|I couldn't resist taking a touristy photo of this ferry despite having travelled|
almost daily on BC Ferries for the better portion of my adult life.
We also made time during my trip to visit Cowichan Lake, swimming in the cool water and playing with the kids.
But the place that really stood out for me was Chemainus. My girlfriend lives in this little town and I had some time to wander around and enjoy its sights.
|Notice the palm tree in front! The west coast has a much warmer climate than the east.|
Chemainus has an interesting history. It was originally settled in the 1850's and its inhabitants made their living working in mining, fishing and forestry. These industries began to falter one by one throughout the years and a lumber mill was the only remaining industry employer when in 1982 it announced it would be closing its doors. The citizens of Chemainus were faced with an uncertain future but instead of despairing, they rallied and decided to make their town a destination with a new industry of tourism.
|Gorgeous old homes with lush gardens seemed to be everywhere|
In order to do this they began to beautify their downtown streets and professional artists were employed to paint five large murals depicting the town's history on the walls of various buildings. This outdoor art gallery has grown throughout the years and today there are 40 murals throughout the town that draw busloads of tourists for the Festival of Murals.
|Mural depiction of the logging industry.|
I was reminded of one of those classic National Film Board of Canada videos from years ago.
In addition to the murals there is also a thriving theatre company in town and a multitude of excellent restaurants and shops to keep you busy.
|Walking down the main street I noticed this mural to the left |
but also the blooming Catalpa tree on the right
|Just past the ferry dock you can see a log boom floating in the channel|
One spot that I couldn't resist was Askew Creek Park. A couple of acres set just off the main road beckoned me and I ambled along in the deep shade cast by the towering firs and hemlock.
|Look up, waaaayyy up|
I had completely forgotten what it was like to enter the forest on the west coast. Deer are everywhere and so are animals like bears and cougars. I kept my eyes and ears wide open for the rest of the walk.
Unfortunately my time in Chemainus was limited and I had to move to the next part of the trip but I greatly enjoyed visiting this little town and hope to visit again in the future.