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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride


Defined as an Old English expression for a ‘cataract’ or ‘waterfall’ or in other words...”its raining a waterfall of cats & dogs!

When the national Weather Service said yesterday that a “vigorous frontal system” was arriving today, boy they sure weren’t kidding!

Today was definitely a day for indoor activities! No exploring in this rain and wind!

Before I tell you what we did today, I have to share a picture of our fresh halibut from last evening. Cooked in the cast iron skillet, on the Napoleon BBQ, and finished off on the stove in Newman. Richard said he felt like he was eating a gastronomic delicacy in Lyon, France as he tasted his first bites of this very delicious halibut!

We have another piece in the freezer that we will make another time. I could eat this yummy dish every day!

Thinking about what to do today, we had heard the Museum At Campbell River was worth a visit and decided to head the 45 minute drive north on Hwy 19 to check it out. The museum opened at noon and we arrived at 12:05pm. There were NO other visitors in the museum today. Wow! What a nice experience to take our time and not feel pressured to move on to the next exhibit.

The museum had a very nice flow to their exhibits, starting with the First Nations, Transitions Gallery, Logging in the Jungles, a real Log Cabin, The Willows Hotel, Coastal Lifestyle on a Floathouse, Sports Fishing and Commercial Salmon Fishing. The museum really gave us a fabulous history of the Campbell River region, its origins and development over time.

Since we had halibut for dinner last evening and the first exhibit was the First Nations, these halibut hooks caught my eyes. To be able to catch the very large halibut fish which can grow to 8 feet long and 5 feet wide and weight 500 pounds, the First Nations people would use these large hooks to try to catch the halibut.

After visiting the Transitions Gallery. which was dedicated to the First Nations peoples whose children were forced to attend Residential Schools to learn the three R’s, of Reading, Writing and Arithmetic but also to as the extreme “assimilationist” Canadian civil servant, Duncan Campbell Scott, working in the Department of Indian Affairs, at the time said to “Take the Indian out of the Indian”. We were sobered to think of the way the First Nations peoples and their children were treated by the early settlers and the early governments of Canada.

We were fascinated by the early chain saws used in the logging industry in B.C. The first chain saws or “Hitlers” as they were called, because they were produced by STIHL in Germany, were the best for cutting down the huge old growth forests native to the area. In 1946 though, after WWII, the Stihl saws could not be imported from Germany, so Dick Burnett started copying the German design in 1946 by starting Burnett Power Saws. We have no idea how any one person could lift these humongous machines!

Extremely large and heavy chain saws!

The cross section of this Douglas Fir is 1,034 years old and when it was cut stood 155 feet high and measured 8 feet at the butt. The loggers called the forests from Powell River to Drury Inlet, “Jungles” because of the complex maze of islands, inlets and channels that got in the way of their ability to cut down the trees for logging purposes.

The sport fishing section of the museum was really interesting.

These are Lucky Louie salmon lure plugs. They were first made in the 1930’s in a variety of sizes colours and styles. The innovation of these lures, was there was a hole through the lure which allowed it to remain unattached from the line. With the plug free from the hookup, it could easily float to the surface, should the line break. I liked the colour of the lures. The company folded in 1981 and these Lucky Louies are still prized by collectors and fisherman alike.

An interesting Campbell River fishing tradition which occurs every year is the “Tyee Club”, which originated in 1924. To be a member of the club, members must catch and register a Chinook Salmon 30 pounds or larger in designated waters, in Campbell River, B.C. Participants are awarded bronze, silver, gold, diamond and ruby buttons for the winning angler in different weight classes.

In 1934 Mrs. W.C. Butler earned the title of “Tyee Man” for her 60.5 lb tyee. Not sure I would have agreed with the “Tyee Man” title, but oh well...I’m still glad a woman won it!

The 30 canneries in and around Campbell River, B.C. were very busy for a few short months every year as Finns, Norwegians, Chinese, Japanese and First Nations people all boarded steamships to converge on isolated fishing grounds to can the salmon that was caught during the spring.

Fishing hooks

Canned salmon

More and more canned salmon!

After a very nice visit to the Museum At Campbell River we started back down the Coastal Highway, rather than staying for lunch in Campbell River, but where should we go for lunch?

Being the explorers that we are, we elected to drive until we found something for lunch.


Homemade clam chowder, with a homemade, hot cheddar tea biscuit and a fresh slice of Canadiana pizza at The Forbidden Zone in Oyster River, B.C. Richard said the clam chowder was delicious!

We drove home in a monsoon to find that Newman was leaking inside. Now there is more work to do tomorrow to stop the roof from leaking! OMG...the joys of being an RV owner!

Richard and our neighbour Steve trying to determine where the leak is coming from!

And there is more rain coming tomorrow! OMG!!! Looks like Richard will be up on Newman’s roof tomorrow morning in the daylight. Hopefully that rain holds off until later in the day!

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Dec 19, 2020

Thanks Ruth and Richard for the wonderful blog, stories and history lesson. I'm travelling vicariously through Vancouver Island with your adventures. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to both of you.

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