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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

We aren’t spending the whole day getting ready are we?

That’s what I said to Richard last night over dinner. With nice weather finally here, the last thing I wanted to have happen was to spend our last full day on the Island fussing over Newman and Jerry. Those two characters have gotten enough attention in the past few days. We needed some time for just the two of us to enjoy ourselves, on our last day here!

This morning I got up and did my big workout, which also included 25 minutes on the cycle trainer. By the time we finally got on the road this morning it was 10:30am. There was definitely no rush though to go anywhere, so it was nice to have a leisurely morning.

We headed up the Coastal Hwy to make one last drop off at the Union Bay Post Office. We had received our mail from our amazing caretaker Liz in Fort Erie, but we had a letter that was meant for one of our neighbours, so we had to mail that back to Fort Erie, as well as send some money down to our neighbour Ray in Florida, for our landscaper.

Hanging out at the Post Office. When we were leaving the Post Office I said to Richard “I feel like a local. We have all of our essential services figured out now.” We always said that we would go to Italy or France for a few months and get to know an area like Tuscany or Provence. I think we have learned as much about the Comox Valley, Qualicum, Parksville as anyone who has lived here a long time. Tuscany and Provence will be there for another trip, another year!

We decided that for our last day we would go and visit one of our favourite spots on the Island.


We wanted to have a hike today and thought that the Cumberland potholes would be a good place to go, since we hadn’t been to the potholes since the snow had all melted.

The hill behind Richard at the start of the hike is really steep. I always think to myself, ‘why did I want to come here? until I get going and realize its good exercise and I can do it now, without any difficulty with my leg’ and my trick is if I’m getting tired, I stop to take some photos and catch my breath!

There were a lot of cyclists and hikers today on the trail. The trail as you can see is nice and wide, so everyone has a lot of space between each other, and people are very respectful and move over, if you’re a faster hiker than they are.

The first bike trail we came to on our hike today. We stay off the bike trails, ‘cause we just never know when a cyclist will come barrelling down the trail into us!

A father and 5 kids were cycling down the trail. One of the kids commented that “it is a lot easier going downhill than uphill on this trail!” The youngest kid, who was bringing up the rear, must have only been about 4 years old! They sure start ‘em young on the Island enjoying the great outdoors!

Sitting on a log, minding my own business, photographing the Cumberland potholes. It was a mild +11C today and I was able to take my coat off for our hike.

Such a beautiful spot and there was no one else visiting it, but us!

Downstream the potholes.

The Cumberland potholes are amazing to see!

Chilling by the potholes.

An overhead view of the potholes. You really can’t tell they are there, unless you get up close, along the bank of the river.

A fun morning photographing the Cumberland potholes.

As we walked back down to Jerry, the trail was much easier as the kid had said earlier. It’s so much easier going down hill, than up hill!

A new friend on the trail today! His name was Paddy!

Mountains peeking out at us as we climbed down the trail.

We sure are going to miss these mountain views! Everywhere we turned today there were either Island or Mainland mountains to see!

We finished our hike and were able to use the public bathrooms right at the mountain bicycle washing station, downtown Cumberland. They certainly do have the hiking and biking figured out, with great parking and facilities, conveniently at the entrance to the trails. Cumberland is such a great ‘ecotourism‘ funky town and we really came to love it a lot!

I had seen on Facebook that this store in Cumberland had these very cool t-shirts and wanted to make sure that we got some before we left the Island.

Moon’s Records sells a lot more than records!

How appropriate! This was the t-shirt that I had seen on Facebook and thought we should each get one. The Comox Valley towns all on one t-shirt. The owner‘s wife at Moon’s Records, taught him how to silk-screen and this is his latest shirt that he produced for sale.

The Cumberland hoodie was so soft, so I had to get it and buying the hoodie supported a great cause!

Proceeds from the sale of this hoodie are going to support the Cumberland Community Forest project. The Cumberland Forest is privately owned as part of the legacy of the Esquimalt and Nanaimo (E&N) Ralway land transfer from the 1870s that saw over two million acres of land on east Vancouver Isalnd transfer into private hands in exchange for building a railway. When logging became a real threat in 2000, community members formed the Cumberland Community Forest Society, with the intent of buying the land back and returning it to the community for recreational use and preservation. Since 2005 the Society has purchased 500 acres of forest and placed it under a conservation covenant to ensure its future protection. Their most recent purchase was September 1, 2020 when 225 acres known as ‘Project Perseverance’ was purchased outright by the community. The forest is home to red legged frogs, roosevelt elk, small eared bats and other species that are at risk and it is an important link in an extensive habitat corridor that connects the mountains, rivers and lakes of Vancouver Island with the shores of the Salish Sea.

After visiting Moons Records I had to check out the amazing Cumberland consignment store!

West & Co! I went into the store with low expectations and came out with an amazing pair of Maui Jim sunglasses for $63! No scratches, polarized, a case and a glasses cleaner cloth!

My new to me Maui Jim’s!

While Richard went into Bibliotaco to order our lunch, which we were going to eat outside on their patio, I wandered down to the Cumberland Bakery one last time to see what I could buy!

What an amazing bakery in Cumberland! We have so enjoyed this bakery and we think it is the best on the Island! We have jelly donuts (cherry & raspberry), shortbread cookies (3 chocolate dipped and 3 plain), 2 croissants, and an apple spice cake! Those treats will keep us going for awhile on our drive home!

I checked my strain on my Whoop strap and I’m definitely allowed to have some dessert tonight!

An 11.1 strain is a very high day’s strain for me! Max strain is 21 and I’ve never gotten close to that level of strain!

Today Richard had the burritos! He loved them. Every time he has eaten at Bibiotaco in Cumberland he has tried something different. Tacos, enchiladas and now burritos

I stick to what I like. Chicken taco salad! Delicious and very filling and spicy!

After spending a good day in Cumberland, we were sad to leave. It’s such a vibrant spot; with young mom’s out walking their babies, people lining up for ice creams and store owners waving at people they know through their store windows. It definitely feels like a great community to live and play in!

Young mom out for an ice cream and to pick up Bibliotaco for lunch.

Even the Cumberland Brewery takes care of the dogs, while the owners have a pint on their patio!

On the way out of Cumberland Richard spotted a gas station with an air station, as he wanted to check the air pressure in Jerry’s tires before we leave tomorrow. The air was free and they let him borrow the pressure gauge too!

Checking the pressure in Jerry’s tires. They were almost perfect and only off by 1 pound in 3 of the tires.

On the way home from Cumberland I asked Richard to pull over at the ‘Kingfisher Oceanside Resort’. We have driven by this place every time we have gone into Cumberland, Courtenay or Comox and we never stopped, until today.

Looking back at the lodge. There was an Oceanside lodge as well which we took the elevator down to check out.

Oceanside lodging at Kingfisher.

Chilling on his own beach chair

What a nice view!

Beautiful landscaped gardens at Kingfisher Oceanside Resort.

Entrance to the spa. The archway and eagle are all made out of driftwood. I love this!

What a beautiful setting for two people to sit by their own little fire pit!

We checked out the spa and picked up a brochure of the spa menu. We obviously don’t have time for a visit this time, but this spot looks super deluxe and I think we will definitely come back here to go to the spa!

As we headed home down the Coastal Highway we knew it would be our last time for awhile. We have loved every minute of our 4 month adventure here on the North Island, Comox Valley, Fanny Bay. What a great way to spend a winter during a pandemic! We are hoping to be in Florida next winter enjoying a wee bit more heat and a lot more pool and golf time!

When we arrived back at Lighthouse RV park Richard was like a whirling dervish of activity!

I didn’t know where to sit to make sure I didn’t get sucked into the vortex of his activity!

The plan was to bring the slides on Newman in, and get Newman turned around so that we could pull straight out in the morning and hook up with Jerry at the front of the RV park, before we drove for our 10:15am ferry tomorrow. We are leaving from Duke’s Point, which is the south end of Nanaimo, and we have to be at the ferry 30-45 minutes before we sail. Our ETA to leave Fanny Bay is 8am sharp, which means we will have an early start tomorrow.

Our new view for the night. I’m glad we didn’t have this view all winter. It is so much nicer waking up to see the sunrise on Fanny Bay, instead of looking at a bunch of other trailers in an RV park!

Richard distracting Matt the RV Park owner from getting his work done!

Just a quick update on St. Stephen & Karen. They are overnighting in Moncton tonight. They had seen some moose and deer on the road and decided not to push their luck for the 1.5 hours of driving they have left to do to get home to their camp, where they will have to quarantine for 14 days. I’m so glad they are safe and they area almost home!

This quote came up on my retirement countdown app, which I still have on my IPad, despite retiring on January 1st, 2021. I thought the quote was so appropriate that I wanted to share it. Mark Twain certainly was a wise man!

”Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didnt’ do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbour, Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream Discover.”

And that is exactly what we have done this winter and will be doing in our adventures with Newman and Jerry, on the drive back home to Fort Erie and will continue to do in the future! We’ve had so much fun and enjoyment out of this trip and it was such a fitting way for me to head into retirement knowing that my daily job was to write the blog, and document our trip through photographs, while making memories that will last us a lifetime!

Wish us well please and we’ll see you tomorrow from the mainland of B.C. somewhere! And to my surprise and delight we did not spend the whole day today getting ready to leave!

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