Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Tofino and Ucluelet, BC

Yvonne on a cliffside trail in Ucluelet.
I took a spring trip to the west coast of Vancouver Island with my friend Yvonne Maximchuk. It was partly for work with lots of time for play.

Yvonne is an author and artist. She needed to drive to several galleries to pick up paintings that were on display and take them to the Filberg Lodge in Comox for a show on Mother's Day weekend.

We stopped in Port Alberni and purchased lunch makings to use for hikes and beach visits.

Our first stop was Long Beach in the Pacific Rim National Park. It wasn't a sunny day, but still the long hard packed sandy beach was beautiful.

Long Beach in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

We were surprised to see hundreds of thousands stranded Velella Velellas (By-the-Wind-Sailors). Some were fresh and others had already reduced to their chitonous structure.

A stranded Velella Velella.

Marina view from the dockside pub,
We spent two nights in Tofino at the Tofino Resort and Marina. It's totally remodeled and has a wonderful restaurant and pub down by the marina. I enjoyed the view of floating homes across the bay.

We had a queen suite with two separate rooms, one with a comfortable sofa bed. The large deck was where we spent our evenings with glasses of wine and snacks before and after dinner.

The second day we went to Ucluelet to a gallery to pick up paintings. While there, we walked a portion of the Wild Pacific Trail. There were magnificent views of the rugged coastline.

A trip to Tofino wouldn't be complete without a visit to Chesterman Beach to watch cold water west coast surfers.

Here I am at Chesterman Beach on a misty day.

The trip ended in Courtenay so I could help Yvonne set up for her art show and sale at the Filberg Lodge in Comox the next day.

The historic lodge made their wall available to display her art for visitors throughout the weekend. The lodge was the home of Robert and Florence Filberg. Robert was Superintendent of the Comox Logging and Railway Company and the home is beautifully positioned on the bay.

Yvonne with a painting at the Filberg Lodge.
Here's Yvonne with one of her paintings inside the magnificent lodge.

Outdoors there are gorgeous gardens with lots of flowers, shrubs and trees. The grounds and lodge are open to the public and very popular with locals and visitors alike.

Come visit Vancouver Island and be sure to put Comox, Ucluelet and Tofino on your travel list.

You can learn more about Yvonne, her books and art at her website. She's also on Facebook. -- Margy

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Ode to Bro

When Wayne and I came to Powell River in 2001 our first friend was John. You can't be friends with John and not love his dog Bro, Brody if you are being formal.

Bro lived a long, well traveled life. If John went anywhere, Bro was always at his side. That ended sadly this month when Bro left this earthly world to go meet his maker.
As Bro would say...

I was living in a shelter on Vancouver Isle,
When John and his family came to visit awhile.
I used my best Black Lab attitude,
And soon enough they were wooed.
We took a ferry ride to Powell River,
to a loving home that would last forever.

During my eighteen years with John,
I've been everywhere, man.
I've been everywhere.
I've been to...

Last Chance
Powell Lake
Goat Lake
Duck Lake
Princess Louisa
Last Resort
Goat Island
The Head
St. Vincent
Olsen's Landing
The Eldred
Frog Pond
Rupert's Farm
Rainy Day
Hole in the Wall
Our Float Cabin
And Best of all
My Westview home!

And many more, man.
Many, many more.
I've been everywhere, man.
I've been everywhere.

Thanks John for the best life
a Black Lab named Bro could ever imagine.

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Sunshine Coast is BRIGHT!

Powell River, British Columbia, is located on the upper Sunshine Coast. The city rises from the waters of the Georgia Strait, giving almost everyone in town an ocean view across the water to Vancouver Island. Here are two of my favourites.

 No matter what time of year, we get bright and beautiful sunsets.

If you are new to my blog I invite you to stay awhile. While I see beautiful sunsets from condo balcony in town, I spent most of my time up the lake at my float cabin.You can read more about that by clicking here. -- Margy

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

"Drawn to Sea" by Yvonne Maximchuk

The author/artist in action.
As you probably know, I’m drawn to books about Coastal BC and especially books about women who’ve chosen a rustic lifestyle. Yvonne Maximchuk wrote such a book, Drawn to Sea - Paintbrush to Chainsaw: Carving Out a Life on BC’s Rugged Raincoast (Caitlin Press, 2013).

After reading a book, I like to discover more about the author. Yvonne has a strong online.

Blog - Yvonne Maximchuk
Facebook - Yvonne Maximchuk
Caitlin Press - Yvonne Maximchuk
Email -

Review of Drawn to Sea

Yvonne left her lower mainland home to live in the upcoast wilderness. She always loved the outdoors, and is open to adventure. After her marriage ended, she and her two children, Theda and Logan, moved with her boyfriend Albert to Echo Bay on Gilford Island.

Her new life began in a rented float house. As you can imagine, this was a big part of the book’s appeal for me. Plus, Yvonne inspired me with her willingness to try new things outside of her comfort zone. Her tale about a bad storm that made her think that her “bold new life is about to end in tragedy after less than a month” reminded me of my own storm experience. It was just as unnerving, but way less dangerous.

Yvonne learns about wilderness living as she goes: fishing, canning, gardening (her float garden looks much like mine), using a chainsaw, building a house of her own (way beyond my skills), and two kids to raise and take to school by rowboat. I can imagine that each day brought new challenges and excitement.

Yvonne met Billy Proctor, a famous longtime resident of Echo Bay. Bill is a hardworking logger and fisherman who welcomes coastal travelers to enjoy his home. He helped Yvonne and Albert (who she later married). Yvonne and Bill became fast friends and fishing partners as well.

One of Yvonne's oil paintings.
Yvonne is an artist as well as an adventurer. She uses her speedboat “Sea Rose” to reach majestic locations to paint and draw. The cover of her book and the image to the left are examples of how she captures the essence of the land and sea she loves.

Yvonne has spent the last thirty years carving a life out of the rugged BC wilderness. I wish I’d had her courage earlier in life to take such a chance.

Yvonne up at the float cabin on Powell Lake.
Yvonne's books are available online, in BC book stores, and in BC Ferries gift shops.

I was fortunate to meet Yvonne in 2016 when she came to my float cabin. Since then, we've remained in Facebook and email contact.

I'm excited that I will be meeting up with her again this May for an adventure to Tofino on Vancouver Island, and to attend one of her art shows in Comox.

Have you ever been able to meet one of your favourite authors? How did it happen?

Join Stone Cottage Adventures for Words on Wednesday for writing tips, stories, book reviews/tours, poetry, blog posts, current events/facts, and publishing books. - Margy