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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride


Usually the word Vesper in most people would invoke a religious connotation,either an evening song, or an evening prayer. The actual term ‘vespers’ means “at the lighting of the lamps.”

We thoroughly enjoyed our time spent on the Vesper Trail today, and while it was not a religious experience, it certainly was very rugged and beautiful.

We had a sunny/hazy +10C day today as we approached Nanoose Bay. We had been in Nanoose Bay once before to golf, but had really not explored the area and we were curious to know if there was a “downtown” Nanoose Bay, or not.

Moorecroft Regional Park was our destination in Nanoose Bay. The park is 85 acres and has a really unusual history.

The park is named after its former land owner, Miss Gertrude Evelyn (Dinty) Moore who moved to Vancouver in 1927 to become the Director of Physical Education for the Vancouver Y.W.C.A. After a brief return to Toronto to become Director of Recreation for Women at the T. Eaton Co., she joined the University of British Columbia as their first Director of Physical Education for Women, in 1935.

Miss Moore established “Moorecroft” in 1934 in Nanoose Bay as a girls only summer camp. She operated the camp until her health failed and in 1954 sold the entire property to the United Church of Canada for $50,000. The United Church continued to operate the camp which had 2,800 ft of oceanfront, 17 cabins for campers, staff quarters, a caretakers house, a dining hall, a main lodge and a boat house. In 2010, the United Church sold the property for $7.95 million, prompting fears that the property would be turned into a community housing development, but the United Church agreed to put a conservation covenant on the property, that zoned most of the lands for the protection of its ecological interests.

Regional District of Nanaimo and the Nature Trust of B.C. had considered the areas formerly known as Moorecroft Camp, for development as a park since the mid 1990’s and on March 2, 2011 they purchased the property for $4.8milion. The park is managed under a conservation covenant held by the Nature Conservancy of Canada, which requires ecological protection and enhancement as the highest priority and low impact recreation amenities within a natural setting. The park has Garry Oak Meadows and Coastal Douglas Fir in the maritime ecosystem. Only the boathouse building remains from the buildings which were formerly on the site of the camp.

Vesper Trail. In the background is the old boat house, which is leftover from Moorecroft camp. It is the only building left from the original camp.

‘Arab Cove’, as this cove is known. The point on the left is called ‘Vesper Point’. The point on the right is called ‘Cook’s Point‘.

From Vesper point looking back down the Salish Sea/Strait of Georgia. What a rugged coastline! We felt like we were either on the Monterrey Peninsula in California, or the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Island. Stunning scenery!

Ballenas Channel looking at the Ballenas Islands.

Very rugged shoreline at Vesper Point. I was working on the shutter speed on my camera to make the water look like it was moving, using a slower shutter speed. It’s so nice to be able to spend so much time with the new Fuji X-T4 camera to figure it out!

Ballenas Islands in Ballenas Channel.

Rugged B.C. Coastline at Moorecroft Park. Seeing these timber’s on the beach reminded us of the CBC TV program, ’The Beachcombers’, with Bruno Gerussi!

This shot really reminded us of Ireland.

A beautiful scenic lookout on Vesper Point.

More ‘The Beachcombers‘ like setting.

Ballenas Islands, in Ballenas Channel.

That lens is really, really heavy. Back to hiking boots today and I’m glad I did with the wet trails.

We hiked out to Vesper Point on Vesper Trail, but decided to take the Meadow Trail back to the car. There were very few people in the park today. We probably saw 8-10 people all morning and mostly at Vesper Point where we had lots of room to spread out.

Somewhere along the way, I think when we came to the actual ‘meadow’ on the Meadow Trail, we got messed up and ended up on the wrong trail, arriving at a Trail head outside the park, on the road, having to hike back down the hill to the car.! No big deal, Getting lost just meant we got more steps in and worked up a bigger appetite for lunch!

Hiking back down the road to the park.

I was really feeling the hike in my leg today, after doing my workout yesterday with my strength coach. I was happy with the length of the hike, and happy to get back to Jerry the Jeep for a rest.

We drove up the main road in Nanoose Bay and never did find a downtown. We did find some more housing developments, but then the town of Nanoose Bay just seemed to blend into the south end of Parksville.

I had discovered a new golf course on the maps inside the Parksville Qualicum Beach 2020 Discovery Guide yesterday, so we stopped in for a visit to check it out, once we crossed over into Parksville.


No tee times and it looks like a little gem for $20 for 9 holes. We are going to go and play tomorrow. Hopefully it drains well as its raining again now and overnight too!

In our handy, dandy Parksville Qualicum Beach visitors guide we also had a 10% off coupon for Papa’s Burger’s, which claimed to have the BEST BURGERS in Parksville! The guide said the restaurant was opposite the Chrysler dealership in town, which it wasn’t, but we managed to find it anyway.

Walk up or drive thru window. We walked up and chose the deluxe cheeseburger, hand cut fries and a salted caramel milkshake!

The hand cut fries were amazing!

Deluxe cheeseburgers at Papa’s Burgers. We loved these burgers! I’m still stuffed and its dinner time now here in B.C. The salted caramel milkshake was delicious too. Richard says this burger was probably the best we’ve had since arriving on the Island.

We decided to stop into Qualicum Beach on the way home to see if I could check out a vintage consignment store for a Cowichan sweater. No luck. I’ve also found one on eBay that I need Richard take my measurements for, when he can find his tape measure, to see if it will fit.

Qualicum Beach has a bakery though which we have not tried. Every other time we have been there, the bakery has had a lineup outside. Today, there was no lineup, so I went in to check it out.

Qualicum Beach bakery and European Deli.

Shortbread cookies, date square (for me) and Florentine squares. Richard tried the shortbread and prefers the shortbread cookies from the Cumberland bakery much better.

Today is a momentous day! My son Josh turned 34 today. It’s hard to believe that I’m old enough to have a 34 year old. Where has the time gone? We had a nice Messenger video chat after Josh and Alicia were finished work at 4:30pm. Not knowing what to get Josh for his birthday, I’m treating them both to a weekend at ‘Point No Point’ resort in Shirley, B.C. ‘A high-end retreat offering rustic-chic log cabins with private sun decks, ocean views & hot tubs.’ I think everyone is feeling the Covid restrictions are dragging on and on, and for mental health purposes I think its nice to be able to get away, but stay close, and be in a self contained cabin. I hope they are able to get the cabin they want for the Family Day weekend in B.C.

With the new restrictions and state of emergency in Ontario, we are really glad we are here. While it rains a lot, we are still free to get out for hikes, golf and explore new places freely, while staying in our own bubble. Despite having had so many adventures with Newman, we are still really enjoying RV living. It’s simple somehow. And we have Netflix and Amazon Prime for our dual couch watching evening entertainment!

Casey, the gas fitter has not called Richard back yet, but we are managing to stay warm using only our ceramic electric baseboard heaters and it looks like we will make it til Saturday on our propane supply, when Viper fuels is coming. Thank god! It’s very mild now for the next few days and mild at night too, meaning we will burn less propane to heat Newman.

And tomorrow we get to golf a little par 29! Woo hoo...its golf and a walk and its January! We won’t be in shirt sleeves, like Florida, but we will get to golf so that’s ok with us!

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