Hi. My name is Tracy and I’m a tripaholic. I love my home but, I love leaving it almost as much. I spend countless hours dreaming about, planning and budgeting for, getaways long and short.
It was a few months back, while doing the math for a 5 day trip to California that I realized things were not adding up. $3,000+++ for 3 of us to fly and stay in Anaheim? For five measly days? What kind of overpriced fix was that? Time to consider alternatives and, being Marketing Co-ordinator for Arbutus RV, the solution was pretty much staring me in the face. Could it be true? Could I actually get away for multiple week-end trips at a different location each time (thus fulfilling my need for new adventures), take all my home comforts with me, and be joined by friends old and new, all for a few hundred dollars a month? WOW! This is how Oscar became a part of our family. Oscar is our Little Guy Silver Shadow Teardrop Trailer. Handsome, functional, easy to use and tow – even with my car – and easy on my bank balance at only $140 a month. Hmmmmm, one month’s payment on a tangible asset vs. one night’s payment on a mid-class hotel. A no-brainer.
So, let me tell you about our first Oscar adventure. Since moving here from England 5 years ago, we’ve never ventured further up-Island than Courtenay. This all changed last week. We hit Hwy 19 and headed for Telegraph Cove, just south of Port McNeill. We were blessed with amazing weather and thoroughly enjoyed our 2 ½ hour scenic journey through the mountains between Campbell River and the Cove. It was a challenge leaving Campbell River though. We had to peel the curious crowds off of Oscar before we could resume our trip up the highway after a pit stop. Everyone loved him and wanted to see his handy kitchen, beautiful birch panelling, listen to his Boss sound system, and admire his moon hubcaps and retro whitewalls. Once we got to the campground at Telegraph Cove it was no different. We quickly erected the screen room that attaches to the teardrop, plugged in our fridge and the kettle, made a cup of tea and waited. Sure enough, our camping neighbours began to wander over for the tour.
Telegraph Cove should be on everyone’s list of places to see on the Island - at least once. It is a collection of historic wooden buildings on pilings surrounding a beautiful cove and marina. We spent the first day just whiling away the hours on the boardwalk – a cup of coffee here, an ice cream there, a visit to the Whale Museum – it is such a laid-back and welcoming place that after a few hours we almost felt like locals! After a leisurely stroll back to home base, my husband headed down to the campground cove with my daughter to do a bit of fishing from shore. An hour later the sound of pounding feet and panting breathe heralded my little girl’s return to our site. She was running because she’d just had her first encounter with a black bear. Yes, a bear and her cubs were less than 30 feet away from my nearest and dearest doing a bit of fishing of their own! My daughter was more excited than scared and it was certainly an experience she’ll never forget, but, not one she really wants to repeat any time soon.
We decided to take to the water for a couple of hours on our second day. The three of us booked a 2-hour kayak tour. It was just us, in one kayak and our guide, Teresa, in a second. As soon as we were afloat she told us that a bear and cubs had been sighted just around the corner. No kidding! Been there, done that. Those were OUR bears.
The water was calm and the path was clear as we rounded the bend then, straight ahead, we were treated to a view that everyone hopes to see when they come here. 3 Orcas were breaching. We could hear their blowholes; see them in their entirety, and all from their level. It is something that should be experienced by everyone. And, within a minute or two, pretty much everyone was there! The call had gone out that the whales were here and all watercraft in the vicinity, large and small, descended on our little patch. We paddled off with a backward look but, the stars of the show had disappeared again – perhaps a little tired of the limelight?
We hit the highway for the return journey. We had decided to break the 5 hour trip with an overnight stop near Courtenay. Taking the Oceanside Route (Hwy. 19A) from Campbell River is highly recommended. The views of the Islands and Mainland mountains are stunning. There is ample choice for the RV’er or camper – so many parks! We chose one that was right on the water and spent our final night listening to the waves lapping the shore and watching the lights of no less than 4 cruise ships twinkling in the Passage.
Now, what’s next? Oh, the choice. Oh, the savings. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to figure out that I don’t have to fly, or drive for days, or spend a fortune, to enjoy a break. It’s all here, on my doorstep and within my budget, thanks to my Little Guy.