wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Gold River

From 1967 to 1998, the town of Gold River on the west coast of Vancouver Island bustled with activity. Then the pulp and paper mill shut down and it became almost a ghost town.

It’s a tidy town, clean and organized, but there are not even enough people left to support a large grocery store. Two small general stores provide the basics and not much more. The civic centre and police station and two schools are all modern and neat, as if they came right out of a picture book.

Several miles out of town, we found much more activity. A mermaid welcomed us to the wharf area.

Although the mill was shut down, in the remote forests around the Gold River area, logging is still going on. It leaves ugly scars for a while, but the regenerated forests do have their positive effects, providing more sunlight for smaller shrubs and trees which make better food and hiding places for small animals. You can see the new growth in sections that were cut in previous years.

Logging trucks bring the cut logs to a sorting yard near the wharf outside of Gold River.

They are then rolled down the embankment into the salt water, to be put into sections according to type and possibly by size by the dozer boats you see in the photo. They push the logs into the appropriate partitions, ready for loading onto ocean-going ships.

Without the pulp and paper mill, the logs are sent out to other countries to be processed further.

It’s sad to see the mill in ruins. Eventually it will be dismantled.

Meanwhile, the town and the coastal inlets are  destinations for eco tours and sightseeing trips by boat or by plane.

A small float plane company has set up shop near the wharf. It serves those who want a tour by air, and provides transportation for loggers flying to jobs in even more remote areas of the coast.  As well, air freight is a quick way to bring in supplies and parts for machinery that may have broken down.

Here is the grand office of the seaplane service.

Book your ticket and fly on this float plane.

We had our truck so we made our way back by land this time.


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Royston Wrecks

The little song sparrow provides music on this quiet morning. “Come along, Anneli. This is the way to the path beside the beach.”

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The trees are blooming. I don’t know what kind they are, but they’re always the earliest ones. They grow wild everywhere.

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I step down from the beachside path to walk towards the water. Several little stone men are already on the beach. Some very patient person has been here. Have you ever tried to build one of these stone guys? It’s not as easy as it looks. I’m told they’re only cairns, but my imagination took off for a second there.

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Across the bay from where I live on Vancouver Island, is the tiny community of Royston. In trying to find out more about the history of the wrecks that are piled up to function as a breakwater for logging, I came across a very interesting article about it in the Vancouver Sun. Here is the link: http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/westcoastnews/story.html?id=3c998dce-5853-4a6c-ab97-d3d20fb8255a

I couldn’t find the author’s name, but at the end I saw that it had an email address and a copyright: lpynn@vancouversun.com  © (c) CanWest MediaWorks Publications Inc.

According to the article, at least 14 vessels have been purposely sunk here “as breakwaters for log-booming operations exposed to the southeast winds blowing down the Strait of Georgia.”

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The log booms are no longer active, but at certain times of the year, fish like to come into the shallows here to tease fly fishermen. The wrecks are still doing their job of protecting the shore from the worst weather, and probably they are providing places for fish and other sea life to hide.

The misty haze hangs over the Gulf Islands between the mainland and Vancouver Island – very typical of this region.

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Looking from the beach on the Royston side you can see the Town of Comox on the farther shore. Beyond that, you see the snow-capped mountains of the Coast Range on the mainland of British Columbia. These are not to be confused with the Rockies which are on the eastern border of British Columbia.

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“That’s it for today’s tour, Anneli,” says the song sparrow. “We don’t want to bore people. Gotta fly!”

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