Sunday to Wednesday, July 14 to 17, 2019 (Qualicum First Nations Campground, Qualicum Bay, BC)

We woke to a mix of sun and clouds Sunday morning...but even with the clouds, lots of sunshine was getting through. Rob was the first one out of the tent this morning, coming in to relax with his coffee...Steve was just coming back from his shower, and I was just heading over.

It wasn't long before the boys were up joining us in the trailer. While I got a big breakfast started, Rob went out and pulled the plug on the air mattresses...that should get Angie up, LOL!

After breakfast Rob and Angie went out to start packing their things up. I took a cup of coffee outside to relax...Steve joined me. We watched as all of the weekend campers headed out...a steady stream lining up at the sani-dump before leaving.

 It wasn't long before Rob and Angie had the truck and car all packed up. With huge hugs, we said goodbye to them all...such a great week! Have a safe trip home!

Steve and I went inside to do the dishes and clean up inside...and then we got out on our bikes for a little exercise.

We spent the rest of the day working on picture editing and a blog update. So nice looking back on the week and pictures! It sure is quiet around here now!

Monday (July 15) was a beautiful sunny day...but there were dark, ominous looking clouds on the horizon. Hope they stay there!

Steve emptied the holding tanks, making 2 trips with the blue boy over to the sani-dump. While he was doing that, I did the dishes and cleaned up inside.

We felt like getting out and doing some sightseeing today so thought we'd take a day trip up to Cumberland, about 35 minutes north of here. We ended up changing our plans, though, and going to Comox, about 45 minutes north of here. We'll do Cumberland another time. We headed out just before 11:00 but before going north, we went south to Qualicum Beach to fill the truck with diesel. It's quite amazing the difference in the cost of fuel between here and the Courtenay/Comox area...about 6 cents/litre lower here.

As we left the Inland Highway and headed towards Comox, we passed the Comox Valley Visitors Centre...RCAF Snowbird Air Demonstration Jet Canadair CT-114 Tutor...
Crossing the Puntledge River in Courtenay...
Views of the river estuary as we head towards Comox...

The tide is out showing the huge mud flats...
Our destination to start with, was the Blackfin Pub, a great spot for lunch...
The Blackfin Pub is located just minutes from downtown Courtenay and steps away from the Comox Harbour. Here you can enjoy a fun nautical atmosphere and take in the ever changing view that includes the majestic Comox glacier, Beaufort Mountain range and Comox Wharf.
A great table on the deck...
After lunch on the deck enjoying the views, we started our tour of the area. We drove to Goose Spit Park...almost there...

Yikes, look at those clouds!



 We turned around and drove back along the spit...



We found our way to Lazo Road which follows the coast...

Point Holmes Recreation area...
On our way to Kye Bay we pass by Canadian Forces Base Comox. In 1967 Steve's family lived in Courtenay and his parents used to bring the family to that parking area ahead at dusk to watch the CF-101 Voodoo fighters taking off. You could really see the flames coming out of the engines at dusk...

Photo of McDonnell CF-101B Voodoo
Arriving at Kye Bay...
We parked the truck and walked through the park to the beach...

We sat on a bench and just enjoyed the view...Beautiful!
Hard to tell from this photo but the beach gets very sandy and at low tide appears to go out about half a mile...
Pictures as we retrace our route back. I think we're in for rain...
 Driving through downtown Comox...
 And back across the Puntledge River in Courtenay...
I had contacted my brother, Don, this morning to see if they were going to be home later this afternoon because we thought we'd pop by for a visit on our way home...well, he and Rhonda invited us for dinner. Sweet! So we headed south from Courtenay along the old highway...
Above and below is a major shellfish aquaculture area...
Don and Rhonda met us in their driveway and after big hugs, Steve grabbed our 2 laundry bags and we went inside. An added bonus to our visit...the use of their washer and dryer! I put a load on and then we went outside and sat on the deck...until it started raining. We retreated inside and continued our visit.

They have a beautiful spot...
Don and Rhonda...
 Great view overlooking Denman Island and the smaller Chrome Island which has the lighthouse...
We enjoyed a wonderful steak dinner...more great conversation...until it was time to head home. Thanks so very much for dinner and the use of your laundry facilities...that made the chore of doing laundry much nicer!

We got home at about 8:45....realizing that it was a good thing we left Don and Rhonda's when we did since the gates are closed and locked at 9:00! 

We were just settling in to watch a program on TV when we got a surprise visit from Jim and Cec. They had arrived this afternoon, stopping for the night on their way camping up island. We enjoyed a visit with them and called it a night just before 10:30. Great seeing you guys!
Nothing too exciting on Tuesday (July 16)...we worked on a blog update, I baked some muffins and we went and did a couple of laps around the campground on our bikes.

We made a quick trip up the road to Tommy's groceries to pick up some bread and milk...and on the way home we saw a couple of  First Nations canoes making their way toward the campground. Apparently there are 3 and we believe they are participating in the 2019 Tribal Journey to Lummi, WA

As soon as we got home, Steve grabbed his camera and went out to watch. I followed slowly behind.
They had to paddle against a head wind...

Comox Band members...
Cortes Island Band members...

When they reached the river they asked permission from the Qualicum First Nation Band to come ashore...
With the tide so low they will have to watch their canoes like hawks when the tide come back in...

Steve thought the canoes looked too perfect and shiny for dugout cedar canoes so asked one of the participants...they were in fact fibreglass. The real one was back at their reserve. The boats were from different bands, Cortes Island, Comox and Powell River. As they head down to Washington State other bands will join them along their route...

Qualicum First Nation Chief...
Powell River Band members...

Not sure if this is their exact route, but this will give you an idea as to how far they will be paddling...
Just as all the canoes made it to shore I noticed there were big black clouds coming our way....I made it back to the trailer before the downpour started, but Steve didn't. It just poured out!

Wednesday (July 17) was basically spent getting ready for our trip to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Tomorrow we leave for North Saanich, we'll spend the night at Rob and Angie's and then fly out Friday morning. Steve's brother, Dave and his fiance, Kerry, are getting married. We spent 2 weeks with them last June at Reed Lake in northern Manitoba, having a great time fishing.

So the day was spent packing, checking on flights and hotel, and confirming arrangements with Steve's sister and brother-in-law, Nadine and Mike, who are travelling with us. I also did some banking and we both got out for a bike ride and worked on getting the blog up-to-date before we leave.

By late afternoon, we were ready to relax outside, so took our chairs and drinks down to the waterfront to enjoy the late afternoon sunshine....