On Wednesday we got up early, checked out of the Kingfisher Resort and headed south. Our first stop was at the town of Chemainus on the shores of the Strait of Georgia southeast of Nanaimo.
Chemainus is a small town, population 3,035, that was founded as a logging town in 1858. The main species logged was the Western Red Cedar shown in the second photo. The town went into an economic slump when the large lumber mill closed and was replaced by a much smaller more efficient mill in the early 1980s. However, it has reinvented itself as a tourist destination. It is now famous for its 39 outdoor murals. This outdoor gallery has given birth to many businesses, including a theatre, antiques dealers, and eateries. The mural shown in the third photo describes some of the town’s history.
Most but not all buildings in the downtown area have been decorated with murals. Even some homes close to the downtown area have murals.
The outdoor market had vendors selling a wide variety of hand-crafted items. The last photo shows table napkins artfully folded and arranged to form a centerpiece.
The hand-made crafts for sale in the market included silk flowers such as these orchids and beauty products such as organic goat milk soap. As we left the market and headed out of town we passed yet another mural.
As we drove south we stopped at the Dinter Nursery located about 5 km south of Duncan to try to learn about some of the varieties of the flowers we had enjoyed on our drive on the Island. For example, we learned that the flowers in the third photo were varieties of Penstemon (Beardtongue).
The nursery had a nice variety of herbs for sale. They also had an attractive showroom where you could buy a large variety of gardening supplies and tools. We were tempted to buy one of the butterfly bushes because they attract butterflies to your garden. Unfortunately they only grow in zones 5 to 9 so they won’t survive in our zone 2a climate in Brandon.
We arranged to spent the night at the Travelodge on the Gorge in Victoria. This is where we have stayed in Victoria when we were here in the winter. We had supper at the Golden Gate Chinese Restaurant a few blocks from the motel.
In the evening we took a stroll along the Gorge waterway. There was a rowing team practicing their form on the Gorge. The evening sun enhanced the red color of the trunk of an Arbutus tree, Canada’s only native broad-leafed evergreen tree.
On Thursday, July 26 we took the ferry from Swartz Bay on the Island to Tsawwassen near Vancouver. We spent some time visiting with Ian before staying overnight in a room at the back of “Along with the Home”, 6895 Waverley Avenue, Burnaby (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). It was a nice room with a double bed and kitchen privileges. The price was very reasonable for the Vancouver area ($53). We booked the room through Priceline.com. In the morning we left out car at Ian’s and he took us to Canada Place to begin our Alaskan Cruise.