Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Little Mountain, Old Country Market, Cathedral Grove

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

June 17 ~Day #38
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Current Location: Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia (BC)

Today’s Total Expenses: $6.27

Food: $6.27 Costco hot dogs

Vancouver Island is about 300 miles long and 60 miles wide so even though we were driving all day yesterday we have only explored a small section. Vicky’s sister-in-law ‘F’ was a sales rep for grocery products for many years and traveled the island extensively so she knows the area very well.

Since Vicky’s brother had to work today, F offered to drive us around to explore some of the communities close to Nanaimo. I think she was trying to sell us on the idea of moving to the island because she made a point of showing us places where we could buy some nice properties.

We drove through Parksville and in Qualicum Beach stopped at an artsy store full of cute carvings, home made jams, jewelry and furniture. You know, the sort of store a man can check out and dismiss in about five minutes and a woman can wander around in for hours.

Since I was outnumbered I found myself a comfortable chair and just dozed a little while waiting for the girls to reappear.

Surprise, ‘F’ actually bought something – a plaque for a friend. Usually the women spend hours browsing – they call it shopping – and then never buy anything.

Cathedral Grove
Our next stop was Cathedral Grove on Hwy ##. This was the highway we took to Tofino yesterday but we didn’t have time to stop.

Cathedral Grove is one of Canada’s oldest pine forests containing trees up to 800 years old. These things are immense, over xxxft high and xxxft in circumference.

A forest fire swept through the area a few hundred years ago so there are not many of the 800 year old giants left but most of the others are over 400 years old and they are pretty big, too.

Little Mountain
On the way back to Nanaimo we took a short detour up to the top of Little Mountain. The road has one of the steepest grades I’ve ever seen. There are some spectacular houses all the way up to the top. I can’t image how they manage in the winter when the area gets some snow.

Goats On The Roof

One of the oddest sights you will ever see is at the Old Country Market in Coombs. This single storey log building has a grass roof and on the roof lives a family of goats.

The property has developed into quite a tourist attraction with various art, trinket and clothing stores taking advantage of the traffic the goats provide.

Canadian Costco
Supper was still several hours away so we stopped at a Costco for their famous Polish Sausage and drink deal. Except this was a Canadian Costco and for some reason they only have hot dogs – oh well it was still good and a good deal.

Banana Cream Pie
One of my favorite desserts is Banana Cream Pie and it just happens to be one of ‘F’s’ specialities. It was well worth the extra belt notch – thank’s ‘F’.

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