Saturday, October 23, 2010

Oct 16: Where the Heck is Kitty Coleman?

I open the door to the camper to see if I can hear Arjun in his tent a couple sites away or elsewhere.

Would you like some coffee?, I say out the door into the still air, not seeing a soul. Tea if you have it, comes the response. With rooftop honey for certain. We warm up inside for half an hour waiting for the sun to rise and the fog to lift. When we step out, it's a stunning morning.

Arjun tells us more about Bangalore, where he grew up, and how "there's a guy for everything," someone who stops by your house with fresh vegetables, with yogurt, with everything you need to live life. It's just the opposite of the supermarket centralization we know too well. We hate to say goodbye, but we need to get on the road. Arjun tells us he'll stay another night now that he's found this paradise of a camp.

I wanted to drop in here a photo I made of Art 11 years ago standing on the shores of Shoen Lake. The picture is sitting atop a map book open to the Schoen Lake page. Click for more detail. Nothing's changed much.

We drive back down the gravel road and into Campbell River on Vancouver Island's eastern shore, destination Kitty Coleman Provincial Park. Finding it should be a breeze (famous last words)--it's not far from Miracle Beach, where we stayed several nights ago.

But we end up driving well part Kitty Coleman, seeing no signs. We backtrack, stopping for directions three times. To shorten the saga of this extra hour spent looking for a provincial park: the lovely woman who pointed the way initially pointed the wrong way and we spent a good hour backing and forthing looking for what turned out to be nonexistent signs.

But when we all seems worth it. Our fire ring is this close to the water.

A view from the beach looking back.

Kitty Coleman (who WAS she?) turns out to be a gem of a secret campground with no signs because of its status as a community-supported provincial park (or something like that--Art read some signs).

Soon the beach fire is blazing, the loons are urgently calling, and a very talented man with a guitar begins to sing a gentle song out toward the water just three sites away. Wow.

Beach fires even look different. There's a prohibition on picking up driftwood. Hmmm. Art must have found this tossed way up on our campsite...

Dinner tonight: organic sweet potato-shallot fry with spinach + avocado + the last of the black forest ham (aka: bait).

I won't pretend I'm not sadly counting down the nights until we board the ferry in Sidney (south near Victoria on Vancouver Island) and journey through the San Juan Islands to Anacortes, WA.

More than balancing out those feelings, though: we're heading for Kathy and Nancy's in Seattle, more dear ones to visit, and this does take the edge off leaving the wild places.


  1. Yes BC is beautiful, Im lucky enough to live right on vancover island in courtenay. :)

  2. Mmm--lucky you, Thomas. We think about VI all the time.