wood inspire everyone with any artistic sensibilities. Along the trail we saw all kinds of wood carvings from the fanciful to the realistic to the mystical.
Both on Vancouver Island and in the greater Seattle area, locals always rave about taking ferries to little islands. Since there is a ferry almost right outside our door that takes you to Quadra Island in ten minutes, it was too convenient not to go. We drove to the light house which we can see from our window and a lady there drew our attention to a humpback whale that was spouting right in front of us. She said the island is wilder than it appears. As she drove to her yoga class the other day, she happened upon a gray wolf loping along the road.
On holiday weekends communities often have artists' markets and we went to one just south of here that was remarkable for its setting. The park had been planned and implemented by someone who obviously had some artistic sensibilities themselves. At this time of year the rhododendrons were blooming enthusiastically and they were obviously planted there, but they were intermingled with all sorts of wild looking plants which gave it a natural feel. Every so often a unique piece of driftwood had been planted as well and as the vegetation grew around it, it felt integral to the scene. Intermixed with all this natural beauty, artisans had set up tents and were selling high quality work. Musicians were also part of the scene and added to the ambience of the experience. All that beauty was inspirational. Now if only we had more talent....