Canada West Day 20- Snow and Beach, same Day. Heading up Vancouver Island

Saturday, 27 May 2023 03:42

Talk about contrasts. Another bit of bad planning today on my short journey from Port Alberni to Campbell River. I will spend tomorrow in Strathcona Provincial Park and there is a little bit of it on the way, known as the Strathcona Wilderness Centre. A hint would have been that it is in the same locations as Mount Washington Ski resort. Yes there was snow. In fact where I could check it was about 3 feet deep on my planned short trail through paradise meadow. I was not the only deluded one as there was a German family there too. The information sign on the trail is a bit of a give away. I gave it a go hoping that the snow was only localised. Wrong. The views were worth the drive up and the very short walk. The crazy thing is I could have walked up the ski runs! Back down at sea level I visited the Seal Bay Nature Park. There are a few short trails here and I took a couple. The first was around a marsh created by a small artificial dam. It was mostly uninteresting with one viewing ‘hide’ which was full of rather nice preteen children and their schoolteacher. They were sketching what they had seen and told me what was around. I left them to it and stopped to snap some pictures around the dam. I followed another trail that sort of promised a view to the mainland. If by that they mean a glimpse through dense forest then it was true. The good news is that there was some lovely woodland images and a beautiful tiny blue butterfly, a posing pond skater and a number of watchful robins. It was then a short run along the coast stopping at Oyster Bay before reaching my lovely hotel in Campbell River and a gigantic pizza and beer at a pub on the harbour front. Campbell River is not what I expected. The sign announcing I was here came about 10 km before my hotel. The next 9 km was a ribbon development along the coast before eventually a town appeared where my hotel is.