Lure of the Island

Just last week we returned from another trip to western Canada. This time we visited a son who two years ago relocated to Sannichtonm, just north of Victoria on Vancouver Island.

We had a great time. During the first weekend we drove north on the east coast of the island to Mt. Washington, near Comox and Courtenay, enjoying stunning vistas all the way. There we stayed in a condo provided by a friend of our son. Although it’s a ski resort, we went with no snow on the ground just so we could enjoy the scenery. Our young folk got a much better view of the surrounding mountains by riding a ski lift to the peak. Anna and I, having neglected to take warmer jackets, chose to watch from below. I consoled myself with thoughts of the airplane ride my son had promised for later in our visit. Both going to Mt. Washington and returning, we found excellent restaurants: if you ever get to Courtenay, check out the Atlas Cafe.

I thought, “I like Vancouver Island. I think I’ll move here.”

Our son and his wife live in a trailer park called Oceanside in Saanichton, only minutes from his work at Victoria International Airport. They had first lived in a rented house at a staggering rate. Then they found they could buy a trailer and pay park fees for half the cost of renting.

Oceanside allows only late-model trailers and RVs and has grounds worthy of a royal garden. We enjoyed just walking through the park or strolling to the beach only minutes away. When we heard that no snow fell on that area last winter, Anna and I reacted with the words, “We really do like this place. Maybe we should move here.”

On the second weekend, we borrowed our son’s car and took the ferry to Vancouver. We enjoyed the hour-and-a-half trip as the ferry sailed through the islands. On the mainland we visited the city of Langley, but got hopelessly lost in strangely numbered streets. We asked for directions and then drove in ever-decreasing circles until we found the address. We also visited with two friends in Richmond and Vancouver, one who had relocated there from the Maritimes, the other from Guelph. It seems everybody wants to move to B.C. By the way, our ferry ride cost us $75.65 each way and we paid $1.40 per litre for fuel for the car.

Nearly $200 just to visit the city seemed rather expensive. It made us think, “When we move to Vancouver Island, we’ll forget about visiting the cities across the strait.”

As our time there neared an end, our son took us for the promised airplane ride. The evening sun, slanting through haze, shrouded the mountains and took the edge off that adventure. The haze brought back memories of our last visit; it had rained every day.

We began to think about our apartment in Fergus and the good friends who live in our building and attend our church. We remembered how we could get to one of the best hospitals in Ontario in two minutes. We thought of the local doctors who minister to our aging bodies. We remembered how we could walk anywhere we needed to go in 15 minutes or less. We recalled how we can travel to any number of nearby cities without riding a ferry.

Then we heard that gasoline had dropped to $1.20 in Ontario and we said, “Nothing could move us from comfortable Fergus and beautiful Wellington County.” 


Ray Wiseman