Sunday, July 4, 2010

Day 15, 16 & 17 - Back To You

Today I'm dedicating a song to Aaron, for all the J. Mayer we used to love and listen to, once upon a time - Back To You

Aaron and I started the day off with a relaxing swim and a dip in the hot tub at the hotel. We followed that with eggs benny at a local bakery downtown and then we grabbed some groceries for the cooler. We explored a little bit of Victoria, unintentionally, and then headed off for a provincial park on the south-west coast called French Beach, just past the town of Sooke. The campsite that Aaron’s friends had already reserved and arrived at was beautiful. Canopied by massive evergreen trees and only a minutes walk to the windy beach. Even with the glorious sunshine, it was actually really cold!

Aaaron’s friend Lynn and her friends Andrea and Stewart were the most gracious hosts to us. For 2 straight days, from their fully equipped VW Westfalia, they offered us beer and snacks, cooked up full-course campfire menus of sausages, steaks, portabellas, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, homemade Greek salad, provided fresh coffee in the mornings and sweet rum and cokes at cocktail hour. What rottenly spoiled campers we were! 

We hiked a bit in the days, and managed to check out an awesome section of the Juan de Fucca Trail near Parkinson's Beach on Saturday. Unfortunately Lynn had a little spill on some slippery rocks by the beach. Her knee immediately became swollen and hard for her to bear any weight upon it. Aaron put on his hero cape and began piggy-backing her out the 4 km or so of trail that we had started in on towards Botanical Beach. I began feeling a little useless and eventually I took off ahead with Lynn’s iPhone to look for a patch of service hoping to call Andrea and Stewart, or to flag down a ride/help from the main road. The main road was 6 km from the where we started the trail. An hour and a bit after leaving them behind I made it to the highway for my first experience of sticking my thumb out to oncoming traffic - alone. What ensued surprised me quite a bit. More than 20 cars passed me by! Two cars did stop, both with just an older male driver, who listened to my story/plea for help, but then weren’t interested in driving the 6 km off the highway, down to the tail-head, where I hoped that Lynn and Aaron had successfully made it to. My story must have seemed too strange or unlikely. Did they think it was some kind of trap or elaborate scam? Or did they just not feel comfortable going out of their way? They were both a little creepy and awkward, to be honest, so I was actually relieved to just let them continue on and hope for someone with a better vibe to stop and help out.

It was getting darker as the sun dipped below the tall tree-line and it was quite cold cold, I still couldn’t get reception on Lynn’s phone and I was beginning to worry about our situation. Luckily the next person to stop was a BC Parks employee, a portly and short grey-haired man with thick glasses and a gentle voice. He immediately wanted to help and started clearing out the junk and garbage that littered his front seat. The back of his little 4x4 was crammed to the inner roof with tools for doing yard work and repairs, back seats folded down with no room for passengers. He went on ahead to pick up Lynn and I waited by the highway thinking about maybe trying to hitch back to French Beach and get the rental car. Within a 15 minutes he returned with Lynn and Aaron, who had been making their way up the dirt road from the trail. We emptied out all of the Parks man's gear into the bushes on the side of the road and then Aaron and I piled to the back hatch on a spread of garbage bags. When we described our friends, Andrea and Stewart, who were waiting for us at Botanical Beach the parks worker responded with, “Oh the couple with the black dog and the VW camper?” Turns out he had just come form Botanical Beach where he had noticed them. On the way up the highway we stopped to see a black bear eating grass just 3 meters from the road. I was glad I hadn’t run into her on my solo hike!

That evening after a huge meal, Andrea and Stewart took Lynn into the hospital in Victoria and Aaron and I held down the fort at the French Beach campsite. Another cold night but this time with much better gear because Stewart and Andrea left us their mattresses and more blankets.

Sunday we packed up and caught an early ferry back to the mainland and took Lynn to the hospital in Vancouver. There, after an MRI at UBC (and the x-rays from Victoria), she was told that she had fractured her tibia and would need to be on crutches for 2 months! How awful and frustrating for her.

Later that night, Aaron and I had a great dinner on Commerical Drive, yummy Canadiana gastronomique (homemade pub burgers and pulled pork sandwiches with fresh cut french fries) and local BC micro brew beer, and then went out to briefly to socialize with some of his friends. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the John Mayer, and great memories!