August 7-10. 2015 – Campbell River, BC

Friday morning we got ready to leave in the rain and then headed south to Campbell River.   We think we have spent too much time up north in the wet weather - the 5th wheel has started growing a moss ponytail.

 It rained the entire 3 hour trip and started raining in Campbell River just as we arrived.  We are staying at the Thunderbird RV Park and Campground.   The park is located on the Tyee Spit between the Campbell River estuary and the Discovery Passage.   The Discovery Passage is the primary route between the Pacific Ocean to the north and the Strait of Georgia, Puget Sound and Strait of Juan de Fuca to the south.  Cruise ships, deep sea freighters and huge barges loaded with freight headed to Alaska, along with ferries, fishing boats, sail boats, yachts and other pleasure craft all sail through the Discovery Passage.  

Saturday morning it was still raining so we headed to the Visitor Center where we picked up a lot of information about the area.  We then headed to The Maritime Heritage Centre which is home to the restored seine boat BCP 45 which was on the Canadian five dollar bill from 1972 to 1986 and is now a national historical vessel.  BCP 45 was built in 1927 for BC Packers and is one of the oldest and best preserved wooden seiners remaining in Canada.  Its depiction on the five dollar bill made it a symbol of the West Coast fishing industry.

We were able go on board the boat and look into the helm, the galley and the sleeping quarters – you had to be very small to sleep here!

There is a walking/biking path just across the street from the RV Park that goes to the end of the spit.  There are a couple of small park areas along the path – a great place to walk the dogs.  We take the dogs for short walks every evening - Cody is still favoring his hurt leg but is starting to put a little weight on it now.

Sunday we drove north to Sayward and stopped at the Port at Kelsey Bay where old ships were placed strategically to provide an effective breakwater.   Some of the ships were naval ships and only a few years old when they were decommissioned and sold to be used in the breakwater.  The ships also formed a boom pool that protect logs from storms and rough waters.  The boomed logs were kept here waiting for tugs to tow them away.  This boom pool is still being used today.   

We drove to the Cypress Recreation Area on logging roads and had to avoid more big logging trucks.  We were hunting two of the largest and oldest yellow cedar trees.  We found this giant named Admiral Broeren which is over 2,000 years old and is the tallest and oldest standing yellow cedar.  We wondered why they left this giant tree standing when they cut the rest of the trees in this area.

Down more logging roads we found Sgt. Randally which was the largest and oldest yellow cedar until it fell in 2004 – the sign says it died of old age after standing for over 2,000 years.  These were truly giant trees.

On the way back to the highway we stopped at Elk Bay and walked along the beach.  Rex started collecting some driftwood to make a Christmas tree like one we saw in Alder Bay.

We had a great day and got to see a lot of the area north of Campbell River.

Monday the sun was shining so we headed south toward the Comox Valley and stopped at Miracle Beach Provincial Park.  We have been so impressed with the Provincial Parks every time we have visited Canada – they are all so nice and very well maintained.  We walked through a beautiful forested area on our way to the beach.

The tide is out and lots of people were beach combing.  We walked along the beach looking for more driftwood for Rex to use on his tree.

After we left the beach we drove to Courtenay where we had lunch at the Mad Chef Café.  This is a great place which according to their advertisement serves “insane food… with attitude!”  The café was featured on Food Network’s “You Gotta Eat Here” and the food is great.  After lunch we went to the Blue Moon Estate Winery where we got some great wine. We also bought some blubarb jam (blueberry and rhubarb) Mmm good.  We next went to Coastal Black Winery in Black Creek and bought some mead and wine.  We also bought some cocoa creamy honey to put on our morning toast.  This area has a lot of vegetable farms so we stopped at a vegetable stand and bought some fresh picked tomatoes and zucchini – one thing we do miss is our garden in the summer. 

This is our beautiful view of the Campbell River estuary from our back window.  We have seen some eagles and a deer.  We hear a couple of eagles early in the morning – nice but not like up in Port Hardy where there were lots of eagles calling all day.

On the other side of our 5th wheel we watched the cruise ship “Disney Wonder" sail by at about 9:45 tonight.    Another great day!


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