Gateway to North Island

So for the last three days, we have been in the town of Campbell River, last town before the infamous North Island, the northern part of Vancouver Island. People refer to this area as “going up North” or just “going way up there”. Tomorrow morning we leave here and head 3 hours further north, finally getting to North Island.

But in the meantime, we’ve had some down time here in Campbell River, Salmon Capital of the World. Its been quiet but nice. We’ve been just hanging out, doing town stuff and relaxing. Then yesterday we did something which helped me see an interesting by-product of RVing and of full-timing in a trailer.  Or maybe you could call it a result of not having much and living in a small contained area. Whatever it was, it helped me to have a fantastic time. But I digress. I’ll begin at the beginning.

Yesterday morning, Jim gave me one of his great surprises (he does this every now and then and therefore earns his husband of the year award) and suggested that we take in an activity that is offered by a lodge located just a few miles north of our campsite. Painter’s Lodge is a famous fishing resort here on Vancouver Island and they allow the public to come to their restaurant and dock and spend time walking around their beautiful grounds. So we drove over to the lodge and got out to have a look around. And that’s when it happened.

I think living in 200 square feet really does something to you. It seems that you (or me, anyway) get a new perspective on life. This feeling is totally unexpected and absolutely wonderful. It happened to me the moment we stepped out of the truck in the parking lot of the Painter’s Lodge. Suddenly I was overcome with……happiness. Yep, that’s right, giant warm fuzzies. This place was beautiful. Awesome. Big. Luxurious. Glorious!!

As we walked into the lobby of the main building, I was at once awestruck. Huge bevelled glass pieces hung from log rafters and driftwood in every artistic form imaginable lined the walls and walkways, The view from the front door went on and on, right through the large entrance way, past the bevelled glass wonders and right onto the ocean beyond with the sun shining everywhere. To my eyes, used to seeing campsites and trailers, it was heavenly.

And then there were the people. All these beautiful people could be seen walking around. Everyone had nice, very nice casual clothes on, hair done, matching outfits, beautiful shoes, make-up….what was going on here? Wasn’t this a wilderness lodge? But compared to the campsite clothes I’d been wearing for the past 6 weeks, my hair that hadn’t been styled in a month, the flipflops that have seen sand and rocks and barnacles and, yes, let’s face it, that’s mud right there….this too was heaven.

So in summary, all I can say is that when you don’t have something, you sure appreciate it when you do. In all, our excursion to the lodge turned out to be a fantastic evening, all the more so because it was in an atmosphere in which we hadn’t indulged in quite a while. It was really not all that much out of the ordinary, but to us, last night, it was really something special. We had a nice dinner, watched the boats and the seals, went for a walk and a boat ride, drank wine on the edge of the ocean, but what we really did was appreciate life. It was no problem to return to our trailer later and still love our own lives, but wow, was it nice to step into something we hadn’t had in a while for an evening. Just goes to show you that a little separation makes the heart grow fonder, as my mother used to say. Who knew?

Tomorrow morning, goodbye city camping and onto a wilderness campsite called Cluxewe, on the Queen Charlotte Strait, North Island. Going up island and the whales are coming.  Stay tuned.

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