Last evening we enjoyed a really neat dinner. I had never used focaccia bread before to make a pizza, or tried a pizza with ground beef on it, but it really tasted great! Richard loved it and went back for seconds, so that is always a good sign!
I had a great work out this morning in Newman! I think I inspire Richard to work out too, or at least I like to think I do! I leave the weights and stretchy bands around on the floor of Newman, while I go and bike on my cycle trainer after my work out and I think he gets the subtle hint...time for you to work out too buddy!
Doing hip flexors to help with my gait.
We found out this morning from our neighbour Jim reading yesterday’s blog, that the RV campsite that I had booked last night for our first night on the road home, was on the wrong road! We want to avoid the Coquihalla mountain pass on Highway 5. It is a notoriously bad stretch of road to drive on. Already this month there was a fatal chain reaction crash that left 35 people hurt and one dead. Most winters there are at least 400-500 accidents on the Coquihalla. The Coquihalla mountain pass reaches an elevation of 1,244m or 4,081 feet and it can be treacherous, with ice and snow accumulating even in the summer! The road we were supposed to be on is the Trans Canada Hwy #1 instead, which is a lot flatter and easier to drive. Both the Hwy 5 & Hwy 1 end up at Kamloops. So this morning Richard called to cancel our campground reservation just south of Merritt, B.C. and I was able to book us into Acacia Grove in Spences Bridges, for one night on April 1st. The trip planning tool that I use called ‘RV Trip Wizard’, says that from the Tsawwasen ferry stop on the mainland of B.C. to Acacia Grove RV Park & Cabins should be 3 hours 33 minutes. I find that the driving time guidance given by RV Trip Wizard is for someone who must drive a lot faster than we drive in Newman. So we always add more time to the guidance in the tool, which means it will take us at least 5 hours of driving in Newman to reach Spences Bridges. The day we leave Fanny Bay we also have the 2 hour ferry ride from Nanaimo to the mainland and at least an hour from Fanny Bay to the ferry in Nanaimo. I think that will be a long enough first day on the road! I’m not looking forward to the long days of sitting in Newman driving home! I think I’ll ask my strength trainer for exercises I can do while sitting on the drive home.
This morning we decided to go and explore Bowser. We always drive through Bowser, on the Coastal Hwy, but we had never driven south of the Coastal Hwy in Bowser, to see what the area and homes looked like. We had seen a listing too for a home for sale on .5 of an acre which looked kind of interesting, despite not being on the water, so off we went down the Coastal Hwy for the very short 6 minute drive to Bowser.
The first quirky thing we saw today was this sea serpent on the front yard of a house in Bowser. The house looked quite new and modern, but we definitely couldn’t figure out why they had this very weird looking sea serpent in the front yard!
Purple sea serpent in Bowser
The next thing quirky thing we saw was a painting on a front yard fence, which I guess is meant to represent Vancouver Island with the mountains, lighthouse, sea and whales.
An interesting quirky painted fence on a house in Bowser.
On the very next house they had a very rustic, quirky holder for their house number sign.
Bear anyone? I guess the white painted wood is meant to represent either snow or mountains? Those claws on the bear look quite lifelike!
As we were driving around this neighbourhood in Bowser, we stumbled upon a park and a trail to go for a hike.
The small community park in Bowser opened in 2013 and is named after the bloodthirsty pirate and privateer, Henry Morgan. Quirky...and I’m not sure why the park was named after Henry Morgan, who appears to have no connection to the Island, but perhaps it is because the park overlooks the Salish Sea/Strait of Georgia?
Even this structure is on a ‘lean’.
Kind of a quirky off centre structure on the playground.
I feel like these posts are something out of a Dr. Seuss story! Welcome to “Whoville”!
We looked around for the trail at this park and sure enough, whenever you see a blue trail sign, you know you’re on an ‘approved’ maintained trail and not something from hell that will kill you!
Blue trail sign telling us that is the right way to go.
Well maintained trail with logs cut to keep them from blocking the trail.
There were quite a few tree roots on this trail which surprisingly did have some elevation to it.
There was a breeze when we left Jerry for our hike, but when we were walking back to the car, I was sweating. New Lulu camo leggings! I love them! Nothing better than lulu leggings for comfort!
There was no one else hiking this trail today. One of the best things about B.C. Parks is there is always a washroom. A ‘go hut’ but always toilet paper, and hand sanitizer too. I think Ontario could take a lesson from B.C. on having more accessible bathrooms for hiking!
We drove around the Bowser neighbourhood a bit more after our hike. We found that ‘Income Tax’ lives at #70 Frontier Drive!
Income Tax lives here.
And for some real quirkiness we found this sign meant to be read by the local animal population!
“Dear Deer: Smorgasbord closed. Try neighbours. Sorry for the inconvenience“. With the deer fence pulled tight to the post to keep the animals out!
Speaking of animals, we had a few deer in the neighbourhood today.
The deer were just staring at us, trying to figure out what we were going to do. There are so many deer here. And all of the vegetable gardens we’ve seen are wired really well with fencing to keep the deer out!
We really liked the area south of Bowser. There were no houses that were alike and it seemed like they all had quite a bit of land to the houses too. We have really enjoyed exploring in detail almost every road from Nanoose Bay in the south to Merville in the north, to really get a sense of what a dollar will buy you, as well as what areas we like and don’t like. There is no better way to get to know an area, than drive it, and that’s exactly what we’ve been able to do over the time we’ve been here, exploring the highways, byways and trails.
We were trying to find Nile Creek Estates, as we had also seen a home for sale in that neighbourhood, but we frankly couldn’t figure out how to get into the subdivision off the Coastal Hwy. We made a wrong turn and came to a dead end where there were a lot of cars parked. That’s the clue here on the Island that there must be a good trail to hike, and sure enough we saw the gate at the beginning of the trailhead. We will go for a hike on the lower Nile Creek trail another day. What we did see on this Subaru with a State of Washington plate was quite quirky and interesting. We even backed up to take a photo of this sign!
The sign says “We are Canadian. We are home :)”. Its obvious that Americans shouldn’t be here right now and driving around with Washington plates is a dead giveaway that they aren’t from the Island....but I guess they are, because their sign says they are Canadian!
After having no luck with finding the Nile Creek Estates, we decided to stop for a bite to eat at this food truck we have been passing since we’ve been on the Island, but just never managed to stop at it.
The name of this food truck is kind of quirky “That Extra Touch Roadside” As Richard got talking to the owners, it turns out this husband and wife team are from Mont Tremblant and Ottawa respectively. What are the odds that two Easterners would be running a food truck on the Coastal Hwy, Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island? The ordering for the Asian Noodle Dishes and Curries was very simple. 1) Pick a protein; (coconut lemongrass chicken, Hanoi beef, shrimp, Cambodian BBQ Pork, or extra firm Tofu) 2) pick a sauce (Indonesian Peanut Satay, Sweet Thai, Szechuan Black Bean, Japanese Teriyaki, Indonesian Pineapple and Mango Curry or Spicy Red Thai Curry) and they add veggies and noodles and cook the dish to order. All of their sauces are homemade. We were very much anticipating this very unique “That Extra Touch Roadside“ experience for our lunch!
Sweet Thai with Coconut lemongrass chicken for me.
Indonesian Pineapple and Mango Curry with shrimp for Richard.
We drove back up the Coastal Hwy about 2 minutes after we had our takeout boxes to a little beach access spot called ‘Sunny beach Public Water Access’.
Just as we were getting out of Jerry to head to a picnic table with our takeout boxes, didn’t we see the strangest sight.
A model with a photographer assisting, was getting changed in the parking lot for a photo shoot on the beach.
The other model in a western dress and cowboy hat.
The girls proceeded to make a costume change and head back down to the beach for more photos as we were eating our lunch on the picnic table overlooking the sea.
This model had a bare back and bare arms! I’m sure she was freezing!
My Coconut Lemongrass Chicken with Sweet Thai sauce and Yakisoba noodles. Delicious! I finished the entire meal!
Richard’s Indonesian Pineapple and Mango Curry Shrimp. He said there were at least 7 large shrimp in his delicious noodle curry box!
After eating our lunch, we proceeded to walk down the beach to get some more steps in. The hike we had in the morning in Bowser was a bit too short for us, so we walked down the beach to peek at the houses on the beach. This was my favourite today!
A very nice clean Western coastal home. The only drawback is this house is right on the Coastal Hwy road, and of course its not for sale and we’re not buying!
I think he was taking a video and not a selfie!
This was a difficult walk on these slippery stones today. There were a lot of waves today on the shoreline.
The mountains and the sea. Beautiful!
And there was one more quirky sign we saw on the beach today!
Go Naked! Obviously today we didn’t do anything of the sort. A little too chilly for a skinny dip in the sea today!
We headed home after our second hike today and arrived home to realize that tomorrow is the Full Moon for February 2021.
Full moon over Fanny Bay.
I’ve always found that the Full Moon brings out the strangest behaviours in people, so I guess all of the quirkiness we found today on our travels was very appropriate!
Tomorrow we are off to the Farmer’s Market in Courtenay again. We’re out of granola and we found a spot at the market that made the best homemade granola. NOM NOM!!