“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”
― Ruth Reichl
Saturday August 24
The day of…
syn·chro·nic·i·ty (sngkr-ns-t, sn-)
n. pl. syn·chro·nic·i·ties
Coincidence of events that seem to be meaningfully related
Wendle has been pretty jazzed about going to the 'Synchronicity Festival' in Gibsons. 'Synchronicity is – first and foremost – about cross-pollination between diverse people and ideas'
Artists, musicians, actors, giant board games, 'The Rainforest Circus' and more…much more! At least, that's how Wendy tells it. It certainly sounds interesting.
By coincidence, it's also a perfect day to visit Gibsons, home of 'The Beachcombers', Bruno Gerussi, Relic, the Persephone and Molly's Reach ('the longest-running dramatic series ever made for English-language Canadian television')
The festival is at Shirley Macey Park, in Gibsons. It's only 37km but we leave early anyway (must stop for coffee)
The drive, southeast along Highway 101 to Gibsons, is the least scenic that we have experienced on the Coast highway. No exotic rainforests here. In fact, the trees lining the road look much like those you might find in Eastern Canada.
Hey look over there…an actual shopping mall. Let's check it out.
We pull into the lot, park and enter the mall.
It's practically void of life (maybe everyone is at the festival).
There are a lot of empty stores. It's actually a little creepy how vacant it is. We decide to leave for the festival.
Back on hwy. 101…a big left turn on North Rd…a right onto Reed Road…another left onto Chamberlain Road and…
OMG, it's packed…cars line both sides of this country road.
Luckily the car directly in front of the park is backing out and you know who is right there, ready to pull into the now vacated spot…oh yeah! (coincidence…i think not)
Truthfully, the 'festival' is a hippie block party (so this is where they've been hiding for forty years)
It looks like fun for the little kiddies…at one booth there's a toss the golf ball game. If you land three, you get a prize…3 plastic, glow in the dark bracelets. Kids love glow in the dark stuff.
At the next booth there's a toss the beanbag game. If you land three, you get a prize…more glow in the dark bracelets.
The third booth…yup, tossing three of something else for a chance to win more magical, nuclear bracelets (ooh shiny).
Where am I, the Twilight Zone? (now there is some cross culture pollinization)
No, it's 'The Causeway of Chance' (that sounds even more foreboding)
Does every booth have the same game? Pretty much. Oh wait, here's something different…
Oh, it's definitely different. A guy holding a big stick, stands over two four-year-olds who are labouring to type out some message on manual typewriters (you mean old fashioned, sixties style, manual typewriters?)
Yes, that's exactly what I mean.
The kids are really struggling with their appointed task. One kid has fallen asleep, face down on the keyboard. His mom stands next to him…whispering encouragement ('c'mon little Johnnie, you can do it'). Huge lines are piling up behind both typewriters. The lineup kids are whining to their parents 'c'mon dad….do something'.
The guy with the stick is getting agitated. He isn't quite sure how to handle this. Does he use the big stick? At least to pry the sleeping kid off the keyboard.
An Asian man is standing and watching the non-action…one of his eyebrows is standing at full alert, like Mr. Spock.
Spock shuffles from one leg to the other, vacillating between confusion and anger. All the while he's chuffing audibly, like a steam engine building pressure. 'Logic informed me that under the circumstances, the only logical action would have to be one of desperation'
Wendy and I back away slowly…before he goes full loco-motive.
Our friend Chris is here with his son Kayden, who is stuck in the typing line behind the sleeping kid. While we chat, a guy dressed like Emmett Kelly without face makeup, approaches and says 'Are ya feeling lucky?'
(dressed like this guy)
Wendy tries to bolt. Clowns scare her (good thing she doesn't have the bear spray with her)
Chris says, “Sure. Yeah”
Clown boy hands Chris a chess piece (a pawn), does some patter and then tells Chris to keep the chess piece because it'll remind him of his luck. I add, “It'll also remind him that he is a pawn of The Man”. No reaction…what kind of hippie is this guy?
A weird, white, spidery creature approaches some kids. No one is quite sure what to make of the thing. Most of us (kids included) are just staring at it
Now I'm ready to bolt (quick Spock, throw me your phaser…and set it to 'kill')
One courageous young soul tries to take out the spider critter at the knees with a sneak attack from behind but just as he lunges for it's legs, it pulls them apart and the kid goes tumbling through
(check out the looks on these faces)
And in the center of it all, the sponsor's tent…the one that screams 'Building Community'…stands completely vacant
Beam us up Scotty.
We drive away from the park and down into Lower Gibsons where you'll find the docks, the shops and Molly's Reach
There's a small core of tourists bustling around like extras on a film set. They dutifully take pictures of Persephone and that landmark CBC restaurant. We do the same
Some of the shops are cute but there aren't many and they're mostly empty. In fact, the streets are mostly empty.
We find a small crowd enjoying amateur musician hour in a seaside park. Three teens sing a song of their own creation. Uniquely, each has come up with his own, individual lyrics. Interesting choice guys
Over some curbside fish and chips ('The Codfather Fish & Chips'), Wendy tells me that she just can't handle any more fun (oh thank gawd). We hop back into the Civic and head 'home' to Halfmoon Bay.
Sunday August 25
The kids return from Victoria at noon today…and they're flying in by floatplane. Wow! That is so cool…so BC coast. They're flying in on 'Tofino Air', one of the local commuter airlines that service the coast.
Wendy and I head into Sechelt to meet up with Colin, who is already at the dock waiting for his charges. We park and walk out onto the dock just as the seaplane comes roaring in for a water landing. The plane taxies towards us and then Capt. Rickenbacker jumps out of the cockpit and secures his plane to the dock…if I remember my nautical terms correctly it's called 'squaring off the yardarm' (see Liz…I'm learning)
The kids climb out, see Colin and race over to him for tremendous hugs and kisses. Geez kids are great!
Then, in tandem they shout “We're Hungry!” (ah, there's the rub)
While Colin and the kids go for lunch, Wendy and I plan to hike the 'KinnickKinnick Park Trail'. It's advertised as short hike through an 'Advanced second growth coniferous forest. Big trees'
On the way there we spot an old K-Car. Now THAT is a classic.
Arriving at the trail, we discover that it is also a haven for cyclists. The forest seems a bit ratty and the trails have been pretty chewed up by bike tires. We see one large fir tree.
We exit the forest at the far side and decide to walk along a country road until we find another trail. We pass a small home where a family is raising horses
The length of the roadway is lined with Blackberry bushes and some are just ripe enough to tempt even the most discerning of hikers. Ummm good
We come upon another dusty road. It seems to head down to the water. Wendy and I decide to explore it further
We notice that there is acreage for sale along this road. Bush land. Interesting.
Wendle notes the number of the real estate agent and then we plunge in for a closer look.
The forest on this land is very young…saplings all. It'll be another thirty years before these trees are even big enough for firewood.
Across from the bush line is a tract of land which has been clearcut and bulldozed into a desert. Power lines and water mains have been put in. Ahhh, we get it…a suburb in the making. How quaint.
We do go down to the road's end
Then, we retrace our steps back up the road…to and through the forest and out to the car.
We return to Colin's and pick up Richard…Colin's closest neighbour. Together, he, Wendy and I go to the beach at Sargeants Bay. Richard is eighty…looks sixty…and is a tremendously interesting man, a former psychologist and Scout Canada executive. We thoroughly enjoy our chat with him.
Colin, the kids and Herschel show up. Herschel is a local veterinarian and another great guy. He goes for a swim while Colin and Teddy hunt for beach glass
Zoltan is feeling creative. She makes a pot of crab stew (stuff crushed dead crabs, kelp and seawater in your dad's water bottle and shake like heck). She then pours the contents onto bark slabs, places some additional kelp garnish and…voila…Sushi. We have to admit, it does look pretty tasty
As the tide creeps ever closer to our toes we decide it's time to head home.
Herschel stays for dinner and even serenades the cooks with some beautiful music on Colin's guitar. We enjoy a truly wonderful evening of fine food and conversation.
To all of our friends, both old and new…Thank You for gracing our lives.
Moose and Wendle