Thursday, September 2 to Saturday, September 4, 2021 (Trip to Vancouver Island - Royston, BC - Part B)

Thursday (Sept. 2) morning we drove to the Courtenay Airpark and walked the Riverway Heritage Walk. Steve here. In 1976 I got my private pilot license and later on landed at this airpark. Back then it was a short dirt runway and I was warned that it was surrounded by water on three sides with a marina at one end. That wasn't very reassuring...I was used to landing on long paved runways!
Courtenay Marina Park at the end of the runway...
The Courtenay River, a confluence of the Puntledge and Tsolum Rivers runs beside the airpark. The light coloured area in the distance used to be a sawmill that Steve used to call on back in his working days. Apparently the land is being returned to nature...
Floatplane ramp...
Inland waterway for waterfowl that's been opened to the ocean at high tide so that it has a flushing action...
Mudflats at low tide...
Touchdown!
Allison and me...
A beautiful walk...and one of Abbey's favourites!

Back at Earl and Allison's, we chilled for a bit before heading out to Fanny Bay, about 20 kms/12 miles south of here. Steve and I are meeting my brother and sister-in-law, Don and Rhonda, at the Fanny Bay Inn (also known as the FBI) for lunch. With all of the COVID restrictions over the last 17 months, we hadn't been able to see them...so, again, it was wonderful being able to get together and have lunch and a visit! It was extremely hot sitting in the sun so we cut our visit short.
After lunch, Steve took me on a little tour of Courtenay, showing me one of the houses that he lived in back in 1967 when his family moved here from Victoria.

We played more Rummikub with Earl and Allison after dinner...Allison and Earl are still dominating! Steve and/or I had better at least win one game before we leave Saturday!

Friday (Sept. 3)...Steve took this picture out of the living room window when he got up. A pretty sky but the forecast is for a cloudy, cool day.
Earl had a day of touring the area all planned for us today. We started at the Comox Valley Marina and walked out to the end of Fisherman's Wharf Boardwalk...
Too bad it was such a dark and gloomy day...
We walked to the end of the pier...
Cheese!
In the distance is the Comox Glacier...


Next was Filberg Park...Nine acres of landscaped waterfront parkland, gardens and heritage buildings in Comox, BC.




The extensive gardens have many captivating features. Nine landscaped acres, with a stream running through the natural ravine provide a perfect setting for a variety of plantings such as maples and magnolias. Rare and exotic trees from many parts of the world include a selection of stately oaks, London Planes, Atlas and Deodora cedars, pines of many species and a variety of other mature trees.

Filberg Lodge is a 1930’s arts and crafts style home built on 9 acres of beautiful waterfront estate which overlooks the Comox Harbour. Once the home of logging magnate and philanthropist Robert (RJ) Filberg and his family, it is now a municipal heritage Park right in the heart of beautiful downtown Comox, British Columbia.

Steve and I took the self-guided tour of the lodge. 
The house, with its five bedrooms, five fireplaces, and four bathrooms, was massive for the 1930s, and took six years to build. Some people say that Mr. Filberg stretched out the building process to keep his men employed throughout the Great Depression. Originally, the house was meant to be a summer home, but the Filbergs were so pleased with it that they decided to make the Lodge their permanent home.

The Master Bedroom...
Bathroom and Powder Room - styled after the Filberg's stateroom aboard the Queen Mary...
The Living Room - The enormous sofa was Bob's idea of comfort. The carpet (circa. 1930) is from Iran and is worth $25,000...
The Dining Room...


Mary's Room - Originally, this room was the Master Bedroom, but Mary got this room after the extension was built downstairs...
What a gorgeous view out this bedroom window...

Staircase - The stair risers are Douglas Fir railway ties. The handrail is a Pacific Yew tree trunk with the branch as a natural banister. Pacific Yew is very rare on the island, this one was harvested on Mission Hill in Courtenay...
Very interesting! As a side note, the china on display everywhere in the lodge is for sale. One of the volunteers said that it is a big fund-raiser for the non-profit organization that maintains the lodge and outbuildings. If you'd like to read more about the history of the Filberg family, click here.

We met up with Earl and Allison who were waiting outside and continued walking through the park.

THE TOTEM POLE
TLA WA SINTS GUY U LAS
(Strength from our ancestors)
This Tla Wa Sints Guy U Las (Strength from our Ancestors) totem was originally commissioned by Comox Valley residents Gordon and Ivy Wagner as a gift to the Filberg Park. Created by carver Richard Krentz, it was raised June 19, 1994 and described by some as “a magical event.” Recognizing and celebrating four families and their crests, the symbols represented the Puntlege (Thunderbird), two groups of the K’ómoks (the whale and the grizzly bear) and the Eiksan (sun). After standing proudly for 23 years, the aging totem has been placed in the ravine to complete its life cycle. In keeping with tradition, the totem now serves as an evocative reminder of the spirit of the First Nations ancestors and that all things organic are eventually returned to the earth.

At this point we decided to stop for lunch at Earl and  Allison's favourite soup and sandwich spot...Comox Soup Shack. The sandwiches are huge, so each couple shared a sandwich and had their own soup and biscuit....excellent choice guys!

As we drove past the static display at CFB Comox Steve quickly clicked away for a few photos...





We stopped and did a walk through Kitty Coleman Beach Provincial Park, a small oceanfront campground. Unlike most provincial parks, it is a Class 'C' provincial park, meaning it is run by a local community board. The beach is directly across from the sites and provides a beautiful view of Powell River and the surrounding beaches across the water. There are only pit toilets available, and no hook-up or sani-station for motorhomes.

Look at the size of this Douglas Fir!


Incorporated into our tour were some stops at a few RV parks. We love the Courtenay/Comox Valley area and are looking to the future as possibly parking our rig long term...not in our immediate plans but something we are thinking about in the future. So we also stopped at a few campgrounds along our way. Everyone's favourite was Cape Lazo RV Park except for Steve. His preference was Seal Bay RV Park because it's not so close to the ocean. After spending last winter at Oceanside RV Park which is a great park, but oceanside, the atmospheric sea mist created by the winter storms rusted the lug nuts on our trailer wheels, our new propane tank, and parts of the truck and trailer.

Such a great day! Thanks so much for the tour, guys! Back home we sat chit-chatting as dinner was prepared...and of course, after dinner, the Rummikub game was brought out! Again, Allison and Earl dominated...but at least Steve redeemed us by winning a game, or was it two...can't remember!
Saturday (Sept. 4) morning, we were up, had coffee and a bite to eat and then Steve loaded our suitcases into the car. After big hugs, we said goodbye to Earl and  Allison...thanks so very much for your hospitality, we really enjoyed our visit with you! Hopefully, we'll see you down in Q this winter...but if we're not able to go south, we'll be coming back to the island for visits!

It was just before 8:00 a.m. when we hit the road. We have a reservation on the 10:15 a.m. ferry sailing from the Duke Point Terminal, just south of Nanaimo. We stopped for gas along the way and arrived at the terminal at 9:15.

The ferry we were on had the cafeteria at the bow of the ship, so Steve grabbed a window table while I got us coffee and a snack...and that is where we sat for the whole 2 hour sailing. Steve saw a whale surface briefly about 75 yards in front of the ferry! Hopefully it made it safely as there seems to be far too many collision fatalities with ships around the world... 
It was 1:00 when we pulled into the RV park. After unloading the car and putting everything away, I headed off to pick up a few groceries.

We had such a great couple of weeks away! This gives you some idea of our route...(the Courtenay/Comox Valley is just above Royston)...
It was wonderful having a nice trip away, but as usual, it's great to be back home! 


6 comments:

  1. Very cool lodge, we love walking through places like that

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    1. Especially when they have an interesting history to them.

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  2. I don’t think you’re missing the US too much. So much friends/family visits a beautiful places to stay! At least there’s that.

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    1. We've had a great time visiting family and friends, but are still going to go south this fall!

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